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Old 03-23-2013, 05:47 PM
 
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Hi all,
I currently live in central VA and will be relocating to the DC area for a new position. Specifically, I will be working in the same vicinity as the VA hospital in DC (Irving Street, NW). I've been told to look in MD (Silver Spring, Takoma Park, etc,) but after touring those areas, I really didn't like MD. So, I've been researching and found a few places close to Columbia Pike in Arlington. After using the hopstop website, I see that if I have to report to work by 0700 or later, public transportation commute wouldn't be a problem. However, there will be times that I will have to report to work at 0600 and using public transportation will have me arriving very close to 0600, with no room for delays. My question is, if I chose to drive instead to get to work by 0600 (leaving at 0500, commute time per google map is approximately 20 minutes) will there still be the same type of traffic flow as regular rush hour time? Will leaving at 0500 give me plenty of time to get to work, even with delays/traffic?

I would really appreciate the opinions of those who know about this commute. Also, feel free to suggest areas that might be closer that are in NoVA that I should look into. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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You are close enough in that IMO your commute shouldn't be a problem at that time of morning. If you were starting out in, say, Manassas or Fredericksburg, you'd have a lot of company.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
You are close enough in that IMO your commute shouldn't be a problem at that time of morning. If you were starting out in, say, Manassas or Fredericksburg, you'd have a lot of company.
Thank you for your input. I was hoping that would be the case
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:06 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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The very best commute would be on I-66, but it's HOV 6:30-9:00 eastbound. It turns into Constitution Avenue NW. Takes about 10 minutes.

The second-best commute would be southbound down GW Parkway, to exit onto Route 50 east (briefly) before getting onto the TR bridge, which I-66 also crosses.

But housing near both is more expensive than housing near Columbia Pike.

Normally I would discourage anyone from trying to take 395N into DC, because it's absolutely packed during rush hour--barely moving. But in the early hours you're talking about, most of the 395N commuters have just left their homes in Woodbridge/Stafford/Dumfries--so you might actually be OK on it then. In which case that would be the most direct shot to your job.

Good luck and welcome to DC!
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:06 AM
 
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You should also start researching parking options for the days you have to get in earlier. Parking could be either unavailable (like garages with waiting lists or only short-term meter options) or costly. Or has human-resources at the VA hospital said they have a garage for employees?
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:27 AM
 
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Did you check out Columbia Heights during your visit? If I worked in that area, I would live there in a heartbeat. Nothing beats a quick walk or bike ride to work. But if you have your heart set on NoVA, and if you have parking, Columbia Pike is actually one of the easiest locations in Virginia to get to northern NW from. Just take Columbia Pike toward the Pentagon, hop onto Washington Blvd, cross Memorial Bridge, and jump on the Rock Creek Parkway, which would still be open to two-way traffic at 5:00. There will be minimal traffic that early. DC is not a particularly early city -- there are far more people rolling into offices around 9:00 than there are at 7:00, it just seems like an early place because a lot of people start their commutes from BFE before the sun rises.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:40 AM
 
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At 5AM, coming from that area, you will get to where you need to be in a snap.

I commute into DC from Woodbridge. I leave at 5:15AM and am sitting at my desk in DC often before 6AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by persnicketygal View Post
You should also start researching parking options for the days you have to get in earlier. Parking could be either unavailable (like garages with waiting lists or only short-term meter options) or costly. Or has human-resources at the VA hospital said they have a garage for employees?
Parking wouldn't be an issue, garage parking is provided for employees.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by seiketsu View Post
Did you check out Columbia Heights during your visit? If I worked in that area, I would live there in a heartbeat. Nothing beats a quick walk or bike ride to work. But if you have your heart set on NoVA, and if you have parking, Columbia Pike is actually one of the easiest locations in Virginia to get to northern NW from. Just take Columbia Pike toward the Pentagon, hop onto Washington Blvd, cross Memorial Bridge, and jump on the Rock Creek Parkway, which would still be open to two-way traffic at 5:00. There will be minimal traffic that early. DC is not a particularly early city -- there are far more people rolling into offices around 9:00 than there are at 7:00, it just seems like an early place because a lot of people start their commutes from BFE before the sun rises.
Thanks for the input. I didn't tour Columbia Heights, but I did pass it on the way. The prices for apartments in that area is outrageous to me so I didn't give it too much of a thought. Since I'm already a VA resident, I think it would be easier to just keep it that way, so for now I think I'll stick to NoVA.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
At 5AM, coming from that area, you will get to where you need to be in a snap.

I commute into DC from Woodbridge. I leave at 5:15AM and am sitting at my desk in DC often before 6AM.
Great to read this, reassurance. Thanks.
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