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Unread 07-18-2009, 09:38 PM
 
8 posts, read 15,471 times
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Default great falls, commute to dc and fairfax

we saw a nice place on river bend rd. and georgetown pike in greatfalls today. I will be commuting to georgetown and my wife willl be commuting to Inova Fair Oaks in Fairfax. can anyone comment on actual commute times, best routes, back roads etc. any input on nearby daycares/preschools will be appreciated as well.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 11:10 PM
 
515 posts, read 946,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbandi View Post
we saw a nice place on river bend rd. and georgetown pike in greatfalls today. I will be commuting to georgetown and my wife willl be commuting to Inova Fair Oaks in Fairfax. can anyone comment on actual commute times, best routes, back roads etc. any input on nearby daycares/preschools will be appreciated as well.
Maybe someone around here knows more than I do, but AFAIK, there is no "back road" way into DC from Great Falls. That is, you have to go down 193. Unfortunately it is hellish at rush hour. With only one lane going in and one going out, it takes a long time to go a short way.

A friend of mine used to make the commute from Great Falls to Dupont Circle. It took her an hour and a half each way. This was 20 years ago, and I can't imagine that things have improved. Georgetown is a little closer than Dupont Circle, but not by much.

Sounds like you are facing the dilemma that so many around here deal with: balancing location and commute. All I can tell you is that our qualify of life improved dramatically after we junked my husband's 60-90 minute commute and bought a place five miles from his office here in NOVA.

Best of luck to you.
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Unread 07-18-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Mclean, VA
47 posts, read 13,424 times
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Seriously? 1.5 hours from GF to dupont? admittedly , I've only done the commute from South Mclean, VA to DC a few times during Rush Hour, but my impression on each trip gave me an insight to the home values in Great Falls/Mclean. I've always thought of the GW Parkway on the northern side as the "rich person's expressway" The few time's I've made that trip during rush hour, it felt like a private driveway compared to the 267/495/66/50 hell hole that exists for us "normies".

I always assumed that the incredible prices in GF/Mclean were a factor of its proximity to the district... please correct me if I'm wrong, I've only been in this area for 3 years...
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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:47 AM
 
4,297 posts, read 4,336,801 times
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If you are newcomers to the area with a young child, I think you'd find Great Falls to be rather isolated, and the commutes to DC and Inova would probably be longer than you might anticipate, for the reasons DC Oldtimer noted. River Bend Road to Sibley would be an easy commute - if you have a helicopter.

IMHO, Great Falls works best for people who don't need to commute much or already are quite familiar with the area and happy to trade off the two-lane roads and septic systems (many of the houses in Great Falls are on septic systems rather than public water) for greater privacy and larger lots.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
25,403 posts, read 42,138,435 times
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All I can say is that I have already just gone "joyriding" the entire length of the Georgetown Pike from Route 7 through Great Falls, Langley, and into McLean, and each time I'm enjoying it more and more! I have yet to see a sub-seven-figure home listing for that area, but then again that's pocket change for many people who live there I suppose (looks in wallet; moths fly out! ) I really like that area. I just wonder how people can cycle/jog along much of that route though---there's very little, if any, shoulders!
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Unread 07-20-2009, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,516 posts, read 1,677,223 times
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I think it would depend upon your work schedules. If you are commuting during off hours (as in NOT commuting between 7 and 10 am and NOT commuting between 3 and 7 pm), it may be doable. But I will tell you as someone who does the school drop-off/pick-up for two kids and also commutes to work -- the less the distance, the greater your sanity.

But perhaps you'll have an au pair or a nanny handling your school drop offs/pick-ups so that will be less of an issue (?).
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Unread 07-20-2009, 08:18 AM
 
2,439 posts, read 5,469,685 times
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If you really like this house, and the Great Falls area in general, I would suggest that you get up extremely early one morning and try out the commute to Georgetown for yourself. Keep in mind that, in July, you won't be dealing with school buses, which can be a significant source of delay even in the early morning when there isn't that much other traffic. High school buses are on the road before 6:30 am up there.
I think that the 90 minute estimate is overly pessimistic -- maybe an hour is more realistic. Once you get into McLean, you can choose between the GW Parkway to the Key Bridge, or continuing on Georgetown Pike to 123 and the Chain Bridge. But you're pretty much stuck with Georgetown Pike before that.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Outside DC
89 posts, read 238,884 times
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I lived right near the intersection you are taking about for some time. Going to DC, you can trek down 193 slowly, or you can take old dominion into Mclean and then weave through mclean parallel to 123 eventually getting on it to the GW parkway. I think 1.5 hours is pushing it, especially depending on the time. Probably closer to an hour.

Going to Fairfax, there are far more options. There are a couple neighborhoods you can cut through that will get you across 7 near wolftrap, or you would take walker/springvale towards reston. Once accross 7, you can take baron cameron all the way to reston parkway, or take one of several "back" roads. Lots of options.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 04:02 PM
 
216 posts, read 335,906 times
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I was also considering moving to Great Falls (I commute to DC and DH to McLean) and was actually on my way home from looking at a house there when I witnessed an accident involving a car immediately in front of me, on one of the curvy spots on G-town Pike. This, combined with trying out the morning commute, convinced me to explore more expensive/less spacious options in McLean/Falls Church. Good luck with your decision.
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Unread 07-20-2009, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
25,403 posts, read 42,138,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buildinginva View Post
I was also considering moving to Great Falls (I commute to DC and DH to McLean) and was actually on my way home from looking at a house there when I witnessed an accident involving a car immediately in front of me, on one of the curvy spots on G-town Pike. This, combined with trying out the morning commute, convinced me to explore more expensive/less spacious options in McLean/Falls Church. Good luck with your decision.
It was probably some jerk on a cell phone. I was almost hit head-on rounding a curve there too by---you guessed it---a distracted driver.
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