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Old 03-15-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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I am so confused about the Arlington/DC commute! In general, is it better to live in N Arlington vs. S. Arlington to minimize commuting time to DC? Which Arlington neighborhoods would get my husband to Union Station in 30 min. or am I just dreaming? He is also working in Springfield, VA 3 days a week so we are looking for an Arlington neighborhood that would minimize commuting time to both locations. Thank you so much for your help!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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According to Metro's "trip planner" feature, it takes about 30 minutes to travel from the Ballston station on the Orange Line to Union Station, which is on the Red Line.

Metro - Rider Tools - Trip Planner

You could do it in 30 minutes if you lived right next door to the Clarendon or Rosslyn stations, for example. Otherwise, you have to add in travel time to the station and time to find parking, if he would be driving there.

Is is Springfield worksite close to the Metro, or would he have to drive there?
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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What is your rental/mortgage budget?

Pentagon City, Crystal City (both in Arlington) as well as (North) Old Town Alexandria would provide you with convenient access to the Blue Line (Springfield) and Yellow Line (transfer at Metro Center for Red Line to Union Station). But none of those neighborhoods are inexpensive. And Crystal City is more utilitarian than anything; the sidewalks virtually roll up after business hours.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Thanks for your responses! My husband would prefer to drive, both to Union Station and Springfield esp since he doesn't want to drive to the station and have to switch lines to get to Union Station. The Springfield office is right off of the Springfield-Franconia exit, if that helps. Our budget is about $3000/month. Is it unreasonable to expect to get to Union Station in 30 min driving from Arlington?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliasgrace View Post
Thanks for your responses! My husband would prefer to drive, both to Union Station and Springfield esp since he doesn't want to drive to the station and have to switch lines to get to Union Station. The Springfield office is right off of the Springfield-Franconia exit, if that helps. Our budget is about $3000/month. Is it unreasonable to expect to get to Union Station in 30 min driving from Arlington?
Will he be driving at off peak hours? If so...maybe you can get there in 30 minutes. During rush hour, however, I'm pretty sure a 30 minute driving commute to Union Station would be impossible, since it's on the opposite side of downtown DC from Arlington.

Switching lines is really quite easy. Coming from North Arlington, you would get off the train at Metro Center, go up an escalator, and wait 2-3 minutes for a Red Line train to take you to Union Station. From South Arlington, you'd take the Yellow Line to Gallery Place and do the same.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliasgrace View Post
Thanks for your responses! My husband would prefer to drive, both to Union Station and Springfield esp since he doesn't want to drive to the station and have to switch lines to get to Union Station. The Springfield office is right off of the Springfield-Franconia exit, if that helps. Our budget is about $3000/month. Is it unreasonable to expect to get to Union Station in 30 min driving from Arlington?
I agree with the previous poster about the feasibility of a half-hour commute to both Union Station and Springfield.

I would actually suggest biting the bullet on one end of the commute and living closer to Springfield. Kingstowne, West Springfield and Burke are areas given positive reviews on this forum. Your budget would provide you with a great townhome and perhaps a fairly nice detached home as well in these neighborhoods. A ride on the Metro from Springfield to Union Station would be roughly 45 minutes. He will likely thank himself for not enduring the commute on our clogged roads. That same $3000 might rate a decent TH in Old Town Alexandria and an excellent 2BR apt (maybe a decent rancher too?) in the most convenient parts of Arlington.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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"Is it unreasonable to expect to get to Union Station in 30 min driving from Arlington?"

In a word, yes, unless it's midnight. Not sure where you live now, but rush-hour traffic in the DC area is brutal. The major route into DC from Arlington, I-66, is restricted to carpools only during peak traffic periods, which sends a lot of single-occupancy vehicles onto roads that weren't designed to handle that volume. From some parts of Arlington, it can take 30 minutes just to get across (or even to) one of the bridges, and then you have to get across DC to Union Station. Bumper to bumper, stop and start the entire way. And the return trip can be even worse, because you are also dealing with tourist and downtown evening-event traffic.
I would second the suggestion to consider living in the Springfield area, especially since your husband will be spending three days a week at that location. You will get more for your housing dollar, and minimize the commute for those three days.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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If you want to get the Union Station in less than 30 minutes, and not switch trains you would pretty much be stuck with taking the VRE from Crystal City. It takes 15-18 minutes to get to Union Station from Cystal City, I don't know how long it would take to get to the station from apartments there, or how often the train is on-time. As for driving from there to Springfield, I don't know about consistently getting there in under 30 minutes.

The other option would be to live close to the 395, something like Shirlington, or near the Army and Navy Country Club, or Pentagon City or just south thereof, but I don't know how fast the 395 is in DC itself, as I have never taken it or been in it in the morning rush.

I wouldn't want to be stuck with only Crystal City as a choice personally, just to try to get a one seat ride to Union Station. If you're willing to compromise on something then you can probably get more options.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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You would be an ideal candidate for Pentagon City.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Thanks for all the responses, all! Sorry, I neglected to mention that my husband will be phasing out of his Springfield office after 6 months so we would prefer to live in Arlington or somewhere in VA that has the best commute to DC.

Door to door, best case scenario, the commute via metro from Clarendon to Union Station would be approx 45 min, right? If my husband for some reason insists on driving, is it generally better to live in N or S Arlington? Ie. If we were in Shirlington or Fairlington (these are considered S Arlington, right?) is the traffic just crazy coming up 395? Or does it not really matter where in Arlington b/c traffic is crazy everywhere? Is it generally better to be close to Rt 50 since he can't take 66?

I also neglected to mention that we have rambunctious 16-month old twins who love to run around at parks and such and will get quite cranky if kept indoors all day. I'm thinking that rules out Pentagon city? We need to balance finding a kid-friendly area (places to stroll, parks etc) and minimizing the commute... can't have it all, I know....sigh.

Any more input greatly greatly appreciated!
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