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Old 07-25-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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I think the biggest issue here in coordinating the one-car family is the possibility of commuting 1-2 hours away to Wheeling, Youngstown, or Erie.

I walk the city all the time, often 5 miles or more at at time. However, if you can walk up to a mile each way, then worrying about the bus is never really a problem. The two hospitals you are referring to themselves are only about 2miles apart. Yes, there are sidewalks on the vast majority of streets. Some of the buses have bike racks but not the majority of them.

I agree that Bloomfield seems to be a logical choice, but even most of Shadyside is still only about a 30 minute walk from both hospitals. What is your price range for housing, either to rent or buy?
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maaz View Post
I think the biggest issue here in coordinating the one-car family is the possibility of commuting 1-2 hours away to Wheeling, Youngstown, or Erie.
I'll audition at all three, and hopefully make it into one. Then my partner will schedule his classes around my rehearsals. We've managed this for years with one car and long commutes, albeit in other cities, and it truly hasn't proven a problem. There is a limit to his flexibility, but then again we can take some time to get all these balls in the air.

I'm pleased to hear that walking some small distance could make this more reasonable.

Quote:
What is your price range for housing, either to rent or buy?
Somewhere around $200K, or less, depending on the house, how much rehab it needs, and so forth. We expect to have to do rather a lot of work (like adding a bathroom, given the few houses we've seen in the area so far) and will hold down our bid commensurately.

Last edited by lostinpgh; 07-25-2007 at 02:16 PM..
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I've never had trouble coordinating a one-car family in Phoenix, LA, or Seattle, and those places are all considered pretty car-centric as well. But there were always places to live where it was physically possible.
I'm not saying that it can't be done. It's going to be a challenge that most Pittsburghers don't bother making. Time is very precious to Pittsburghers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
Why not? I have been in the habit of walking or biking 2 miles or so as a part of my commute routinely. Are there sidewalks? And do the buses have bike racks on the front? Now that my son is older, I don't tend to bike as often, because he can walk farther.
Only the following bus routes have busses with bike racks: Rack 'n Roll Pittsburgh isn't a biker friendly city because of the hills and such. Just do a search of this forum to find previous threads where bikers have complained about how difficult it is to get around on bike here.

Although there are sidewalks, the quality of the side walks is very questionable. Some sidewalks are very crumbled in some areas. In other places, the sidewalk might simply end for no apparent reason. For example, check out the crumbled concrete on the Washington Crossing Bridge: Washington Crossing Bridge of 40th Street in Lawrenceville - Pictures of Pittsburgh Bridges There are areas where you can see the river below through holes in the concrete too. While it's highly unlikely you'll ever cross the Washington Crossing bridge, some city neighborhoods have sidewalks in that condition.

Pittsburgh is very hilly. If you live in the bottom of Lawrenceville or get a bus that drops you off there, it's quite a walk up the hill to where the new Children's Hospital will be located. Pittsburgh weather is not very forgiving. In the winter, it's cold and slushy or icy. In the summer, it's unbelievably humid. It rains more in Pittsburgh than Seattle. And Pheonix and Seattle do not have the snow and ice storms that we have in Pittsburgh. Your son will have to walk up that hill too---in those weather conditions. But if you're in the habit, great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh
Renting seems likely while we sort this out.
That's a good plan. Your son is young enough that you don't need to worry about changing his schools. If he just turned 4, you have a year to determine the best place to call home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh
Apparently, it doesn't even exist for that. Usually public transit connects major hubs like universities and hospitals and the downtown core.
That's Pittsburgh. You can commute easily to Oakland via downtown. There are unlimited busses to catch downtown to Oakland. Upper Lawrenceville where the new Children's hospital will be located has good bus service but nothing like Oakland. I'm sure that more runs from downtown to the new Children's will be added to the existing routes after the hospital is completed. Even in cities with great mass transit, like NYC, people have to transfer busses and trains to get where they're going.

Last edited by Hopes; 07-25-2007 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I'm pleased to hear that walking some small distance could make this more reasonable.
It's doable. You'll just have to take into consideration the location of your childcare and such. Once you're above the Lawrenceville hilll, it's fairly flat between Oakland and where Children's Hospital will be located in Lawrenceville. You could walk from Shadyside to either hospital location without a problem. The problem is that it will be very difficult to find a house in Shadyside for under 200k. The areas where housing will be more affordable might have quality of school concerns. Then you'll be looking at paying for a private education which will certainly cost more than the addition of another car. These are all things to think about. Your child will be entering school in a year. Soon he's going to be old enough to play outside unsupervised. You should pick your housing with that in mind too.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm not saying that it can't be done. It's going to be a challenge that most Pittsburghers don't bother making. Time is very precious to Pittsburghers.
It takes a lot of time at work to pay for the costs of a second car.

Quote:
Although there are sidewalks, the quality of the side walks is very questionable.
Why doesn't the city maintain the sidewalks? I keep hearing that Pittsburgh has big-city amenities but a small-town feel; your description makes it sound like it has small-town amenities as well.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
It takes a lot of time at work to pay for the costs of a second car.
Not really. The cost of living in Pittsburgh is very affordable. My family lives on one income and we have three cars. We're not burdened by them at all. My husband doesn't work extra hours to pay for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
Why doesn't the city maintain the sidewalks?
Some neighborhoods have very well maintained sidewalks, others are less dependable. It's a financial issue. Plus, homeowners are actually responsible for their part of the sidewalk. Some homeowners do not bother or can not afford to maintain their sidewalks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I keep hearing that Pittsburgh has big-city amenities but a small-town feel; your description makes it sound like it has small-town amenities as well.
I think the references to big-city amenities are for the things like cultural, arts, hospitals, education, etc.

If you don't like it, don't come. You haven't even gotten here, and you're already complaining. I really don't think it sounds like you will be happy in Pittsburgh.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Not really. The cost of living in Pittsburgh is very affordable. My family lives on one income and we have three cars. We're not burdened by them at all. My husband doesn't work extra hours to pay for them.
You use money for them that you might otherwise use for other things. Say I spend $200/ mo for insurance (guessing here), $300/ mo for gas (again, guessing on the gas I'd spend driving from South Park and back), and $400/ mo for parking (your figure) on a car I would not otherwise have in order to get to work, versus using my free bus pass from Pitt and walking up and down that hill once a day. Turns out each day I walk up and down that hill, it's the equivalent of getting paid $45 in after tax dollars. It can't possibly take me an hour, you know?

Quote:
If you don't like it, don't come. You haven't even gotten here, and you're already complaining. I really don't think it sounds like you will be happy in Pittsburgh.
I'm not complaining; I'm asking questions. I am surprised that what I keep hearing is that I can't count on the sidewalks, the bike lanes, the buses, or the schools, but Pittsburgh is great anyway, oh except for the awful weather. But people do seem to like it anyway, so I imagine we'll be able to make it work just fine.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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There are many great, convenient places to live throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. You can't help that the new location for Children's Hospital limits your possibilities. It will just take some creative planning to achieve your goals. I'm sure you'lll love Pittsburgh if you make the right choices for your family.

Once you have an idea of where you'd like to live, many people here will gladly help you pick the safest neighborhoods. First, you should come to Pittsburgh and look at the neighborhoods between Oakland and Upper Lawrenceville. That way nobody will waste your time suggesting areas you wouldn't want to raise your child.

I'm only assuming you wouldn't want to raise your child in Bloomfield based on my own opinion. I love Bloomfield, it's just not my idea of a place to raise children. You might feel differently, but you haven't even shared what type of neighborhood environment you'd like for your family aside from wanting to live near a more vibrant business area than a small town. A little more information on what you're hoping to find would be helpful.

Most of the areas in Pittsburgh with the better schools are most convenient for commuting to Oakland so you really will have to limit your search within a 2 mile walking distance from Upper Lawrenceville. Keep in mind that there are many dangerous neighborhoods immediately adjacent to nice neighborhoods.

For instance, you could chose to live in Regent Square because you found a house that was affordable, but you'd have to walk through very dangerous parts of town to get to Upper Lawrenceville. The same goes for areas of Shadyside that are closer to Penn Avenue. You don't want to walk down Penn Avenue at night to get to Upper Lawrenceville because Garfield is dangerous.

Unlike most cities where the ghettos are all concentrated in one part of town, Pittsburgh's ghettos are sprinkled throughout the city. You very well may have to pass on the outside of a ghetto to get from a nice neighborhood to Upper Lawrenceville on foot. What appears to be a shorter distance on a map could be a much longer distance when you consider areas to avoid.

btw, all cities have areas with better or worse schools. That's nothing new anywhere. As for the weather, I love it here. Most people can't stand it---especially people from other parts of the country. There are entire threads devoted to arguing about Pittsburgh's weather. I mentioned the weather because I thought it would be a very important factor for someone who was planning to rely on walking and biking.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm only assuming you wouldn't want to raise your child in Bloomfield based on my own opinion. I love Bloomfield, it's just not my idea of a place to raise children. You might feel differently, but you haven't even shared what type of neighborhood environment you'd like for your family aside from wanting to live near a more vibrant business area than a small town. A little more information on what you're hoping to find would be helpful.
We'd like to live somewhere where we can walk to groceries and restaurants and a park and preferably neighborhood schools, and catch a bus to and from the Children's Hospital. A backyard would be preferable; it doesn't have to be a large one. I'd love an attached garage, but that's a Western city preference and I realize it's one unlikely to be met.

Quote:
btw, all cities have areas with better or worse schools.
While this is true, it's also the case that many cities (including both LA and Phoenix) have open enrollment and charters, so the area in which you live is less directly related to the schooling your child receives. I see Pittsburgh has magnet schools, which suggests that perhaps the quality of the local school is less relevant.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
We'd like to live somewhere where we can walk to groceries and restaurants and a park and preferably neighborhood schools, and catch a bus to and from the Children's Hospital.
That's such a tough one because the new Children's Hospital will be in Upper Lawrenceville. That's why I'm suggesting a second car even if you live in the city. Your commute will be under 10 minutes so your gasoline won't cost very much at all. I pay under $100 per month to insure two of my three cars.

Bloomfield has grocery stores and restaurants, but there is no park. I'm not sure where the elementary schools are located for Bloomfield. The houses are very crammed together. It's mostly on-street parking in Bloomfield. People literally put chairs in the street to 'save' their parking places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I'd love an attached garage, but that's a Western city preference and I realize it's one unlikely to be met.
Pittsburgh homes have an attached garages. But you're intersted in living within the city. Many city houses don't even have garages. It's only on street parking in many areas. There is a city neighborhood called Stanton Heights that has traditional ranch houses with internal garages. I'm not sure if there is a bus that goes to Upper Lawrenceville. I'll look into that for you. But you won't be within walking distance to schools, groceries, restaurants and parks in Stanton Heights.

If you want to go outside of the city limits, consider Aspinwall. It is possible to take a bus ascross the river into Lawrenceville. here is the bus schedule for getting from Aspinwall to Lawrenceville. The times are limited and you would have to walk approximately 10 blocks up hill to get to the hospital. You also can catch a bus from Aspinwall to Oakland without tranfering. You can also take a direct bus route from Aspinwall to Oakland. Check out the schedule here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I see Pittsburgh has magnet schools, which suggests that perhaps the quality of the local school is less relevant.
You'll be taking a gamble if you don't take local schools into consideration since city magnet schools accept students on a lottery system.

I highly recommend Aspinwall. The school district is top notch.
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