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Old 07-25-2007, 12:50 AM
 
56 posts, read 177,150 times
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My partner has a job in California, PA. I'll be working at UPMC Presbytarian until our research team relocates to the new Lawrenceville Children's Hospital. We have a four year old. We would like to avoid buying a second car.

We could live in California and I could commute, but the schools don't look all that great, and we're not really interested in living in a very small town even if it is a college town; we'd prefer a stronger business environment. So we are assuming that means we'd like to locate somewhere in Pittsburgh.

To complicate matters, I play the violin professionally and have been told the community orchestras I'll be wanting to audition for are in Erie, Youngstown, and Wheeling.

Suggestions wanted.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Seriously, you'll need to buy a second car. Your commute into Oakland is going to be terrible with transfering busses downtown. And the bus routes to the new Children's Hospital will not be as regular as Oaklands. Save yourself the hassle, buy a second car, and pick a township somewhere inbetween the two locations.

South Park Township is halfway inbetween both of your places of employment. South Park is also fairly convenient to I79 which will make it easier for you to get to Erie, Youngstown and Wheeling.

Here's the mapquest info on both commutes:

Driving Directions from South Park, PA to California, PA

Driving Directions from South Park, PA to Oakland, PA

If you want to avoid the Allegheny County taxes, look to Peter's Township. The commute is almost halfway (your wife will have to commute a little farther than you), and you'll be just as close to I79.

Driving Directions from Mcmurray, PA to Oakland, PA

Driving Directions from Mcmurray, PA to California, PA
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:52 AM
 
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Try Jefferson Hills. You can get to Cal (20 min. via 43) and Pittsburgh (30-40min. via 51) relatively easily while living in a good school district.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:52 AM
 
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Surely there is somewhere in the city from which it is possible to reach both Oakland and Lawrenceville on the bus, with decent schools. I would really prefer to avoid paying $1000+/ yr to park.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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Try Shadyside. The schools there are supposed to be decent, and you should be able to catch a bus to either Oakland or Lawrenceville from there. Look at this: from: shadyside, pittsburgh, pa to: lawrenceville, pittsburgh, pa - Google Transit

Bloomfield is even more convenient, but I am not sure what school is there.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
Surely there is somewhere in the city from which it is possible to reach both Oakland and Lawrenceville on the bus, with decent schools. I would really prefer to avoid paying $1000+/ yr to park.
You're wife's commute would be over an hour each way if you lived in Pittsburgh.

Isn't your wife's quality of life worth $1,000 per year?

For that matter, isn't your quality of life worth $1,000 per year?

Think about it. If you live closer to where you work, that makes you the main caretaker of your child and home. You would be the one who would transport her to and from childcare, doctor's visits, missing work from leaving in the middle of the day when she becomes ill, transporting her to and from playdates, homework helper and enforcer, preparing all weeday family dinners, cleaning the house. You would be the one to mainly run the household since your work would be closer to home. Plus, it would be outragous to expect your wife to prepare dinner and clean the house when she commuted 2-1/2 hours each day whereas your commute is 15 minutes tops.

This all leads me to realize that there is no way you can avoid buying a second car. If your wife has the car while traveling all the way to California for work, you will have no way of transporting your child around as necessary. You'll also need the car for grocery shopping, etc., unless you plan all of your shopping perfectly on the weekends. Furthermore, it's very unlikely you'll find bus transportation to work thoughout your employment in Pittsburgh. If you buy a house that's close to the busline into Oakland, you won't be near a busline into Lawrenceville when the new facility is completed. If you live near a busline that takes you into Lawrenceville, you won't be near a bus line that takes you into Oakland. The areas of town that might provide you non-transfer travel to both Oakland and Lawrenceville, it limits your housing choices to a small area that's likely to not be a desirable neighborhood.

Speaking of that $1,000 per year. If that's all you would have to pay per year to park at work, consider yourself lucking that Children's is providing discounted parking to employees. When I worked downtown up until five years ago, I paid $400 per month.

btw, how do you expect to get to Erie, Youngstown and Wheeling if you only own one car?
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
Try Shadyside. The schools there are supposed to be decent, and you should be able to catch a bus to either Oakland or Lawrenceville from there. Look at this: from: shadyside, pittsburgh, pa to: lawrenceville, pittsburgh, pa - Google Transit
He's not commuting to Shadyside Hospital. He's commuting to Presbytarian hospital, and later Lawerenceville.

I stand corrected about his not obtaining bus transportation to both areas from the same residential neighborhood. He CAN have bus transportation to both Lawrenceville and Oakland. But he's very limited in where he can own a home. His only choices of location for a house are near the following bus route. Bloomfield is the most convenient option because Shadyside would have him walking many, many blocks to reach the bus stop for Lawrenceville.

They better like Bloomfield. That's a small area to focus a search for buying a house. The yards are tiny like postage stamps. There's no way their child will be able to ride a bike in the streets until he/she is a teenager. Maybe they like city living and it doesn't matter to them if they have a yard or a place for their child to go outside and play with neighboring children.

With his wife taking the car to California on long commutes, he's still going to have the issue of transporting his child and completely running the household himself. And when he goes to Erie, Wheeling and Youngstown, his wife won't have a way to commute to work if it's a weekday.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:28 AM
 
56 posts, read 177,150 times
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Well, you've got the genders flipped around, for starters.

My DH is faculty at Cal; as a consequence he doesn't work a standard shift and it is more reasonable to give the long commute to him, particularly in the semesters where he is only teaching MWF or TTh. So if we live in the city, sometimes he only has two commutes a week, with a worst-case scenario of five. If we live in the burbs, I have five *and* he has two, or three, or five. If we live in Cal, I have five.

I will be employed by Pitt; their website says the cheapest parking is $85/ mo and there is quite an impressive waitlist for it; I get the distinct impression that I will be *unable* to park there unless I go off-campus and pay even higher rates. Gas is a non-trivial expense, as are insurance and the purchase of a second car.

We both provide caretaking for our son, we both clean the house, and we both cook. No worries.

Symphony rehearsal is always at night.

I am dismayed to hear that it is apparently impossible to get to two locations which are *less than three miles apart* via the bus.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:50 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 98,235,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh
If we live in the burbs, I have five *and* he has two, or three, or five.
That seems the most fair though. And both of you will have shorter commutes so it will be easier for each of you to get home when there is a schedule conflict.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh
We both provide caretaking for our son, we both clean the house, and we both cook. No worries.
Just know that the burden of those responsibilities are going to be yours since your husband will have a long commute if you live in the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
Symphony rehearsal is always at night.
Your rehersals might be in the evenings, but Erie is a 2-1/2 hour drive. If your husband has a class in the late afternoon, he might not be back in Pittsburgh in time for you to get to Erie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
I am dismayed to hear that it is apparently impossible to get to two locations which are *less than three miles apart* via the bus.
That's Pittsburgh. For the most part, all busses are inbound and outbound to/from downtown. Oakland and Lawrenceville are not downtown. From most locations, you have to travel downtown and transfer to a bus for Oakland or Lawrenceville---unless you chose to live in an area with a bus route that goes through either Lawrenceville or Oakland on the way downtown. Very few areas in Pittsburgh will share the same bus route for Oakland and Lawrenceville. You'll have to pick a house that is within a few blocks of the bus line. You can't pick any house because you can't walk 10 to 15 blocks to catch your bus. You're not going downtown; you're wanting to go side-to-side. It seems only Bloomfield has busses that go to either Lawrenceville or Oakland. That's your target area if you chose to not buy a car. Your childcare will be limited to someone in the neighborhood or at a center where you work. You'll have to live near that comon bus line to get to both Oakland and Lawrenceville locations.

Your other option is to rent a house near where it's convenient to commute to Oakland, and later buy a house once the Larwenceville facility is completed. Unfortunately, the only buses that go through Lawrenceville are on the opposite side of Pittsburgh from California which means your husband's commute could be 1-1/2 hours each way or more if you try to live in a suburban neighborhood that has buses going through Lawrenceville (like Shaler, Fox Chapel, Hampton). Even those busses drop you off on Butler Street in Lawrenceville which makes a 10 block walk up a steep hill to get to the new Children's Hospital.

I know gasoline is expensive. Most families in Pittsburgh own more than one car. That's the way Pittsburghers live. This isn't NYC. Public transportation in Pittsburgh mostly exists for commuting to/from work and not much more. You can't flag taxi cabs down on the road here either. Pittsburghers have the expense of gasoline and transporation in order to commute, shop and socialize. If you live in Pittsburgh, you'll have to pay to park almost anywhere you go near your home.

I'm just trying to help you understand what it's like in Pittsburgh. Your goals might be hard to attain when you also toss into the mix the type of childhood you'd like for your child. Do you want a yard? Do you want a neighborhood where children pay outside throughout the neighborhood? That's really not Bloomfield.

Last edited by Hopes; 07-25-2007 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:20 PM
 
56 posts, read 177,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
That's Pittsburgh.
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.

Quote:
You can't pick any house because you can't walk 10 to 15 blocks to catch your bus.
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.

Quote:
Your other option is to rent a house near where it's convenient to commute to Oakland, and later buy a house once the Larwenceville facility is completed.
Renting seems likely while we sort this out.

Quote:
Public transportation in Pittsburgh mostly exists for commuting to/from work and not much more.
Apparently, it doesn't even exist for that. Usually public transit connects major hubs like universities and hospitals and the downtown core.
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