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Old 02-13-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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My family and I (hubby, 6 y/o, 3 y/o, and dog) are moving to Seattle next month (yay!) and we're scrambling to find a rental. Google maps has been incredibly helpful (we're doing our search from 3000 miles away), but I've got a nagging feeling that the commute times are underestimated. We are focusing our search in North Seattle (Ballard/Magnolia up to Shoreline) and also Kenmore, Bellevue, and Issaquah Highlands. Google says from Kenmore to downtown Seattle is 30-35 minutes in traffic. Same with Issaquah. And, apparently 1-90 is much quicker than 520? I'd love some insight from local folk. Ideally, we'd love to find a rental for $1800 or less that has about a 30 minute commute or less.

Thanks in advance! This forum has been very insightful.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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In my experience, Google Maps is pretty accurate with the time estimation. You will have to keep in mind that time increases for rush hour which is from around 7 to 9ish in the morning and 4 to 7, with the heaviest times at 5 and 6pm. Some areas are worse then others. The 522 from Bothell to Lake City was undergoing a lot of construction (I'm not sure if it still is) and it could take you an hour to just do that short way.

As for the bridges, I-90 is generally faster because it has more lanes then 520. 520 going west also has a couple weird on-ramps that slows down traffic a lot and 520 also has all the Microsoft traffic going east in the morning and west in the afternoon. They've also been talking (I think its been approved now) about tolling the 520 but I have no idea when that will be going into effect.

Personally, Issaquah is really pretty but can be kind of heavy traffic, Bellevue is a really nice area with awesome schools but the cost of living can be high. I use to live in the Enatai area of Bellevue in a 2-bedroom duplex for $1300. I also have a friend who lives in the Renton Highlands which is nicer then other parts of Renton and the rent is a lot cheaper in that area too.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the info!! You confirmed what I've heard about 520. Think we'll avoid it. Is I-405 the same?

Anybody know how congested I-5 from Shoreline to downtown is? And is Aurora Ave a viable alternative or just as congested?

This will be my first time living in a big city. When I first moved to Charlottesville, VA, I thought it was big. I'm in for an adjustment!
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
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I lived in the Issaquah Highlands for 3 years with my family. My husband commuted downtown. Unless your company is paying for parking, you don't want to drive downtown everyday. Parking can be upwards of $30/day. Sometimes I'd drive my hubby to work, and since we could carpool, it would take less than 30 minutes in traffic. With traffic, however, you're looking at closer to 45 minutes. And without traffic you're looking at 20-25 minutes depending on where downtown you're going. My husband usually took the bus (there is a great, convenient Park N Ride right in Issaquah Highlands). The bus commute was about an hour door to door (including his 1/2 mile walk to and from the Park N Ride). But, it was better than trying to deal with parking and the cost of parking.

V. =)
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I commute to Seattle every day from Sammamish, which is another 20 minutes from Issaquah. Leaving home at 6:15 I am at the office on Alaskan
(father than downtown) by 7am, a little longer to get home but really no traffic issues if I leave work by 4pm. I use I90, have tried 520 but it's worse even at that early time and will have a toll starting next month. Even I90 gets backed up some if you have to work until 4:30 or 5. I would avoid 405 if at ll possible, it's pretty much jammed from Bothell through Bellevue to the airport all day long. Parking in Seattle is amazingly expensive, luckily I have it free as my employer owns the garage, or I would take the bus from Issaquah. Also, gas is up to $3.37 here now so the bus, a metro vanpool or a carpool is cost effective. You can look into that when you get here, on the Rideshare website.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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All great info! My husband will be working in one of the federal buildings downtown and working standard hours (though there might be a little flexibility. We're not banking on it). The employer covers public transportation costs so my husband is open to taking the buses. Are there many direct or express (not sure what they're called) bus routes from either Issaquah or Shoreline? We've been married for 7 years and he's never had more than a 10-15 minute commute to work. We've been spoiled.

Also, I really should be considering where hospitals are located since I will eventually want to find work (I'm a registered nurse), but right now, that is a secondary concern.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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ST 522 goes from Issaquah, Eastgate, Mercer Island, International District to Downtown. It's one of the faster ST's the times I've taken it (I was taking it from Eastgate to the ID during rush hour).

I totally second VeronikaW's post about the parking. I totally forgot about that since I was on the public transit when I commuted that way. It's really really expensive and downtown driving in rush hour is a real pain with so many impatient drivers, pedestrians, one-way streets and "bus only" streets...

As for hospitals, Overlake Medical Hospital is in Bellevue, there is a big Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland. As for Seattle there is Harborview (I :THINK: this is the largest one?), Seattle Children's, UW Medical, Swedish, and Virginia Mason. Of course there are Group Health's all over too. Those are what I can think of as the larger facilities off the top of my head.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Oh I lied, it was ST 554. Sorry.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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I5 gets pretty bad from Shoreline. Expect 30-45 minutes, depending where you are getting on. Aurora avenue likewise gets bad. It's no fun in rush hour traffic as you slowly roll through depressed neighborhoods and not any faster.

Another consideration is how you'll be traveling to downtown. Parking in downtown is one of those adjustments you'll have a fun time with as it can cost anywhere from $20-30 a day. Public transit is quite a bit cheaper and not a whole lot slower.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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From Shoreline there's the 301 Express and there's also another bus that runs up Aurora, can't remember the number. The 301 has limited hours, so if he gets stuck in the office much past 6 or 7 it won't be an option. In general, commuting to downtown Seattle on public transit is not bad.
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