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Old 01-25-2011, 10:38 PM
 
16 posts, read 15,337 times
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Default Charlottesville to Alexandria Commute?

Hey Gang, What can I expect from a commute to Alexandria from Charlottesville? My goal is to lease a place in "the country" but I work in Alexandria. I'm thinking C'ville but the commute looks LONG. Any alternative ideas? Thanks so much - this is a big move (from California)!

For what it's worth I also enjoyed the Middleburg area. I'm single but looking for some space for animals and a workshop/garage, and away from the rat race!
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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You can expect it to take a very long time.

People who desire country-like living who work inside the Beltway tend to look no farther out than Fredericksburg/Stafford (if looking south of DC), Haymarket, or Loudoun county (west of DC).

A Charlottesville to Alexandria commute will take you over 2 hours. Google maps says 3 hours 10 minutes in traffic. That's one way. Whether you come in via Fredericksburg or Manassas, you'll hit major traffic. Do you really want to spend 5 to 6 hours (or more, depending on road conditions, other people's accidents, etc) in your car every day in addition to your hours at work?

You should search the NOVA forum for people's actual commute times from Manassas, Leesburg, Gainesville, Fredericksburg - then factor in the additional distance to Charlottesville. Bear in mind it can take a long time to go a relatively short distance in NOVA. Looking merely at map distance in miles is deceiving and not the real picture.

Parts of southern Maryland may offer land and room for animals while giving you a better commute to Alexandria than Virginia horse country would.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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OK, thanks for the reality check. There is no way I want to spend that much time in my car....unless I want to listen to War and Peace several hundred times!

I'll give southern Maryland a look. I like the idea of living west of DC, in Loudoun county or Haymarket, as you said.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Thornrose
845 posts, read 1,001,832 times
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The absolute farthest south I would recommend would be Culpeper. When I grew up there in the '90s, many people were already commuting into the DC area. Even from there it's a crazy commute. You could check into Faquier county where Warrenton is too. Or Warren county west on i66. It's still probably farther than you'll want to commute though.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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OK, thanks. I'm thinking Loudoun County, maybe Purcellville or the likes. That's about 55 miles out from Alexandria. I'm making a "social" trade-off by moving remote because I'm a single 29 y/o...but I like the relative remoteness and the space. I suppose I can get my city slicker fill from work.

I'm moving from California. I live in an agrarian town that's only 30 miles from the coast where I work in San Diego.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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The Amtrak "Cardinal" train provides passenger service between Alexandria and Charlottesville.

A poster just this month wrote in the "Northern Virginia" forum here, that it takes her husband ONE HOUR each way, just to commute between Leesburg and Reston. Based on that, I would estimate TWO HOURS hours each way between Purcellville and Alexandria, during rush-hour. Also, keep in mind, the toll rates were recently increased on the "Dulles Toll Road" (Route 267) which is the road you would likely be taking from Purcellville. Why make it so hard on yourself. Alexandria is a charming city to live, and if you like nature, there are parks all around Alexandria you can go to, including scenic views of the river. You can always take outings to Purcellville on weekends.

Last edited by slowlane2; 01-27-2011 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:12 AM
 
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Yikes - an hour from Leesburg to Reston?! Maybe you're right.....maybe I look at it the other way...enjoy the city during the week with a painless commute, and kick butt on the weekends. I like to camp, RV, off-road, etc. That's one thing that's great about that area, similar to California. Lots of beautiful nature....although I rode my motorcycle to work this morning in 70 degrees....I hear it's snowing like crazy there!
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:35 PM
 
165 posts, read 248,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanman17 View Post
Yikes - an hour from Leesburg to Reston?! Maybe you're right.....maybe I look at it the other way...enjoy the city during the week with a painless commute, and kick butt on the weekends. I like to camp, RV, off-road, etc. That's one thing that's great about that area, similar to California. Lots of beautiful nature....although I rode my motorcycle to work this morning in 70 degrees....I hear it's snowing like crazy there!

To read the lengthy thread discussion I was referring to, you need to switch to the "Northern Virginia" forum, and then in the search box, type "Jenny926" or type "We're here now" and the discussion will pop-up and you can read many people's comments.

Yes it snowed late yesterday - the day my daughter had decided on a whim to go sightseeing in D.C. On the way home, she was stuck on a commuter bus for FIVE hours (to return home 25 miles), even though the snow was only a few inches, and it's melting fast today. Fire engines were called in our town to help push the bus out of the snow.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
2,418 posts, read 6,756,908 times
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Traffic is totally CRAZY around here....and if a sign says "MERGE", that means that NO ONE will let you in....honest...I'm not kidding. Drivers in No. Va. are the rudest I've ever encountered. There just isn't enough road space for all the vehicles...that's the problem. And, put I-95 travelers on the road who have no idea where they're going or which exit to take, and the whole "commute" becomes a nightmare. It just gets worse and worse.
It used to take me 40 mins. to get from Fredericksburg to Alexandria to visit my G-mom.....now, no matter WHAT time of day or night, I plan on 1 1/2 hours.....and that assumes "clear sailing"!
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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OK..well if the country is out....how feasible is a house boat, or a river house? I'm interested in living on the water relatively near Alexandria. Is that a fantasy?
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