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Old 09-07-2010, 10:29 AM
 
7 posts, read 13,438 times
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Hi everyone,

I currently live in Columbia, MD, and I like it quite a bit - except for the flight path over my house. My husband just got a job on the Mall in DC, so we are contemplating a move (I know Columbia isn't far - we just hate the low-flying planes where we are here) to possibly Gaithersburg or Germantown. We have spent our lives in Maryland, so we know that 270 is crap and that 495 is no picnic, either.

I am wondering, though, if these two towns seem congested just to drive around IN from day to day. I work from home and like to take my son to Barnes and Noble, grocery shopping, to the park, etc, etc whenever the mood strikes, and here in Columbia, it is very easy to do so at any time of day, really. Is the same true of Gaithersburg and/or Germantown?

Also, I visit my parents in Abingdon (Harford County) about once a week. I have heard I can take back roads to avoid most of 270 and all of 495. Anyone familiar with these routes - do they get congested, too, close to rush hour (morning and evening?)

I guess what I am looking for is a quiet (no planes overhead) yet suburban town that isn't TOO far from DC's mass transit and that is a workable drive to Baltimore and points North (and anywhere else, really) with kids. Is there such a thing, or can you you recommend any towns?

Thanks very much!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:27 PM
 
1,312 posts, read 4,184,124 times
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Stay away from the Airpark in Gaithersburg if you don't want planes. It's a small airport but I would think still somewhat noisy.

I would say that the entire area is constantly congested, rush hour or not, but I guess it depends on what you're used to and what you consider high volume. I lived near 355/118 in Germantown and that shopping area was booming no matter what time I went. I mean, the Giant parking lot would be packed at 8pm.

Others who grew up like that consider it normal...I would recommend taking a day trip during the week after rush hour is over and see what you think. Don't do a Friday...there is always less traffic than the other work days. That way you can get a feel for it yourself.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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Gaithersburg is not congested most of the day. The worst is during morning and evening rush. The rest of the time it's easy to get around.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Gaithersburg does have a small airport on Airpark Rd. I have not seen an airplane flying low over any part of Gaithersburg. I suspect that airport operates a very limited service. The area surrounding the airport is mostly commercial.

Gaithersburg does experience high volume of traffic at most hours. Especially the older parts where the layouts are more urban friendly (pedestrians, higher numbers of bus stops, slower speed limits, and the such). Congestion exist at rush hours. When we had the blackout here from the bad storm last July, literally every road was like a parking lot when everyone treated intersections as 4-way stops. The traffic lights shut off at 1:30 AM now. It wasn't too long ago when it used to be 12:30 AM.

I think you may find what you're looking for around in newer Gaithersburg (20878 or 20879) where there is more elbow room...or Germantown (don't know too much about Germantown). Traffic is always gonna be tough - everyone knows every road anyway. The area hasn't been able to sustain growth in the last decade.

You can take US-29 from Columbia to US-40 which will take you all the way to Abingdon. However, US-40 goes through the center of Baltimore. I don't know if that is safe/wise to do so. I'll also bet high volumes will exist as well, although perhaps not as bad as the interstates in the area.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,553 posts, read 18,926,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmsniffer View Post
Gaithersburg does experience high volume of traffic at most hours.
Define "high volume". I don't see a high volume anywhere in Gaithersburg, except during rush hours. It is super easy to get around, delays are minimal. Maybe we don't measure volume the same way or something ?
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:47 AM
 
7 posts, read 13,438 times
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Thanks, everyone! It sounds pretty similar to Columbia, although our major roadways don't experience quite the same overload at rush hour. I appreciate your help!
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
24 posts, read 80,323 times
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I just moved to Gaithersburg from out of state. The traffic isn't really that bad at all considering all the roads are like at least 6 lanes wide.

It takes some getting used to to know what lane you should be in.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:36 PM
 
8 posts, read 26,197 times
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I recently visited and drove all over Gaitherburg at different times of the day. The morning and evening rushes were horrible! During the day was okay, not too congested. Watch out for 355/Frederick Road from Old Country Buffet down to Costco. People dart in and out of traffice to cross the road (ignoring the cross walks) and cause accidents. There was a drunk, homeless guy yelling at cars in front of a toys store. Kept it interesting!
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