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Old 01-12-2011, 03:54 AM
1,867 posts, read 3,676,626 times
Reputation: 589


I was searching for somewhere to move to out of the city a few years ago, and I remember how emphatically negative people were about the commute from anywhere across the Hudson. I therefore continued my search in Westchester only, ignoring North NJ or any of the NY counties on the west side of the Hudson. Funny enough I finally ventured into northern NJ and couldn't believe how beautiful and quaint the place is, with winding roads and interesting old houses mixed with 1950's houses and newer houses. So incredibly lovely and yet major shopping outlets of all kinds are just a stones throw away. I ended up buying a house in NNJ and I am absolutely loving it out here (just 17 miles from the city).

The best part is that the home prices seemed to be approximately $100,000 lower in NNJ as compared to Westchester for a mid-sized home.

So is all of that worth it if you have to commute to Manhattan almost every day (thankfully I work from home on Fridays)? Well SHOCKERS the commute is NOTHING like was described. I have several options and regularly use both the GWB and the Lincoln Tunnel; I travel to the west 30's. In the mornings, door to door my trip takes anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes maximum (except a few times where of course there is some huge accident that would mess up anyone's commute no matter where they lived). Going home only takes 45 minutes. I used to spend 40 minutes hoofing it and on the trains just getting to my job from the upper west side, so I am finding this very easy.

Anyway, dont believe the hype about the commute over the Hudson. The only route I have been afraid to try is hitting the GWB from Route 4, that looks like it could take hours. So I take the Palisades parkway entrance which avoids the miles long toll pile-up from Route 4, and usually get through the tolls and over the bridge in about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively I figure I would be sitting through the congested Bronx, whereas I have no traffic whatsoever getting to the GWB or to the Lincoln Tunnel. Much of NJ is traffic free during rush hour.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:42 AM
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The only way to go from that area is to drive. I lived in Rockland for 3 years and public transportation to 52d and Madison was a nightmare.

The Red and Tan buses had this great policy of dropping you on the side of the road if the bus broke down. The train service -- if you didn't leave work at 5:00 PM -- was essentially less than a train an hour, after you took the subway and the path -- unless you walked directly to the path at 34th Street.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:39 PM
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I purposely looked for a town with a train line, but I prefer driving so I haven't tried the train yet. Rockland is further out than where I am, and I admit it would be a disaster if I had to travel east in Manhattan by car. Fortunately my office is near the west side highway.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:06 PM
103 posts, read 592,648 times
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Driving in and parking in Manhattan is not a realistic option for most commuters. I can't imagine how costly that must get.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:35 PM
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The parking costs me $16 per day.

I have just discovered another route, taking the Garden State Parkway to Route 80, then taking NJ Turnpike to the Lincoln. This took me 50 minutes to the West 30s during morning rush hour! I live in a beautiful quiet area and just can't believe I am commuting in basically the same time it took me when I lived on the upper west side.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:46 AM
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What town do you live in? Would you mind sharing?
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:53 AM
258 posts, read 776,280 times
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I also think that driving into work is not what most people mean by commuting. Gas is expensive, the GWB is $8 and parking is a lot. Also, I drive to Manhattan daily, and it takes forever to get around Manhattan once you get there. If you work in midtown, it can take you 30 minutes to get through the streets of Manhattan some days unless you are getting to work very early or work right off the West Side Highway (most people don't) I am glad you found a town that works for you. That is what is important but I always assume when people talk about commuting, they mean by trains and not cars. For instance, you are 17 miles from the city and it is taking you 45 minutes to 1 hr and 15 minutes. Most people don't find that relaxing and would rather take a train.

Just to make a driving comparison, I drive to the 60's and central park west and it takes me 45 minutes -1 hr in the morning and about 40 minutes home to Pleasantville. I have the one $4 Henry Hudson toll. I am going 30-40 miles in that time so we have a lot less traffic over here. In fact, at least 15 minutes of my commute is driving from the West side highway to CPW.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:09 AM
395 posts, read 1,390,258 times
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I would love to know where this $16 parking option is? Do you have to get there before a certain time in the morning?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:19 AM
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If you are commuting into Manhattan everyday Westchester is a much much better location. For the simple fact that you are taken directly into beautiful Grand central vs the dumpy and disgusting Penn station.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:19 PM
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,487 posts, read 3,753,396 times
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Yes, if you have a GC commute, NJ just isn't a good option. We looked around Milburn and the surrounding areas and door to door, my husband was looking at about 70-90 minutes. At that rate, we might as well go to Northern Fairfield and save on taxes, with less switching and shuffling. NJ Transit is far less reliable and has fewer trains, though.

Otherwise, NJ can be a great place. Glad it worked for you.
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