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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:47 PM
Location: Northeast
6 posts, read 13,696 times
Reputation: 14


Two questions

I have a job opportunity at the Lake Nona Medical Complex and we are considering moving from the suburbs of Philadelphia to Merritt Island. Is it my imagination or is it an easy trip from the Bennett Causeway/ Merritt Island on FL-528 to the Lake Nona exit off of 417? On our visit to the area we made the trip a few times during what would be considered rush hour and had little difficulty with traffic. We were able to do about 70 miles an hour from about the Bennett Causeway/ Merritt Island (FL-528) all the way to FL-417. Took us 40mins to get there.

Currently in Philly I have 15 minute car ride to the train station with stop and go traffic all the way, then a 45 minute train ride and after getting off the train a 5 minute walk to my center city office. This is a fairly normal commute for people that work in the city and live in the suburbs of Philadelphia. My ride on 528 seemed pretty good

What is it like living on Merritt Island for a married couple with young kids?
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:40 AM
Location: Melbourne, FL
24 posts, read 43,281 times
Reputation: 36
I grew up outside of Philly. We lived in Blue Bell and my Dad worked in Germantown. It would take him about 45 minutes to get to work, and as you know, it's not exactly a far distance.

My husband and I just moved here from Rochester, New York. Now, Rochester had no traffic, which we became used to. People warned us how bad traffic is here. Then said, oh, well maybe not compared to Rochester. HAH! It's fine, there's no traffic to speak of unless you're on a road like Rt 1 and it's not so much traffic as it is stop and go. I cover the state for my work (sales) and I do have to plan around traffic if I drive into Orlando (or through it) for work, but I usually take 528 to 417 to cut out the traffic on I4. If I have to go into the city of Orlando, I usually hit some traffic on 407 and I4. I don't think I've hit traffic on 417 heading North of 528, but I don't know the roads well enough to say for certain.

Anyway, my point is that for someone coming down from Philly, you won't find that commute to be bad. My parents now live in the center of the state. It still takes my Dad 45 minutes to get to work, but there's no traffic. And as he likes to say, it's a much nicer drive when you're driving in this weather than in snow. You will have people tell you that you're crazy to consider that drive. But I don't think you'll have a problem with it, considering what you're used to.

HOWEVER...this area is drastically different than the Philly area. I like it. It's quieter, it's slower. It's basically like one big suburb. If you like Philly and like the activity of the area, you'll probably be happier being closer to work in an Orlando suburb. Personally, I like this area. I think most of the people who complain expect it to be more similar to one of the larger NE cities...and it's not. So really, as long as your expectations are in line with what this area actually is, you'll be fine.

I can't comment on Merritt Island as I haven't lived here long enough.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:46 AM
Location: Western NY
729 posts, read 935,689 times
Reputation: 862
Congrats on the upcoming job, at least somebody is finding a job. I hope it is a good medical related job or something along those lines.

I lived in FL before (one county up), moved to PA, and now back in FL but this time Brevard co. When I lived one county up I did jobs all over Orlando and never had trouble with commutes. I went about as far as you will many times. FL highways are like gold compared to PA, so it is possible to do long commutes here though most people here can't imagine that level of commute. I did it like nothing having been originally a DC metro person and Miami commuter one time too. When I commuted to Orlando regularly I took the 417 sometimes at 6 AM, unbelievable at that time it was like vacant. Remember that ad where one guy has his own highway, it was kind of like that... I tried going through the toll booth at all speeds and those toll booth work at full speed. Wow FL highway like I said are gold. Now when I hit 417 I see lots of troopers, some traffic so people are starting to use 417 unlike before. I no longer commute regularly so not 100% sure.

All that being said everytime I hit Merritt Island it is like going through a mountain pass in NE PA. Forget speed, it is slow go, and be sure to slow go. Merritt island is NOT for commuters unless you live 30 feet off 528 in my opinion. People in Merritt seem to want it that way and let officers know to be sure everyone knows. If you do not mind that part of a slow go off 528 you will be ok.

There are many great areas not far from the Lake Nona medical city, schools there good. Lake Nona supposed to be this new model of housing, stores, schools, etc but is way high priced in FL terms. If you need lower priced then places like Oveido, or down in Kissimmee, etc are easy or super easy. I have seen great areas of not far from Lake Nona so don't rule it out unless you just like Merritt for some reason.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:56 AM
12,017 posts, read 13,916,305 times
Reputation: 5981
Originally Posted by TestEngr View Post
When I commuted to Orlando regularly I took the 417 sometimes at 6 AM, unbelievable at that time it was like vacant.
Still is. 528 as well. I've hit 90 on the 528 without a hitch at the time in the morning. I agree that Merritt Island is a slow-go kind of place. Annoying to get in and out if you don't live there. Honestly, not sure why the OP wants to live there, unless it's to be closer to the beach.

Lake Nona is a nice, upcoming area, or the OP could live in several nice areas within the Orlando MSA that aren't far away.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:46 AM
Location: Northeast
6 posts, read 13,696 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the info! We have found homes very close to the entrance of FL-528 in Merritt Island. We timed the trip from the homes we are looking at and it took us about 40mins to get to Lake Nona Med Complex. Having a commute on practically one road without stop and start traffic is pretty sweet. As for wanting to live on Merritt Island, we want the water. I have a 23 foot fishing boat and being able to have a slip in my back yard is ideal, along with no longer having to transport kayaks.
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