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Old 07-10-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
60 posts, read 90,803 times
Reputation: 40

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Anyone have experience with the local KOA? We will be heading that way in September. (how far out can one think they can travel to FC and still avoid too much if any snow pulling an rv?)

After Reading several posts about the awful FC traffic I am wondering if pulling a travel trailer will be even more stressful? If the traffic is so horrible how does FC rank as a best place to live so often? Isn't traffic kind of a biggie when determining a place one of the best?

How practical would a local think it would be to commute three days to Denver while checking our FC? We have training for work in Denver but since we are interested in relocation to FC/Loveland, really don't want to stay down in the city! Too long a commute?

I have heard that Denver is worse than Los Angeles as far as traffic and congestion.... True? The last time we were in the area we took some kind of a toll road to avoid it and received a hefty toll bill in the mail for the privilege of completely avoiding Denver.... Worth it? Can we get some sort of short term pass for it? Any scoop on this toll/Denver traffic and best route to take would be appreciated.

Can some of the locals give us suggestions as to activities that will both help us in our relocation research and provide some fun for a large family? Any September specific things going on?

Appreciate the time and info, thx!

I have read several posts for additional info but I am trying to see if there are more specific ideas for this time of year, family size and RV friendly routes etc. can't wait to be there!

Additionally, any thoughts on traveling into CO with all the fires? Road closures possibly?
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 390,733 times
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Seventh Annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report?" Reveals Safest Driving Cities - News Releases - Allstate Insurance Digital Newsroom

I guess at least we're doing it safely
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 12,290,651 times
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Firstly, no I would not commute to Denver from Fort Collins! On a good day it would take about 45 minutes. Factor in road construction, bad weather, accidents . . . you could be looking at a couple of hours each way. Secondly, no the traffic is not worse than LA - that's seriously exaggerated. Of course it can get bad but all cities are like that. Thirdly, you can get a transponder for your car when you use the toll road or HOV lanes. You will still get charged but it's less than the regular price and they just auto-bill your credit card.

I wasn't aware FC had bad traffic but then I don't work there

Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins / Boulder , CO ( and Sometimes LA)
95 posts, read 266,232 times
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After Reading several posts about the awful FC traffic I am wondering if pulling a travel trailer will be even more stressful? If the traffic is so horrible how does FC rank as a best place to live so often? Isn't traffic kind of a biggie when determining a place one of the best?

In my opinion traffic isn't bad, its more that there's a lot of EXTREMELY slow drivers. Traffic only exists here because the insane amount of slow drivers. Often times it can take 2-3 blocks on the main street of the city 'college' just to get up to 5 under the speed limit. If everyone did the speed limit and only took 1 block or less to get up to the speed limit traffic here would disappear overnight. Because there really shouldn't be traffic here, being stuck in 'traffic' is frustrating.

How practical would a local think it would be to commute three days to Denver while checking our FC? We have training for work in Denver but since we are interested in relocation to FC/Loveland, really don't want to stay down in the city! Too long a commute?

Its an hour there and an hour back on a good day. If your going past downtown its gonna be even longer. Three Days a week would mean you'd be spending around 7 hours a week in your car. That's 354 miles on your car every week so your looking at putting over 18k miles on your car yearly from that commute, not to mention the 6 oil changes your gonna need a year to maintain your car and all the gas you'll be having to buy, 350 is about a full tank in my VW.

So your looking at yearly spending $2,414 on gas, $108 in oil changes and assuming your expecting about 130k miles out of your car The drive will kill your car every 7 years, and assuming you drive something like a ford focus, that adds around $2,300 of deprecation on your car. If you drive something more fancy like a $34k base model Mercades-Benz your gonna be looking at a little over $4,850 deprecation yearly.

The commute would be horrible to do more than once a week. The $4,800+ yearly in car costs and 15.1 DAYS EACH YEAR you'd spend in your car is not worth it for me.


If your on vacation the drive down 3 times wouldn't be too bad, but if you decide to live here, Just move to the suburbs of Denver, there really not that bad.


I have heard that Denver is worse than Los Angeles as far as traffic and congestion.... True? The last time we were in the area we took some kind of a toll road to avoid it and received a hefty toll bill in the mail for the privilege of completely avoiding Denver.... Worth it? Can we get some sort of short term pass for it? Any scoop on this toll/Denver traffic and best route to take would be appreciated.


Depends on where you are in LA and where you are in Denver, I lived in Downtown LA in 09 and the traffic is pretty bad, however if you avoid the highways and rush hour you can get around no problem. The same could be said for Denver. There are a few spots in Denver near downtown that you HAVE to avoid, I-25 gets more and more backed up every day. But I-25 past 45th street is usually barely moving if its moving at all. After you pass downtown it clears up a bit then gets really bad again on the south side near the tech center and Denver university.

When i go to Denver i hop off the high way around 80th then just take side roads down, Theres a lot of decent places to eat on any of the side roads so i like to stop off somewhere and get a meal when i go to Denver.

In terms of tolls You can take the HOV lane which originally was just a car pool lane and now is a toll route/carpool lane. It only runs 1 way though and depends on the time of day, before noon it runs south and after noon it runs north. There's also E-470 but that won't get you into denver, its more for going from I-25 to DIA without going though Denver, but if you know the roads in north denver you can avoid it. I've heard E-470 costs around 7-10 bucks just to get to DIA and doesn't cut that much time off the trip, not worth it in my opinion.


Can some of the locals give us suggestions as to activities that will both help us in our relocation research and provide some fun for a large family? Any September specific things going on?

September is my favorite month in Colorado, the weather is perfect so anything outdoors would be a great choice.

If you have kids and don't mind eating some bad food Casa Bonita is a pretty unique and crazy spot to visit in Denver. It's everything you saw in the south park episode and more. Just don't plan on enjoying the food they make you buy to enter.

Also in Denver you could always go check out the zoo, sometimes they have free days so keep an eye out for those. If you want to see the center of Denver the 16th street mall is right in the heart of the city and has plenty to see and do. I enjoy looking at all the large buildings from 16th street.

In Fort Collins you could go check out Old town and take a walk around there or head up to horse tooth reservoir and take in the views. There's a great dog park on the far west end of horse tooth rd that also looks like it has a GIANT jungle gym for kids, its on the opposite side of the park as the dog part so I've never been over there.

If you want to check out Boulder head to pearl street and you can see the vibe of the city fairly well. Boulder also has plenty of nice hiking trails
and great scenery.


Additionally, any thoughts on traveling into CO with all the fires? Road closures possibly?


Fire season is usually over by September. Anywhere that's shut down still there's a good chance tourists wouldn't be normally driving in those parts of the mountains anyways, unless your into just driving up and down random mountain roads.

Honestly i wouldn't worry about running into fires at all.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:53 PM
 
11,307 posts, read 46,380,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommalot View Post
Anyone have experience with the local KOA? We will be heading that way in September. (how far out can one think they can travel to FC and still avoid too much if any snow pulling an rv?)

I've not stayed at this KOA, but it's one of the higher priced ones according to their guide. I've passed it while in the LaPorte area, and it looks to be as nice as any KOA might be. If you are coming to Colorado in September for your training and FC visit, then snow will not be an issue.

After Reading several posts about the awful FC traffic I am wondering if pulling a travel trailer will be even more stressful? If the traffic is so horrible how does FC rank as a best place to live so often? Isn't traffic kind of a biggie when determining a place one of the best?

Construction on North College Ave from the area north from downtown may possibly present a one-lane road, but it's not much more difficult than the normal traffic flow. FC traffic is an issue primarily on the main arteries ... Mulberry, College Ave, and so forth. The side streets that parallel them aren't too bad, especially in non-rush hour traffic. If you find a neighborhood in FC that you like, you should be able to determine the main access roads to it and how to generally avoid the worst of the traffic density ... although it may not be totally avoidable every day.

How practical would a local think it would be to commute three days to Denver while checking our FC? We have training for work in Denver but since we are interested in relocation to FC/Loveland, really don't want to stay down in the city! Too long a commute?

If you are willing to spend the time in the commute for the three days, than it's not so daunting. But do keep in mind that the KOA is over by LaPorte, which effectively adds about 30 minutes to the Denver commute from Fort Collins. Figure a more realistic 1.5 hours each way to Denver in NON rush hour traffic on I-25 to Denver downtown access. That doesn't include your parking time, etc. If you are training in another location, not downtown, then you'd best plan on extended rush hour traffic AM & PM to add to that commute. Recognize that I-25 corridor traffic can be problematic for the commute; a single accident can tie up Southbound I-25 for miles and add 15-30 minutes (if not more) due to looky-lous and traffic management ... even if the accident happened on the Northbound traffic lanes. Conversely, I-25 in the afternoon can be a similar challenge.

IMO, I wouldn't do this commute if you have a full day of training activity in Denver. Given the length of the daylight hours in September, you'll get back to Fort Collins at dusk and you won't have much opportunity to check out the place in daylight upon your return ... after what could be a lengthy commute. 45 minutes in typical traffic won't get you from FC to Denver central ... keep in mind that FC itself is at least 10 minutes from I-25 on Mulberry (Hwy 34), and the North end of town from Mulberry on College is at least another 10 minutes. If it were me doing training in the Denver metro area, I'd book accomodations close to the training headquarters for the three days and leave the RV parked outside of the city metro area to pick up and take to FC when I was ready to spend time there.


I have heard that Denver is worse than Los Angeles as far as traffic and congestion.... True? The last time we were in the area we took some kind of a toll road to avoid it and received a hefty toll bill in the mail for the privilege of completely avoiding Denver.... Worth it? Can we get some sort of short term pass for it? Any scoop on this toll/Denver traffic and best route to take would be appreciated.

LA traffic is a world apart from FC/Denver area traffic in my experience. Rush hour now extends to about 2-3 hours in the AM and PM in Denver ... you either depart earlier than the rush hour times or wait until they have passed. It helps to monitor KOA 850 for traffic reports to know if there's a problem on the roads. For the I-25 commute in the Denver metro area, passengers in a vehicle qualify it to travel in the HOV lanes at no charge. These are apart from the regular traffic lanes, and they alternate the direction according to the main flow of traffic AM & PM. But these lanes are only on the North side of Denver to Downtown area; if you need to head south of Downtown, you're back in the traffic.

Can some of the locals give us suggestions as to activities that will both help us in our relocation research and provide some fun for a large family? Any September specific things going on?

My preference would be to start contacting real estate agents in the area now with a set of guideline requests for your budget and housing requirements. That will allow them to prepare for your visit and to optomize your available time. Perhaps you could investigate your financing and purchase options so you will be a knowledgeable and prepared buyer for the limited time you have here.

Recreationally, I'd normally suggest heading West to the foothills for hiking, bicycling, playing at Horsetooth or Carter lakes ... but with the current fire situation, that may not be a good option this year.


Appreciate the time and info, thx!

I have read several posts for additional info but I am trying to see if there are more specific ideas for this time of year, family size and RV friendly routes etc. can't wait to be there!

Absent knowing from which direction you are coming to the area, towing your RV ... it's a bit of a challenge to suggest a route ....

Additionally, any thoughts on traveling into CO with all the fires? Road closures possibly?
At this point, all we can do is to keep up with the reports of the fire activity and containment efforts. We look forward to seeing the fires totally out, but my contacts with one of the fire team leaders is that they don't expect to have that done until the snow flies in view of the current drought/wind conditions and the beetle kill standing firewood in the hills.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-11-2012 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
60 posts, read 90,803 times
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Thanks everyone. Looks like we are headed to Arvada for training and it will be in mid August. Significant differences to any of the comments with change in area and time?
Appreciate the input!
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,611,963 times
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You might consider trying to find a campground between Denver and FC. that way you can go either or both ways.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:56 PM
 
11,307 posts, read 46,380,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommalot View Post
Thanks everyone. Looks like we are headed to Arvada for training and it will be in mid August. Significant differences to any of the comments with change in area and time?
Appreciate the input!
As an alternate to I-25 South (to 76 to 70 to Arvada), you could drive South on College (US 287) to Arvada. The advantage is fewer miles because the route is more direct. The drawback is that this is a surface road (although portions have been widened to 4-lanes) that passes through a number of residential and commercial districts with traffic lights and lower speed limits than the interstate route. Time may be a wash, but the distance driven would be less and you may avoid some of the major Denver rush hour traffic.

As suggested above, you may gain the opportunity to find a place for your RV South of FC which would allow you reasonable access to both Arvada and FC, although you'll still not have much time in FC on a day after training sessions with the commute.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
17 posts, read 37,459 times
Reputation: 14
I'm relocating next week to FC for a new job and spent most of last week getting moved into the new house in Timnath. I've previously been a life long So Cal resident.

I can say with 100% certainty there is no comparison in terms of traffic. FC traffic is city street and moves very well. I drove nearly every major street multiple times and aside from some construction around Harmony/Taft Hill, I was always moving. You cannot say the same thing traveling on any major street in the San Fernando Valley. FC has 150,000 people. I live in a tiny suburb that has 120,000. The San Fernando Valley has millions of people.

Anybody who compares the areas for traffic is seriously misguided.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
60 posts, read 90,803 times
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Thanks again sunspot & jgarretson and everyone else's input. I am thankful for it. I am inclined to go with jgarretson on the traffic comp as it seems hard to believe FC traffic would compare to San Fernando which is where we grew up. (hmmm... Guess that was a ways back!) Though we are very blessed to not have traffic issues locally, any traffic will probably seem heavy to us for a while! How is the transition going jgarretson??

We have been looking at RV parks in Loveland also. (didnt see any in longmont) They look nice on the RV website but I see mixed reviews so we will see! We will have some time in FC after training and we are looking forward to it.

Real estate question.... I have been looking at real estate as well and I am noticing an increase in land ads. Several in Estes and surrounding areas. The pics are beautiful but I wonder if the land looks the same or are they before the fire pictures?? Also, how common are multi zoning buildings in FC? Where business and residential can be obtained? (ie: business downstairs and apartment upstairs etc? )

Our hearts go out to the folks in CO with the fires and shooting, it's been a rough summer. What's going on with the fires? Haven't seen them in the news of late though I haven't been in front of the tube much either.
Thanks again!
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