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Old 09-03-2011, 11:27 AM
 
40 posts, read 114,543 times
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I've lived in the Louisville Metro area for over 20 years (grew up in Oldham county, now live in Jefferson County). Increasingly, my wife and I are looking at moving to a larger city and finding ourselves more discouraged with life in the 'Ville. Some reasons why:

1. The weather here is terrible. According to NOAA, Louisville is on the low end of sunny days per year (91) compared to most major cities in the county. In addition to the lack of sunny days, our winters are very cold (significant snow and ice) and our summers are very hot (it's September and it's 102 outside, which ruined my plans for today). Even more frustrating, the weather is so variable that it's difficult to plan events that involve the outdoors. For instance, I would have thought a Saturday in early September would be a nice time for an outdoor wedding. I would pass out if I had to wear a tux today. Likewise, I've been to Thunder over Louisville (held downtown in mid-april) when it's been 72 and sunny one year, and 37 and sleeting/snowing the next. No joke.
2. Allergies here are awful. I realize this isn't an issue for some, but we consistently rank as THE WORST (or a top 5, depending on the year) cities in the ENTIRE FREAKING COUNTRY for seasonal allergies. At work I've probably met a dozen people who come from other states and claim that they had no allergy issues until they moved here. Pollen can be so bad in the Spring that people call in sick because they feel so bad. For those of us that are sensitive to this, it's like a cold that lasts for months out of the year. Yuck.
3. There's just not enough to do. I think Louisville has some decent bars and restaurants, so if you're a foodie I think we're okay. Other than going out to eat though, there's a serious shortage of things to do compared to other major cities in this area (Nashville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati). As mentioned before, our harsh and unpredictable weather and allergens make it difficult to plan outdoor activities for a large portion of the year. On the few sunny, nice days that we have there's not much to do outdoors anyway. Beach access doesn't exist, mosquitoes and flying insects keep my family inside during many otherwise decent days, and (with the exception of Cherokee park/Waterfront park) there are few really scenic outdoor areas to just hand out at in the Louisville Metro area. We have no professional sports team of any kind and 30-50% of the sports-loving residents HATE the local college team and support their rival - the Kentucky Wildcats. I don't know that I've seen this in any other major city in the country (maybe it exists in areas of NC or TX), and to me it's just pathetic. Sad to go to a bar in the heart of Louisville to watch a game and be outnumbered by the rival team's fans.
4. Our cost of living to wage ratio is poor. Compared to other nearby (and larger) cities like Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Louisvillians earn less and have to contend with higher average home prices. This was shocking to me, since both of those cities offer more in the way of entertainment, services, public transportation, etc.
5. Public transportation and infrastructure are disappointing here. I live in Jefferson county and would have to drive 15 minutes to catch a bus in the morning to downtown. That doesn't say much for our public transportation system and hardly makes it worth it, so I drive at 6am... because our roads can't accommodate the cars and our traffic is terrible. WHAS11 discussed a study that came out last year that ranked Louisville as one of the worst cities for traffic in the country. Another interesting stat I found on CD was that the average commute time here is 29 minutes - which seems to be one of the highest for a metro area, and even above cities like Los Angeles. Anyone who deals with "spaghetti junction" in the morning or afternoon can attest to the fact that traffic is a nightmare around the city. And (again, due to the ice/snow/salt that comes with every winter here), potholes are abundant.

I could probably continue to update this list with the reasons why we're unhappy with Louisville and looking to move to a larger city, but I think this is a sufficient start. I'm not coming to CD just to try to rock the boat - in fact, I've been reading here for years and just wanted to start contributing. I thought I might be able to articulate why we're having such a hard time justifying spending our late 20s here when there seem to be many other cities that provide so much more. I think if you're raising a family, enjoy the south, don't care to spend your weekends out exploring new things and don't spend a ton of time outdoors then Louisville it might be the right city for you. It's big enough to have some reasonable amenities (like an airport, malls, big box stores), though IMO there's just nothing offered here that can compare with many of the other large US metro areas.

Anyone care to comment, offer some reasons why you agree or disagree?

Sources:
World Facts and Figures - Weather Facts and Statistics
Louisville has worse traffic than New York and Los Angeles? New study says so! | WHAS11.com Louisville
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
25,834 posts, read 37,964,811 times
Reputation: 37802
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsABeach View Post
I've lived in the Louisville Metro area for over 20 years (grew up in Oldham county, now live in Jefferson County). Increasingly, my wife and I are looking at moving to a larger city and finding ourselves more discouraged with life in the 'Ville. Some reasons why:

1. The weather here is terrible. According to NOAA, Louisville is on the low end of sunny days per year (91) compared to most major cities in the county. In addition to the lack of sunny days, our winters are very cold (significant snow and ice) and our summers are very hot (it's September and it's 102 outside, which ruined my plans for today). Even more frustrating, the weather is so variable that it's difficult to plan events that involve the outdoors. For instance, I would have thought a Saturday in early September would be a nice time for an outdoor wedding. I would pass out if I had to wear a tux today. Likewise, I've been to Thunder over Louisville (held downtown in mid-april) when it's been 72 and sunny one year, and 37 and sleeting/snowing the next. No joke.
2. Allergies here are awful. I realize this isn't an issue for some, but we consistently rank as THE WORST (or a top 5, depending on the year) cities in the ENTIRE FREAKING COUNTRY for seasonal allergies. At work I've probably met a dozen people who come from other states and claim that they had no allergy issues until they moved here. Pollen can be so bad in the Spring that people call in sick because they feel so bad. For those of us that are sensitive to this, it's like a cold that lasts for months out of the year. Yuck.
3. There's just not enough to do. I think Louisville has some decent bars and restaurants, so if you're a foodie I think we're okay. Other than going out to eat though, there's a serious shortage of things to do compared to other major cities in this area (Nashville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati). As mentioned before, our harsh and unpredictable weather and allergens make it difficult to plan outdoor activities for a large portion of the year. On the few sunny, nice days that we have there's not much to do outdoors anyway. Beach access doesn't exist, mosquitoes and flying insects keep my family inside during many otherwise decent days, and (with the exception of Cherokee park/Waterfront park) there are few really scenic outdoor areas to just hand out at in the Louisville Metro area. We have no professional sports team of any kind and 30-50% of the sports-loving residents HATE the local college team and support their rival - the Kentucky Wildcats. I don't know that I've seen this in any other major city in the country (maybe it exists in areas of NC or TX), and to me it's just pathetic. Sad to go to a bar in the heart of Louisville to watch a game and be outnumbered by the rival team's fans.
4. Our cost of living to wage ratio is poor. Compared to other nearby (and larger) cities like Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Louisvillians earn less and have to contend with higher average home prices. This was shocking to me, since both of those cities offer more in the way of entertainment, services, public transportation, etc.
5. Public transportation and infrastructure are disappointing here. I live in Jefferson county and would have to drive 15 minutes to catch a bus in the morning to downtown. That doesn't say much for our public transportation system and hardly makes it worth it, so I drive at 6am... because our roads can't accommodate the cars and our traffic is terrible. WHAS11 discussed a study that came out last year that ranked Louisville as one of the worst cities for traffic in the country. Another interesting stat I found on CD was that the average commute time here is 29 minutes - which seems to be one of the highest for a metro area, and even above cities like Los Angeles. Anyone who deals with "spaghetti junction" in the morning or afternoon can attest to the fact that traffic is a nightmare around the city. And (again, due to the ice/snow/salt that comes with every winter here), potholes are abundant.

I could probably continue to update this list with the reasons why we're unhappy with Louisville and looking to move to a larger city, but I think this is a sufficient start. I'm not coming to CD just to try to rock the boat - in fact, I've been reading here for years and just wanted to start contributing. I thought I might be able to articulate why we're having such a hard time justifying spending our late 20s here when there seem to be many other cities that provide so much more. I think if you're raising a family, enjoy the south, don't care to spend your weekends out exploring new things and don't spend a ton of time outdoors then Louisville it might be the right city for you. It's big enough to have some reasonable amenities (like an airport, malls, big box stores), though IMO there's just nothing offered here that can compare with many of the other large US metro areas.

Anyone care to comment, offer some reasons why you agree or disagree?

Sources:
World Facts and Figures - Weather Facts and Statistics
Louisville has worse traffic than New York and Los Angeles? New study says so! | WHAS11.com Louisville
I'm a recent transplant here from the Washington DC metro area, so here is a transplants opinion.

1. I have ZERO argument with this point Nov-Apr felt like forever since there were maybe 6 sunny days out of that whole time. The ice and constant snow got real old quick.
2. No argument here. My mom lives in Vine Grove about 45 min from Louisville. She has terrible sinus problems from her days in the military. She has gotten sick so many times since she moved here because of all the allergies. She has even been told point blank by a doctor that this is not a good place for her. As soon as she gets offered something in DC she is out of here.
3. I disagree. Take this with a grain of salt since I don't go out much anyway due to a cramped schedule but I've had no trouble finding stuff to do. About the college team, I come from Virginia which a lot of people have UVA and support their rival Virginia Tech even in the UVA home base of Charlottesville. Same thing with Duke and UNC with everyone hating Duke.
4. I disagree. I came from the DC area which has higher wages due to the high COL but any job in Louisville has been pretty consistent with what I expected a low COL area has. Now the suburbs (especially Hardin County) are poor in wages. I also don't find Louisville housing to be inflated considering the wage sale. I would know about that coming from Hampton Roads VA where in recent years housing costs are much too high for the wage scale there.
5. Agree and disagree here. I think the public transit here sucks but I think that of most cities that aren't DC or NYC etc. I agree about the potholes also. Disagree about traffic being terrible. I might be biased since I do not commute to downtown but I work right off of Preston but I never have trouble getting there in time for work either when I was driving in from Vine Grove up I-65 (usually 45 min) or now since I live in St Matthews (10 min) and take the Watterson in. Again take this with salt since I moved here from DC which has AWFUL traffic even with an expansive transit system.

Now I think you should seriously consider moving to a larger city, not because I have the "like it or leave" attitude of some on this forum, but because there are cities that may fit you much better. I personally do like Louisville, however I may decide to relocate since I'm having trouble in finding steady employment and I'm trying to beat a potential layoff at my current job. The top contenders are Houston and Charlotte with Columbia, SC, Norfolk, VA, Baltimore and Atlanta receiving consideration also.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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All the snow?? We shoveled snow twice last winter and twice the winter before? I don't agree - it is very cold here but there isn't that much snow or ice for that matter (Louisville area). My allergies are actually better here than in So. California (the dirtiest air in the nation).
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:46 PM
 
3,426 posts, read 3,009,221 times
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If you grew up in Oldham county, then you have the exact same weather there that you have here. I don't see a valid point about the weather. Furthermore, this has not been a nornal year weatherwise for anyone in the states. We had an abnormally cold and wet winter, followed by one of the wettest springs on record. Our summer was wetter than normal early on, but as soon as it stopped raining, the heat and dry air hit us with a vengence. And this hot weathewr we are experiencing now is because all that hot air that has been sitting over Texas since April finally decided to move, and is now sitting right over us.

Not to worry, however, as it is about to change. Next wekk will see the return of normal temperatures, although it might better wet again.


As we say here in Louisville, if you don't like the weather, stick around. It'll change.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 15,355,735 times
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I've lived in Louisville almost 10 ten years. My observations on the weather: From February thru mid-April temps are below normal, often by double digits, with plenty of clouds to block the sun's warming rays. But to make up for it, from June thru mid-September temps are above normal with no clouds to make the sun a ball of raging hellfire.
About 4 years ago the temps in the first week of October were in the mid-nineties. During the Summer months I love cloudy days.
The only two good weather months are (usually) May and October, the rest of the year blows big time. Summer outdoor activities in Louisville are great for masochists or those who want to burn off fat by sweating profusely.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:05 PM
 
40 posts, read 114,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
All the snow?? We shoveled snow twice last winter and twice the winter before? I don't agree - it is very cold here but there isn't that much snow or ice for that matter (Louisville area). My allergies are actually better here than in So. California (the dirtiest air in the nation).
Uh, yes Cattknap... all that snow . I'm not sure what you consider a substantial amount? From the wiki on Louisville:

The mean annual temperature is 56.9 °F (13.8 °C), with an average annual snowfall of 14.7 inches (37 cm) and an average annual rainfall of 44.5 inches (1,130 mm). When I mentioned the weather, I think I forgot to mention that we also get far more rain than most cities as well - but I digress.

True we probably only shoveled 2 or 3 times last year (there's no need to shovel 2-3 inches at a time), but that's still over a foot of snow on average every year. Not to mention that we had ice so bad last year that school was cancelled in Jefferson county for more than 5 days (I think 7 - and yeah, I realize that we close easily but it still means we're experiencing crappy weather), and even more the year before due to the ice storm that knocked out power to most of the city for two weeks. If you're saying that we don't have ice here... you must be on vacation when this stuff is happening. I've lived in the Louisville area for over 20 years (Oldham county and Jefferson both have the same weather, I think orogenicman misunderstood my post) and have experienced plenty of ice and snow. Other memorable events including shutting down I64 due to crazy ice storms, being unable to get up our driveway due to ice every year for the past 4 years (and it's not that steep), and let's not forget "I survived the Louisville Snow storm of 1994". I maintain that yes, our weather sucks.

I'm glad your allergies are better here than they were in California. I suppose it varies from person to person, and depends heavily on what you're allergic to. I can only comment on the fact that our pollen levels are often the highest in the country and that we're consistently ranked as the worst in the country. The AAFA rankings for 2011 put us in 2nd place, and California is nowhere on the list of the top 10. See the site below for more.

Worst Cities for Spring Allergies, Hay Fever - AARP
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:07 PM
 
40 posts, read 114,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visvaldis View Post
I've lived in Louisville almost 10 ten years. My observations on the weather: From February thru mid-April temps are below normal, often by double digits, with plenty of clouds to block the sun's warming rays. But to make up for it, from June thru mid-September temps are above normal with no clouds to make the sun a ball of raging hellfire.
About 4 years ago the temps in the first week of October were in the mid-nineties. During the Summer months I love cloudy days.
The only two good weather months are (usually) May and October, the rest of the year blows big time. Summer outdoor activities in Louisville are great for masochists or those who want to burn off fat by sweating profusely.
This made me laugh out loud for a solid 30 seconds. Well put.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,176,465 times
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A foot of snow is such a small amount of snow for an entire winter. I just don't get the complaint. When it does snow, it melts off within a couple of days. This is not my interpretation of a lot of snow. If you have ever lived where there is lots of snow, it is absolutely comical to hear anyone complain about "all the snow" in Louisville!
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
163 posts, read 405,134 times
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The snow thing is relative. If you compare Louisville to the south, where they might get one inch of snow total a year, then yes, Louisville seems to get a lot of snow. However, from my point of view, Louisville winters are cake. Of course, my comparisons are South Dakota (40+ inches a year) and Michigan (60+ inches a year) so the 14 inches here is nothing!
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:03 PM
 
797 posts, read 2,184,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsABeach View Post
I've lived in the Louisville Metro area for over 20 years (grew up in Oldham county, now live in Jefferson County). Increasingly, my wife and I are looking at moving to a larger city and finding ourselves more discouraged with life in the 'Ville. Some reasons why:

1. The weather here is terrible.........
2. Allergies here are awful........
3. There's just not enough to do.......
4. Our cost of living to wage ratio is poor.....
5. Public transportation and infrastructure are disappointing here........our traffic is terrible.... [/url]
1. Disagree about the weather here being terrible. It is however variable. Places west and south of here though have much longer stretches of unbearable heat and places along the Great Lakes and the northern lands have much more snow. Even Indianapolis in the winter is pretty consistently 5-10 degrees colder throughout the winter. Personally I would rather have some variation than knowing it's either going to be too hot or too cold to do anything.

2. Agree. Allergies are awful here.

3. Disagree. There is plenty to do. Ghost and architectural tours in Old Louisville, zoo, zip lining, dinner theater/plays, concerts, museums, classic movie series, river cruises, some minor league/college sports, several festivals and events, historical sites to visit, good hiking, wineries, and tons of places for great dining experiences. The booze you can get here is just as booze you can get anywhere else. You don't have the quantity of nightclubs and large art venues you may have in other areas, but these things do exist. Whenever people say there is nothing to do in a city this size I always wonder what they are looking for. I also disagree with your assessment of scenic outdoor areas in the metro area. In addition to parks you mentioned, there is also the Falls of the Ohio, the Knobs (including the Deam Lake and Knobstone Trail area), the Obannon Woods and Adventure Hiking Trail area, the Jefferson Forrest area, and the views from Iroquois Park. Nothing as dramatic as the Rockies, but still some great viewpoints/vistas, lots of trees, hills, the river, and rolling farm country scattered around.

4. I don't know about this. I feel like home prices in Indy are cheaper because of all the available land, and prices in Cincy may seem cheaper because of all the run down places in the city limits proper. Louisville kind of annexed a lot of really nice area with the city-county merger. I can't say much else about the home prices, but it still seems pretty reasonable compared to places on the coasts.

5. I rarely if ever use public transport here, but it seems to be a step above Indy at least. There are quite a few people using the buses that stop on 4th St. outside my place. I've seen the traffic get pretty backed up around here for sure, especially in the junction downtown and coming over the I-65 bridge. I've been reverse commuting so it's pretty smooth sailing for me most days though. It's definitely not worse than LA here though. Man, when I've been out there visiting it's taken over 2+ hours just to go 30 miles across town on a random Saturday night at like 9pm. I don't think Louisville has ever been quite that bad.
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