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Old 04-15-2013, 08:59 AM
 
16 posts, read 36,461 times
Reputation: 19

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So my wife and I are looking to relocate from St. Pete, Florida in about two years. I know that's a long time out, but we're doing due diligence to fully investigate our options and plan.
We're both professionals - I work in higher ed administration, and my wife is an attorney. Our jobs are important to us, but where we live is more important. We have one-year old twin boys and education quality is the TOP priority for us. We love where we live in FL, but the public education system isn't up to par. We're looking for the very best public school system we can find in the area. Price wise, we're realistically anywhere in the $200k-$300k range. From what I've seen, it looks like <$250k gets you a lot more than what we can come by in Florida, so I imagine $250k is probably a good number. We are looking to move to a well established suburb - not interested in up and coming or heavily diversified areas. Sorry if that seems crass, but we're just at that point in our lives.

We're interested in middle and upper income areas with a strong sense of community. We both cycle so access to paved cycling/multi-use trails would be great. We both hate commuting, which I know can be a challenge when you move out to the suburbs. Reasonable public transportation to downtown Louisville, or decent traffic would be nice.

I've heard Oldham County is a good place to look - would be interested in other opinions as well. Louisville is on a short list of cities we're considering. Others are Charlotte, Nashville or Columbus, OH. Louisville is only 2.5 hours from my wife's family in Dayton, so that's a big plus. General opinions on Louisville in general would be great as well. We love where we live in Florida, but it's not a very kid-friendly place, thus the desire to relocate when I'm done with grad school.

Thank you for your help! And please, feel free to let loose and be open and honest in your opinions.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:03 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,244 posts, read 6,592,923 times
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Louisville is very auto-centric once you get out of the older parts of the city, and the city/county public school system has a bad repuation. Most upper middle class to middle class professionals and management people send their kids private if they live in Louisville/Jefferson County.

In generaly, suburbia there is not that appealing due to poor site planning and access control, poor zoning, and traffic congestion. Bascially, what you have is ugly, ill-planned suburban srpawl despoiling what was once a pretty countryside...

...and it would be disappointing place if you are an avid cyclist due to the trafficy, narrow roads or the dismal four lane highways (many without sidewalks that could double as MUPs).

You are correct about Oldham County, as perhaps the best suburban option with the very best public schiool system....it would be a good fit, EXCEPT for this:

Quote:
We both cycle so access to paved cycling/multi-use trails would be great. We both hate commuting, which I know can be a challenge when you move out to the suburbs. Reasonable public transportation to downtown Louisville, or decent traffic would be nice.

...there is no cycling trails in Oldham, and the Louisville area is fairly underdeveloped when it comes to dedicated cylcing paths (which I already mentioned). Public transit DOES exist to Oldham, but in the form of a rush hour express. Auto commuting probably is pretty rough given the traffic I see on I-71 around rush hour (I travel to Louisville quite a bit and usually hit Oldham County around rush hour).

You mentioned your wife has connections to Dayton?

I usually have very little good to say about Dayton (as you can tell by my handle), but if you are interested in a excellent (as in some of the best in Ohio and the US) suburban public schools, community spirit, family-orientation, light traffic, and an excellent cycling path system with a strong cycling culture Dayton ---specfically suburban Dayton..---is probably a better choice for you than Louisville. PM me for some recommendations (this is a Louisville board and I dont want to hijack the thread).
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:13 PM
 
7,021 posts, read 15,204,860 times
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Dayton? Come on now. Not alot of redeeming qualities there, plus it is a good bit smaller.

To the Op, I think Louisville is your best choice for quality of life, location, festive nature, parks, biking, cost of living and light traffic. I will post more kater as to why. Oldham is a great choice but so is Jefferson, especially if private schools are an option.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:37 PM
 
797 posts, read 2,168,508 times
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We both cycle so access to paved cycling/multi-use trails would be great.

-
Most of the bike lanes I've seen outside of the I-264 loop seem dangerous and narrow. Some look like they just striped off the gutter and painted bike signs in it. There are some better bike lanes in the city (ie up and down 2nd and 3rd streets), but it would be a crapshoot which school your kids would get into in the city. There is a great Louisville Loop bicycle project in the works and some great areas along the riverfront on both sides of the river, but these wouldn't help much with commuting if you wanted them for that purpose.

We both hate commuting, which I know can be a challenge when you move out to the suburbs. Reasonable public transportation to downtown Louisville, or decent traffic would be nice.


-This isn't going to be a positive aspect of Louisville for you. There isn't much public transit from the suburbs into the city and if you're coming into the downtown area, I wouldn't want to deal with the traffic from most areas on a regular basis. I-71, I-64, and I-65 consistently back up coming into downtown not only in the mornings, but afternoons as well although this is mostly during rush hour times. The intersection where 3 separate interstates come together is also about to be torn up to add an unnecessary new bridge downtown and it will be a mess for several years. For example, they plan to close the ramp from 64 east to 65 south for the entire 3 years of the project.


.....education quality is the TOP priority for us.....anywhere in the $200k-$300k.....looking to move to a well established suburb.....

I lived in several areas of Columbus for about 5 years and given your top criteria paired with the family in Dayton I would really really recommend looking more there. I obviously chose Louisville and love it here, but I think Columbus would be a better fit for you. There are more options for top tier school systems and far more well established, nice suburbs. Even close to downtown. Probably best schools are considered to be Olentangy (Powell to Lewis Center and Galena area) or Dublin. Both areas are very upscale and have a lot of upper and upper middle class white people for the most part. Both have a small older downtown area with a lot of suburban sprawl, though Dublin is more developed whereas Powell is kind of anti-growth/big box stores and has a smaller/more isolated feel. Lewis Center is basically Polaris Mall and a bunch of housing developments.

For your price range and needs though I would strongly recommend looking at the north end of Westerville. It's an older town with a well developed downtown area along State Street (Route 3) and kind of became a suburb as Columbus sprawled. Schools are still very good, there are great parks nearby and it's a very strong suburb without too much of the snootiness you'll definitely see in places like New Albany, Powell, or Dublin. There are great people in these places of course, but I've also seen things like a holier than thou woman wearing a full length fur coat in Kroger when it was 65 degrees out in Dublin.

For biking there is a long path running all the way from basically Galena well into Westerville. Check this out for a better idea (City of Westerville, OH : Bikeways and Leisure Paths). There is also a strong road biking culture in the northern Columbus suburbs of people who just get out and ride on rural roads. They're all over the place. There's also a long trail running along the Olentangy River from I-270 south through the Park of Roses, OSU's campus, and on into the greenway downtown. It ends in Audubon Park now I think.

I don't think there will be much of a difference in public transit in any of the cities you mentioned for it to affect your decision. Traffic sucks, so I would try not to work downtown if I was living in the burbs. It wasn't on your list, but have you looked at Carmel, IN? One of the top school systems in the state, wide bike paths running parallel to roads around the well established suburb, located on the Monon bike trail that will get you all the way to downtown and places like Butler and the IMA, pretty consistent 35-40 minutes driving to downtown, a little under 2 hours to Dayton...
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:32 PM
 
142 posts, read 694,616 times
Reputation: 202
Wink Unfiltered Opinion

Greetings,

I concur with what Dayton stated.

I strongly concur with what MissingIndiana stated.

I don't agree with Mr. Peter.

Thank you for reading my unfiltered opinion.

Cheers...
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:49 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,244 posts, read 6,592,923 times
Reputation: 3003
Quote:
There is also a strong road biking culture in the northern Columbus suburbs of people who just get out and ride on rural roads. They're all over the place. There's also a long trail running along the Olentangy River from I-270 south through the Park of Roses, OSU's campus, and on into the greenway downtown. It ends in Audubon Park now I think.
This is also the case in with Dayton..both road biking and longer distance trail riding. In fact there is a long distance dedidcated trail connecting Columbus and Dayton...its almost complete into Columbus. A cyclist aquaintance recently road halfway to Columbus on it.

For a bit more on Columbus cycling click here

For Louisville cycling:

The Louisville Loop has some dedicated levee trail in SW Jefferson County, which is a good trail (ive walked it, not ridden it, but it looks like a good bike path) and there used to be a dedicated trail along the river from downtown to Shawnee Park along the river and Portland Canal...

....unfortunatly the stretch west of the Portland neighborhood has been closed for some reason, so you have to ride city streets to reach Shawnee Park. Not sure why they are not trying to reopen that stretch btw Portland and Shawnee Park.

@@@

A further comment on public schools. I was pretty dismissive of the Louisville public school system, but it is possible to get a good education via their magnet school program. My nephew has attended the magnet program and he appears to be well ahead of where I was when I was his age, in math & science.

However, the schools...some of them...are so bad that there's been talk of a state takeover: Talk of Possible State Takeover

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Education commissioner Terry Holliday has some tough talk about what's happening in Jefferson County schools, calling it 'academic genocide.'

He's threatening to have the State step in and lead the turn around at low performing schools.

..and...

History of Failure

The Courier-Journal reports that for the past three years, there have been 41 schools in the state of Kentucky identified for overhauls because of their poor academic performance. Nearly half – a total of 18 schools – are located in Jefferson County. After a recent analysis of all 41 schools by the state, it was found that 16 of the Jefferson County schools were failing to make significant progress in improving their academic performance

So, caveat emptor.

Last edited by Dayton Sux; 04-16-2013 at 07:15 AM..
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,244 posts, read 6,592,923 times
Reputation: 3003
...oh, and a "second" for the Westerville OH rec upthread! :-)
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:09 AM
 
16 posts, read 36,461 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
Louisville is very auto-centric once you get out of the older parts of the city, and the city/county public school system has a bad repuation. Most upper middle class to middle class professionals and management people send their kids private if they live in Louisville/Jefferson County.

In generaly, suburbia there is not that appealing due to poor site planning and access control, poor zoning, and traffic congestion. Bascially, what you have is ugly, ill-planned suburban srpawl despoiling what was once a pretty countryside...

...and it would be disappointing place if you are an avid cyclist due to the trafficy, narrow roads or the dismal four lane highways (many without sidewalks that could double as MUPs).

You are correct about Oldham County, as perhaps the best suburban option with the very best public schiool system....it would be a good fit, EXCEPT for this:



...there is no cycling trails in Oldham, and the Louisville area is fairly underdeveloped when it comes to dedicated cylcing paths (which I already mentioned). Public transit DOES exist to Oldham, but in the form of a rush hour express. Auto commuting probably is pretty rough given the traffic I see on I-71 around rush hour (I travel to Louisville quite a bit and usually hit Oldham County around rush hour).

You mentioned your wife has connections to Dayton?

I usually have very little good to say about Dayton (as you can tell by my handle), but if you are interested in a excellent (as in some of the best in Ohio and the US) suburban public schools, community spirit, family-orientation, light traffic, and an excellent cycling path system with a strong cycling culture Dayton ---specfically suburban Dayton..---is probably a better choice for you than Louisville. PM me for some recommendations (this is a Louisville board and I dont want to hijack the thread).
Thank you very much for your input - I really appreciate. For some reason I always had this perception of Louisville as being very cycling friendly - I thought I had heard that Pappa John had invested a lot of energy in supporting this infrastructure. Very interesting. Yes, my wife's family lives in Philipsburg NW of Dayton. Wouldn't really be an option for us. We want to be close to family, but not too close if you know what I mean :-)
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:12 AM
 
16 posts, read 36,461 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingIndiana View Post
We both cycle so access to paved cycling/multi-use trails would be great.

-
Most of the bike lanes I've seen outside of the I-264 loop seem dangerous and narrow. Some look like they just striped off the gutter and painted bike signs in it. There are some better bike lanes in the city (ie up and down 2nd and 3rd streets), but it would be a crapshoot which school your kids would get into in the city. There is a great Louisville Loop bicycle project in the works and some great areas along the riverfront on both sides of the river, but these wouldn't help much with commuting if you wanted them for that purpose.

We both hate commuting, which I know can be a challenge when you move out to the suburbs. Reasonable public transportation to downtown Louisville, or decent traffic would be nice.


-This isn't going to be a positive aspect of Louisville for you. There isn't much public transit from the suburbs into the city and if you're coming into the downtown area, I wouldn't want to deal with the traffic from most areas on a regular basis. I-71, I-64, and I-65 consistently back up coming into downtown not only in the mornings, but afternoons as well although this is mostly during rush hour times. The intersection where 3 separate interstates come together is also about to be torn up to add an unnecessary new bridge downtown and it will be a mess for several years. For example, they plan to close the ramp from 64 east to 65 south for the entire 3 years of the project.


.....education quality is the TOP priority for us.....anywhere in the $200k-$300k.....looking to move to a well established suburb.....

I lived in several areas of Columbus for about 5 years and given your top criteria paired with the family in Dayton I would really really recommend looking more there. I obviously chose Louisville and love it here, but I think Columbus would be a better fit for you. There are more options for top tier school systems and far more well established, nice suburbs. Even close to downtown. Probably best schools are considered to be Olentangy (Powell to Lewis Center and Galena area) or Dublin. Both areas are very upscale and have a lot of upper and upper middle class white people for the most part. Both have a small older downtown area with a lot of suburban sprawl, though Dublin is more developed whereas Powell is kind of anti-growth/big box stores and has a smaller/more isolated feel. Lewis Center is basically Polaris Mall and a bunch of housing developments.

For your price range and needs though I would strongly recommend looking at the north end of Westerville. It's an older town with a well developed downtown area along State Street (Route 3) and kind of became a suburb as Columbus sprawled. Schools are still very good, there are great parks nearby and it's a very strong suburb without too much of the snootiness you'll definitely see in places like New Albany, Powell, or Dublin. There are great people in these places of course, but I've also seen things like a holier than thou woman wearing a full length fur coat in Kroger when it was 65 degrees out in Dublin.

For biking there is a long path running all the way from basically Galena well into Westerville. Check this out for a better idea (City of Westerville, OH : Bikeways and Leisure Paths). There is also a strong road biking culture in the northern Columbus suburbs of people who just get out and ride on rural roads. They're all over the place. There's also a long trail running along the Olentangy River from I-270 south through the Park of Roses, OSU's campus, and on into the greenway downtown. It ends in Audubon Park now I think.

I don't think there will be much of a difference in public transit in any of the cities you mentioned for it to affect your decision. Traffic sucks, so I would try not to work downtown if I was living in the burbs. It wasn't on your list, but have you looked at Carmel, IN? One of the top school systems in the state, wide bike paths running parallel to roads around the well established suburb, located on the Monon bike trail that will get you all the way to downtown and places like Butler and the IMA, pretty consistent 35-40 minutes driving to downtown, a little under 2 hours to Dayton...
Thank you - I actually didn't mention that we have previously lived in CMH. My wife and I met when I was in grad school and she was in law school at The OSU. It is an option - and as you said, great for families with cheap cost of living. We hate the weather there - that would be the one major drawback. That valley seems to be perpetually overcast. We thought Louisville might be a slight bit better. I lived in Upper Arlington and Hilliard when I was there and liked both a lot, but loved Dublin.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:14 AM
 
16 posts, read 36,461 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
This is also the case in with Dayton..both road biking and longer distance trail riding. In fact there is a long distance dedidcated trail connecting Columbus and Dayton...its almost complete into Columbus. A cyclist aquaintance recently road halfway to Columbus on it.

For a bit more on Columbus cycling click here

For Louisville cycling:

The Louisville Loop has some dedicated levee trail in SW Jefferson County, which is a good trail (ive walked it, not ridden it, but it looks like a good bike path) and there used to be a dedicated trail along the river from downtown to Shawnee Park along the river and Portland Canal...

....unfortunatly the stretch west of the Portland neighborhood has been closed for some reason, so you have to ride city streets to reach Shawnee Park. Not sure why they are not trying to reopen that stretch btw Portland and Shawnee Park.

@@@

A further comment on public schools. I was pretty dismissive of the Louisville public school system, but it is possible to get a good education via their magnet school program. My nephew has attended the magnet program and he appears to be well ahead of where I was when I was his age, in math & science.

However, the schools...some of them...are so bad that there's been talk of a state takeover: Talk of Possible State Takeover

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Education commissioner Terry Holliday has some tough talk about what's happening in Jefferson County schools, calling it 'academic genocide.'

He's threatening to have the State step in and lead the turn around at low performing schools.

..and...

History of Failure

The Courier-Journal reports that for the past three years, there have been 41 schools in the state of Kentucky identified for overhauls because of their poor academic performance. Nearly half – a total of 18 schools – are located in Jefferson County. After a recent analysis of all 41 schools by the state, it was found that 16 of the Jefferson County schools were failing to make significant progress in improving their academic performance

So, caveat emptor.
Very interesting - thanks for the insight!
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