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Old 08-26-2020, 12:42 PM
 
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My husband works in North of Baltimore and I will be taking trains into Washington D.C. Downtown (as I assume it's expensive to park. Does anybody know?). We are looking for a safe and family friendly place with a good school rating.

I have read other related threads on this board, but most of them are a little old, and I would like to get the latest information.

Needless to say, Columbia or Ellicott City in Howard County seems to be a great choice, but then the train trip to D.C. could be really long.

Laurel seems to be part of Howard County with good education level, too, but then again the train commute to D.C. doesn't look easy.

Odenton is in-between. Could anybody tell me if Odenton is a great place for raising children?

We are new to Maryland, so it would be great if you could let us know the place you recommend.

Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!

Last edited by happy_mommy; 08-26-2020 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:08 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,965 posts, read 77,475,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy_mommy View Post
My husband works in North of Baltimore (Towson?)
and I will be taking trains into Washington D.C. Downtown ...
I say to look to live near/between his B'more job and the train station to DC.
Conveniently... these are almost all nice areas with many school/rec options.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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There are reasons why you keep hearing about Columbia and Ellicott City. They are excellent choices for people such as yourselves, dual-income households where one spouse works in DC and the other works in Baltimore. And the school system is very highly rated. But be sure and look carefully, as some schools are better than others. As a very general rule, the schools that draw from certain Columbia village centers (mainly Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown, Wilde Lake, and Harper's Choice) will be less good (not bad, necessarily, but less good) than others. Attendance zones may be found on the Howard County School System's website.

Yes, it is insanely expensive to park in downtown Washington, DC. And be prepared for miserable traffic congestion. (Though, with so many people working from home due to COVID, right now is the best commute it's ever been.) If you lived in either Columbia or Ellicott City, you'd have easy access to the Dorsey station (or, depending on where you are, maybe the Savage station) on the Camden Line and somewhat easy access to the BWI or Odenton stations on the Penn Line. (Don't use the Jessup station on the Camden Line; it's a dump.) You have to pay to park at BWI but the other ones have free parking. Don't overlook the network of MTA commuter buses that operate directly from Columbia to Washington; depending on where you live and work, these could actually be faster than the train, and will likely be less expensive, especially if you can avoid having to use Metro on the DC end of the commute.

Also be sure to consider your husband's commute. Pick a place where he doesn't have to drive through downtown Baltimore to get to the north of the city. Again, Ellicott City and Columbia score well here, as one can go north on U.S. 29, east on I-70, and then north on I-695.

Balancing all of this out (your commute, your husband's commute, good schools, safe area), I would focus my search on Ellicott City or north Columbia, making sure that you pick a place with good access to U.S. 29.

Laurel is kind of meh. Parts of it are pretty decent, but other parts of it aren't. I think you'd do better looking elsewhere, especially given your desire for strong schools.

Sorry, I don't know enough about Odenton to be able to give you any advice about it. There's no question that it's convenient for the MARC train, but it would be less convenient for your husband's commute.
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Old 08-26-2020, 04:56 PM
 
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Metro/Amtrak fares+station parking isn't likely to be much cheaper than downtown parking. People go the metro route primarily because it's a more pleasant experience than dealing with traffic and/or they receive a transit stipend.

Hard to give advice on where to live without knowing more detail on the job locations. Downtown DC is a large area served by dozens of different transit routes. Knowing which route(s) you need access to is key to figuring out the puzzle.
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:40 AM
 
7,483 posts, read 4,567,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy_mommy View Post
My husband works in North of Baltimore and I will be taking trains into Washington D.C. Downtown (as I assume it's expensive to park. Does anybody know?).
Either pay the expense parking or take the comfort of the train to go into the city. About the same $$. My husband chooses the train.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:16 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,965 posts, read 77,475,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
I say to look to live near/between his B'more job and the B'more train station to DC.
Conveniently... these are almost all nice areas with many school/rec options.
Maybe the OP will return to answer the follow up questions. Assuming "N of B'more" = Towson Area...
see this map for the home shopping target area that makes the kids and husbands lives simplest. LINK
Getting Mom to and from the train AM & PM is the same problem anywhere.

Last edited by MrRational; 08-27-2020 at 05:42 AM..
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:57 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflove View Post
Metro/Amtrak fares+station parking isn't likely to be much cheaper than downtown parking. People go the metro route primarily because it's a more pleasant experience than dealing with traffic and/or they receive a transit stipend.

Hard to give advice on where to live without knowing more detail on the job locations. Downtown DC is a large area served by dozens of different transit routes. Knowing which route(s) you need access to is key to figuring out the puzzle.
Thank you so much everyone!

To be exact, my husband will commute to the area near Baltimore Museum of Art, and I will commute to the area between Metro Center Station and McPherson Square Station.

So the traffic jam around D.C. is really bad, isn't it? (no Corona time, I mean).

True, Metro/Amtrak fares+nearest station parking might not be much cheaper than D.C. parking, but it's easier. I don't like to drive, park and get on train, transfer to another train and walk, especially rainy days... I sound like a lazy person, haha.
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
14,211 posts, read 8,101,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy_mommy View Post
Thank you so much everyone!

To be exact, my husband will commute to the area near Baltimore Museum of Art, and I will commute to the area between Metro Center Station and McPherson Square Station.

So the traffic jam around D.C. is really bad, isn't it? (no Corona time, I mean).

True, Metro/Amtrak fares+nearest station parking might not be much cheaper than D.C. parking, but it's easier. I don't like to drive, park and get on train, transfer to another train and walk, especially rainy days... I sound like a lazy person, haha.
If you take any of the MARC trains (or Amtrak), you will also have to ride the Metro Red Line to get to your destination. Not that this is such a bad thing, but it will mean an additional transfer and additional cost.

These two are the commuter buses from Columbia that serve the Metro Center / McPherson Square area:

Route 315
https://s3.amazonaws.com/mta-website...edules/315.pdf

Route 325 (selected trips only)
https://s3.amazonaws.com/mta-website...edules/325.pdf

Both of them pick up riders at Park & Ride lots and also at neighborhood walk-up stops.

FYI, the Baltimore Museum of Art is considered to be in North Baltimore, not North OF Baltimore. Your husband will probably have to drive through downtown to get there.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
8,474 posts, read 4,711,806 times
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Another option, which is really nice, is Fulton, MD (including Maple Lawn). It is a decent halfway point and great homes. Colesville is also not a bad halfway point. They are both right off of Rt. 29.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:01 AM
 
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The building boom in Odenton is mainly due to the increased workforce at Fort Meade, now 56,000 apparently. Most of the current construction is either TH, or Apts, but there is a solid base of existing SFH. You'd need to check on the schools, and other kid amenities.

The Odenton Marc stop is the busiest in the system, and the Penn Line has better service than the Camden Line (via Laurel). Check the bus schedule from Penn Station Baltimore to Museum. Might be possible for both to commute by train from Odenton.
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