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Old 05-03-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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Our family is considering a move to St. Paul area ... can anyone give me approximate commute times from the following places? My husband currently commutes an hour to the Wash. D.C. area and we'd like to cut that commute at least in half so he can be more involved with after-school activities for our boys. He leaves for work around 6 a.m. and would leave around 5 p.m. M-F.
- Stillwater, Eagan, North Oaks, Woodbury, Lakeville
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:45 AM
 
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That's not an easy question to answer, because it largely depends where you live in some of these communities. For example, Lakeville is pretty big. If you were to live in the southern part of Lakeville, it could potentially take your husband 10-15 minutes longer to get to work.

That said, the commutes from these places will all be relatively short, particularly for someone used to east-coast commute times. The longest trip would be from Lakeville, but even that probably won't be more than 30-35 minutes, depending on where you live in the city and where you're headed in STP. At 6:00 am, the traffic is very light (unlike the east coast!) -- from Woodbury, you could potentially have a 10-minute drive, again depending on where you're at in the city.

I am also a displaced east-coaster. I used to commute an hour and a half each way in New York -- drive to train, change trains, ride train to end of line, switch to subway, ride three stops, and then a 10-minute walk. You will find the commute here to be extremely pleasant from any of the cities you've mentioned, except possibly in the snow. 35E is relatively traffic free. I live in Rosemount, not particularly close to any highway, but I can commute in to STP in 25 minutes at 6:30 in the morning. Your husband's commute home at 5:00 will be a little slower, but not bad by any stretch of the imagination.

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Hamline Midway
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You would probably be able to cut that commute time in half depending where you settle. I could make it downtown from western WI via 94 in under a half hour easily most days. I'd leave around 4:30pm and would get stuck in traffic for 10-15 minutes pretty regularly making the return trip a bit longer.

One thing to keep in mind is that as soon as it starts to sprinkle/flurry or if there's even a minor accident or roadwork it will slow everything down a lot. These things can make the commute time vary a bit from day to day.

Taking a bus is an option that could potentially speed up commute times a bit. Service to the suburbs is still limited but getting there and is definitely worth looking into. You can get more information from Metro Transit, the transit arm of the Metropolitan Council (regional government).
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 2,721,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyt View Post
Our family is considering a move to St. Paul area ... can anyone give me approximate commute times from the following places? My husband currently commutes an hour to the Wash. D.C. area and we'd like to cut that commute at least in half so he can be more involved with after-school activities for our boys. He leaves for work around 6 a.m. and would leave around 5 p.m. M-F.
- Stillwater, Eagan, North Oaks, Woodbury, Lakeville

Lakeville - in Dakota county and you would need to cross Minnesota and Mississippi River. 45-60 minutes in rush hour. Lot of newer, larger homes. Very south part of the metro so probably the longest commute of the places you listed. Has a hybrid feel. Some semi-rural and some true burb feel.

Eagan - Still south of the River, but north and east of Lakeville. The east part of Eagan would allow access to 35E which will get you downtown. 30 - 45 minutes. There are some very nice homes in Eagan. Shopping is pretty good, and anything you need could easlily be found close by in Apple Valley or Burnsville.

Woodbury is dead east of St. Paul via I-94. You are looking at 20-30 minutes depending on specific location in Woodbury. Not a lot of mature trees yet, but it is a good area. Still surrounded by farmland in some areas. Still development happening. Probably the best example of your modern burb. Almost every retail store you would need, good services, almost everything is new.

Stillwater is about 25 miles from St. Paul. It also covers a broad area, so it depends what route would be best. 30-45 minutes is a decent guess. Historic River Town with a lot of history. Technically not a burb, but a small city close to the metro. Shopping destination and lot of recreation opportunity on the river.

North Oaks is pretty much straight north of St. Paul 10 or 12 miles. 35E would be your path, and that is fairly tight in rush hour. 20-15 minutes. By many accounts one of the top 3 cities in terms of being elite. Smaller version of Edina or Wayzata. Used to be gated. Shopping would be White Bear Lake or Shoreview.

I noticed you picked some burbs that tend to be highly regarded. A couple more you may find of interest. Dellwood, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi - these are all in Washington county and semi-rural, but fairly close to St. Paul (15-20 miles).

We have been in Mahtomedi for about a year and it has more small town feel than suburban. We go to Stillwater, Woodbury or Maplewood for the big shopping, but we have all the little stuff. 13 miles to downtown St. Paul, 19 miles to downtown Minneapolis. Very wooded area close to White Bear Lake. There are elite homes on White Bear Lake and a mix of newer and older homes in the rest of the city.

All of these locations have very good schools.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:37 PM
 
54 posts, read 160,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifford63 View Post
Lakeville - in Dakota county and you would need to cross Minnesota and Mississippi River. 45-60 minutes in rush hour. Lot of newer, larger homes. Very south part of the metro so probably the longest commute of the places you listed. Has a hybrid feel. Some semi-rural and some true burb feel.

Eagan - Still south of the River, but north and east of Lakeville. The east part of Eagan would allow access to 35E which will get you downtown. 30 - 45 minutes. There are some very nice homes in Eagan. Shopping is pretty good, and anything you need could easlily be found close by in Apple Valley or Burnsville.

Woodbury is dead east of St. Paul via I-94. You are looking at 20-30 minutes depending on specific location in Woodbury. Not a lot of mature trees yet, but it is a good area. Still surrounded by farmland in some areas. Still development happening. Probably the best example of your modern burb. Almost every retail store you would need, good services, almost everything is new.

Stillwater is about 25 miles from St. Paul. It also covers a broad area, so it depends what route would be best. 30-45 minutes is a decent guess. Historic River Town with a lot of history. Technically not a burb, but a small city close to the metro. Shopping destination and lot of recreation opportunity on the river.

North Oaks is pretty much straight north of St. Paul 10 or 12 miles. 35E would be your path, and that is fairly tight in rush hour. 20-15 minutes. By many accounts one of the top 3 cities in terms of being elite. Smaller version of Edina or Wayzata. Used to be gated. Shopping would be White Bear Lake or Shoreview.

I noticed you picked some burbs that tend to be highly regarded. A couple more you may find of interest. Dellwood, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi - these are all in Washington county and semi-rural, but fairly close to St. Paul (15-20 miles).

We have been in Mahtomedi for about a year and it has more small town feel than suburban. We go to Stillwater, Woodbury or Maplewood for the big shopping, but we have all the little stuff. 13 miles to downtown St. Paul, 19 miles to downtown Minneapolis. Very wooded area close to White Bear Lake. There are elite homes on White Bear Lake and a mix of newer and older homes in the rest of the city.

All of these locations have very good schools.
I most respectfully disagree with the first two paragraphs of this post. 45-60 minutes to/from Lakeville in rush hour is pretty unlikely, unless there's an accident or a snowstorm. I used to live in the southern part of Apple Valley, right on the Lakeville border, and it would only take me 35 minutes in rush hour. The only way you'd hit an hour getting to Lakeville is if it were a bad traffic day and you were in the very southern part of town. Eagan is even closer to STP, so there's almost zero chance it would take you an hour to get there from downtown. On the worst of traffic days, you can be in/out of Eagan (no matter what part of town) in 25-30 minutes tops.

Otherwise, I think this post has some good info, particularly about Mahtomedi and WBL, which are very nice areas.

I noticed that you included Eagan and Lakeville as possibilities, but not Apple Valley. Any particular reason? It's a great town with great schools, low crime, plenty of shopping, and is a short trip up Cedar Ave/77 to 35E . . . .
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I would agree that you should check out Mahtomedi, Apple Valley and I will add Rosemount to your list. Actually, what activities are your boys in? That will help narrow down where to look.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
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Originally Posted by gatorinmn View Post
I most respectfully disagree with the first two paragraphs of this post. 45-60 minutes to/from Lakeville in rush hour is pretty unlikely, unless there's an accident or a snowstorm. I used to live in the southern part of Apple Valley, right on the Lakeville border, and it would only take me 35 minutes in rush hour. The only way you'd hit an hour getting to Lakeville is if it were a bad traffic day and you were in the very southern part of town. Eagan is even closer to STP, so there's almost zero chance it would take you an hour to get there from downtown. On the worst of traffic days, you can be in/out of Eagan (no matter what part of town) in 25-30 minutes tops.

Otherwise, I think this post has some good info, particularly about Mahtomedi and WBL, which are very nice areas.

I noticed that you included Eagan and Lakeville as possibilities, but not Apple Valley. Any particular reason? It's a great town with great schools, low crime, plenty of shopping, and is a short trip up Cedar Ave/77 to 35E . . . .
Apple Valley might be a good choice too. Was more that the OP did not include it than I excluded it.

I tend to be the type of person that would rather be 10 minutes early than 5 minutes late. I also assume that most people commute during rush hours. My commute times are from the time I put the key in the car until I touch the keyboard. That might be 10 minutes or 5 minutes more than some people report depending on how long it takes to get from the parking garage to the office. It is around 25 miles from Lakeville to St. Paul, so in perfect conditions, 35 minutes is possible but I can't say it is realistic to expect that every day. I was consistant to this idea with the other times as well. I listed Eagan to St. Paul at 30-45 minutes, not one hour.

Southern Burbs are not that bad going to St. Paul. Getting into Minneapolis is much more prone to delays. For a short time I was living near 77 & Cliff commuting to St. Paul. It was around 30 minutes. When I started working in Minneapolis, it was close to an hour. They may have turned off some of the traffic meters, but I am not sure. A slow meter can add 10 minutes.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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Wow! Thanks for all of the wonderful responses. I'm a former Midwesterner (Nebraska), so, it will be great to be a little closer to home. We currently live in an established suburb community with lots of families in Maryland. Home price for us would probably be in the $350-$450 range. We love the big trees, the activities for our boys, friendly neighbors and the phenomenal public school ... although we are highly considering Catholic schools this time around... (if anyone knows about Catholic schools in St. Paul area, I'd love to know.)

To: Gatorinmin - No particular reason I didn't mention Apple Valley ... we've heard good things. My husband isn't one for 'cookie cutter' houses, but, that's what we have now and couldn't ask for a better place to live. He's an architect by profession, so, he likes more non-traditional homes, but, when you're dealing with suburbs, you don't always have much of a choice. Suburbs seem to be good fit for our family, but, I grew up on a farm and have also lived "city life" so we feel can make anything work. Husband seems to be open to finding something more rural, but, not sure if the kids would go for that! They love their cul de sac lifestyle. I currently am a stay at home mom and very active in the community...that could change with all my boys in school in the fall, but, we'll see.

Golfgal - Our boys are going to be in 5th, 2nd and Kindergarten in the fall. Baseball, soccer, cub scouts, piano lessons and church activities rule. (Looks like we also might need to learn a bit more about hockey too!) Might consider martial arts if the philosophy is right... we have one boy that needs better focus and thought that might help.

Thanks again for the great information!
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:27 PM
 
54 posts, read 160,490 times
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Most of the cities you've listed have both typical suburban tract-type devleopment, as well as areas a little "more rural." Sounds like you've focused on the right places. In your price range you can find some beautiful -- and definitely not cookie-cutter -- homes in AV, Lakeville, Rosemount, Woodbury, and Stillwater. I am not an expert on Mahtomehdi -- I'll leave that to Clifford -- but my sense is that modern homes there are a little bit more expensive.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:03 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,548,058 times
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I think given your further information I would look to Stillwater. There are plenty of homes there that are no where near cookie cutter but then again, there are cookie cutter homes everywhere, including Minneapolis and St. Paul (just that the cookie cutters are older there ). Stillwater has a great Catholic School as well but the public schools in town are excellent as well.

Also, there is NO WAY it takes 30-40 minutes to get to downtown St. Paul from Eagan or Apple Valley unless there is a huge snowstorm or a bad accident-having driven that route many, many times at all different times of the day.

Also, are you positive the job is actually in downtown St. Paul. Many companies list their address as St. Paul and people assume it is downtown only to find out it is in Apple Valley. You might want to just double check on that to make sure.
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