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Old 05-25-2011, 02:20 PM
49 posts, read 76,637 times
Reputation: 28


Hi everyone,

We moved to NOVA in April and are finally starting to settle in. My husband actually grew up here but it's been many years since he lived here and according to him, things have CHANGED!

We are currently in Clifton/Centreville and I'm looking at a private school for my child in Annandale.

Is that a reasonable commute to do everyday? How long would it take me usually in the mornings and afternoons- 8:30 ish and 3:30 ish? My younger child will have to tag along on our commute so I'm hoping it won't be too long.

We will be moving to somewhere closer to Tyson's Corner next year (not sure where yet though) because that is where my husband's job will be.

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Old 05-25-2011, 03:02 PM
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Well, that's on the order of 15 miles and probably 25-30 minutes in the middle of the day. You can likely get close to that for a 3:30 pickup, but there will be traffic to deal with for an 8:30 drop-off in the morning. Maybe an extra 15-20 minutes worth? Whatever is near you to 123-N to eastbound Braddock Road would be the obvious route. Maybe there are better/faster choices...
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:04 PM
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Oooh, rough! Even without traffic, Clifton-Annandale is a good 25 minutes. Figure an hour inbound in the a.m. and 40-ish minutes outbound in the p.m. as a typical drive, with some days much worse and few days any better. Try to find something in Burke or Fairfax City instead.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:18 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Braddock Road can be an absolute nightmare to/from Centreville/Clifton at the 123 intersection, so I would agree that it's going to take more than half an hour. The traffic can build on Braddock around 3, or so, headed west, from about Roberts Road to 123; however, on an especially rotten afternoon the traffic can build at Burke Station Road and be jammed to 123. Some days, the traffic is flowing on Braddock, and others it's at a crawl, though once past 123, the traffic improves greatly.

Using an alternate route through Fairfax City has its own problems as well, since 236/Main Street/Little River Turnpike jams near the Walgreens, where the road divides to Main and continuing around the curve to North. Then, on the west side, at Judicial to 29, there can be traffic.

It's not insurmountable, but for the younger child, I would have a DVD system in the car, and be sure they used the restroom before leaving, etc.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:18 PM
49 posts, read 76,637 times
Reputation: 28
Thanks, I'm really close to 29/Lee Highway, so the side of Clifton that is closer to Fair Lakes. Practically Centreville. I was told the Littleneck (?) turnpike would be the best route.

I tried to google map the time, but prefer the opinions of those that know the area and what the actual commute times during those hours might be.

1 hour in the morning seems like it would just be too much.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:40 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
9,145 posts, read 13,707,162 times
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I think that commute would get old real fast. If you have an absolute compelling reason to do it, then by all means it will be worth it, especially if you will not be in Centreville/Clifton long-term. But if the school is not heads and shoulders above one that is closer to you, I would just forget it. I live in Vienna and had a friend who sent her son to a school in Bailey's Crossroads. I saw her at our local back to school night about three weeks after school started. When I asked why she was there, she said they were thinking of switching back because the drive was a real pain. And I guess the program offerings weren't that much better than what he was getting locally.

On the other hand, I have a neighbor whose son had some special needs. She and her husband drove their son to a special private school in DC every day for two years because it was fabulous for what he needed. No one else locally could provide the same kind of program. I'm sure the commute really stunk, but it was very worth it to them to get the help for two years.

Remember, this isn't like commuting to a job where you drive in once in the morning and drive home once in the evening. Instead, it is like you are commuting twice a day - four trips each day. That's a lot! It would have to be a very good school, in my opinion.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:33 PM
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I do a similar but longer commute for private school too and at about the same time. As much as I hate to say it, 66 has been the best, especially for a daily commute. The back roads are more exhausting with all the stoplights and turns. Plus you can use the HOV lanes on 66 since you'll have your kids with you. The outerloop of the Beltway from 66 to Little River Turnpike runs pretty freely in the morning.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Given where you live and assuming the school is located off Gallows or east of the beltway getting ON 66 to the beltway is going to be very slow. I can't imagine driving 236 or Braddock 4x a day.......it will get very old, very fast. Why not do it over the long weekend just so you get a feel for what 3 days feels like and without traffic?
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:26 AM
49 posts, read 76,637 times
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I think I will try out the commute over the next couple of days. I think that even though I really liked the school, we may just have to wait until we move.

I wouldn't mind the drive so much if it was just myself and my child going to school, but I would feel bad for my younger one to have to sit in the car so much everyday.
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