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Old 02-19-2009, 10:54 AM
 
32 posts, read 118,388 times
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I'm looking at graduate programs at Arizona State in Tempe, and I just have some questions about the area.

I'm having trouble getting a sense for how the Phoenix area is laid out. Is everything really spread out or are things more clustered? I've lived in Eugene, OR and Durham NC, so those are my points of reference. In Eugene, everything was within a 10-15 minute drive at most. In Durham, it takes much longer to get anywhere because everything is so sprawling. How is Phoenix/Tempe?

Do people attending ASU live very near the university? Is it easy to walk places (grocery store, school, etc) or do you really need to have a car? Is there decent public transit?

If I were to start looking for apartments/rental houses , are there particular good areas to look at or areas to avoid completely?

As for weather: how often does it rain there? Do you ever got thunderstorms? I've read that people enjoy T-shirts in February! That sounds awesome!

Input on any of the questions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Phoenix area is VERY spread out. Tempe is the smallest, or one of the smallest, suburbs in terms of land area.

ASU is largely a "commuter school". There are many who live nearby, others who drive across town to get there. Public transit is getting better over the years, there are many bus routes into and around Tempe, including free shuttle buses in some areas that link to bus lines or come to the university area. You can investigate that at www.valleymetro.org . So, depending on where you end up, it is POSSIBLE to get by without a car, but it all depends on what your lifestyle is.

Rental areas? In Tempe, there's no area that's really bad. If you are branching out into the metro area, that's a broad question, maybe too broad to answer.

Phoenix averages around 6-7 inches of rain A YEAR. Rainiest time is winter months, thunderstorms happen June-September, and bring less and less rain over the years as the "heat island" caused by all the concrete keeps the storms from coming into the Valley like they used to when I was younger.

T-shirts in February? Yes; not every day, but yes.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Tempe
1,832 posts, read 5,410,151 times
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The bus system in Tempe is the best in the valley, and there is a lot of housing near campus. Grocery stores around ASU are non exsistent. There is a Frys Mill/Southrn another Southern/Rural Safeway Broadwat/Rural so your looking a couple miles from campus. I love Tempe and its pretty much the best place in the Valley to live. Contraty to what people say its not expensive to live in Tempe.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:57 PM
 
538 posts, read 1,448,421 times
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> Is everything really spread out or are things more clustered?

Spread out. ASU and Mill Avenue's shopping district is small and walkable, but the city of Phoenix is sprawling, like Raleigh/Durham.

> Do people attending ASU live very near the university? Is it easy to walk
> places (grocery store, school, etc) or do you really need to have a car? Is
> there decent public transit?

A lot of students live near ASU or in nearby Scottsdale. If you live near Mill Avenue, it's easy to walk around, but it's helpful to have a car. There's a light rail system that goes to and from Tempe to downtown Phoenix, so there is public transport, but given the sprawl of Phoenix it's not ideal.

> As for weather: how often does it rain there? Do you ever got
> thunderstorms? I've read that people enjoy T-shirts in February! That
> sounds awesome!

It rains about 7" a year, but those rains come in huge downpours, generally during the summer monsoons. There's also a reasonable amount of rain during the winter. But yes, you can wear a t-shirt in February - as of now it's 72 degrees and it's Feb. 19th.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,472 posts, read 16,502,980 times
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It could easily take you 2 hours to get from one side of the Phoenix metro to another in rush hour traffic, it's a very spread out city.

ASU has a very large Tempe campus and most college students live in Tempe or the surrounding area. The nice thing about the Tempe campus is that our light rail goes right by it so you wouldn't NEED a car to get to and from ASU but Phoenix is a very car dependent city and I would think you'd want one to get around.

This next week looks like t-shirt weather to me however it does get chilly in the late evening and early mornings.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:17 PM
 
32 posts, read 118,388 times
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Thanks for all the input everybody! It helps me get an idea about what Tempe is like. It sounds like a wonderful place to live!
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
755 posts, read 1,634,108 times
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Default Synapse...spread out like RDU?

Sorry - but Raleigh and Durham ARE two totally separate cities...they are supposed to be spread out!

If I was feeling snappy - this is where I would be talking about God's little piece of heaven on earth and the reason the sky is CAROLINA BLUE
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:14 PM
 
17,846 posts, read 40,148,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnoise7 View Post
Thanks for all the input everybody! It helps me get an idea about what Tempe is like. It sounds like a wonderful place to live!
It is. Keep us posted on your move, and ask any other questions you might have.
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