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Old 10-12-2013, 10:08 PM
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We're thinking of moving from Berkeley to Petaluma. My husband will still work at UC Berkeley for a few more years.

What's the commute like from Petaluma to Berkeley? He may be able to flex his hours to some degree. If anyone can provide the length of time for a typical commute and the window of time it lasts, that would be helpful.

Also, how does the fog frequency in Petaluma compare to that of Berkeley? Is it about the same number of days per year? If so, does it burn off faster? This is one of the reasons we are looking at moving.

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:12 AM
Location: San Jose, CA
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That's a pretty long drive, and 101 traffic is very snarly, as is the Eastshore Freeway (I-80). I'd count on that drive taking an hour during off-peak hours and up to 2 hours if you're going between 6am and 9am or leaving between 3pm and 7pm. Possibly worse on Friday afternoons.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:18 AM
Location: Sonoma County
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If you manage to have no traffic, Petaluma to the University exit in Berkeley should take you about 35-40 minutes. If you're going during rush hours (like sonarrat said), you're looking at an hour and a half, easy. It'll take you 40 minutes just to get from Petaluma to San Rafael, the bridge is a crapshoot, and then another 20 minutes or so from Richmond to University depending on the interstate traffic right there.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:15 AM
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The fog frequency is pretty much the same, with an average June/July day clearing off around 1030-11AM. Petaluma will usually be several degrees warmer on most days.

Winter time fog will be more frequent in Petaluma, and it is usually quite a bit colder.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:40 PM
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Petaluma will seem less foggy only if you currently live in the Berkeley hills. I live in the flats and it seems comparable to me. (I am in Petaluma occasionally for work and have several co-workers who call it home.) Keep in mind that Petaluma will be significantly warmer on summer days and significantly colder on winter nights.

Petaluma has the additional concern of allergies... Myself and a few of my co-workers experience by far the worst allergies when we travel to Sonoma County. Berkeley is nothing compared to Sonoma County if this is a potential concern for you.

The drive time from Petaluma to Berkeley is substantial. My co-workers regularly experience 45-60-minute drive times from Petaluma to San Rafael during rush hour, and it's at least 30 minutes even outside of rush hour...just to San Rafael. The Richmond Bridge is variable and takes 10-20 minutes regularly--and has been taking 30 minutes lately due to current construction delays on the east side of the toll plaza area (scheduled for completion in December). The East Bay side drive takes another 15-20 minutes, even more if there is an accident on 80 (everyone ends up on side streets).

Considering all these hassles, you should consider Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, or one of the other areas east of the Caldecott Tunnel instead. The fourth bore will open by the end of the year, so traffic to/from Berkeley should become slightly better (even in the commute direction).
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:50 AM
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Thanks everyone, for your replies. We were thinking Petaluma would be more affordable than Lamorinda but you might be right, Davdaven.

I don't mind the warmer and colder temps, it's more just the fog I'm interested in. Doesn't sound like it'll be much different. We do live in the flats in Berkeley, it's better over on the South Side where we are now versus the North side where we used to be, but it's pretty bad. This summer it didn't burn off until around noon and then rolled back in around 4. Ugh.

No particular concerns about allergies but we may be oblivious and discover more challenges.

Plan C is to find another place to live during the summers to just get away from the fog that way, but that assumes my husband can either take time off during the summers or commute in (his job is year round).

I appreciate your responses very much!
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