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Old 02-20-2010, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Honolulu...Maybe SF or SD soon?
32 posts, read 75,948 times
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Another commute question here...

So Im a 26yr old single girl from Hawaii looking to make a move to the bay area (there are no good guys left in Hawaii ). Im looking at employment either at SQ State prison or in Vacaville. Im mostly interested in living in the walnut creek area the rent will be lower (per sq foot...no tiny apt for me in the city!) and its MUCH safer so I hear.

Sooo...can anyone comment on the traffic from walnut creek to SQ using the 24 then the 580 during rush hour and the commute from WC into the city during weekends? Im assuming the commute to vacaville is a straight shot on the 680, but Im not sure which worksite I should choose...

Thanks a bunch
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:01 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 6,634,494 times
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Walnut Creek is a great place to live and to hang out, but you'll be about 45 minutes from the prison in Vacaville. Have you considered just living in Vacaville? Vacaville isn't quite as nice (not, by any means, dumpy though) and doesn't have the Walnut Creek location (part of the reason it's so sought after) but it's a safe place to live and has a lot of necessary amenities. It's significantly cheaper than Walnut Creek and you won't have to drive 45 minutes to work everyday.

If you do choose Walnut Creek instead of Vacaville, you'll go 680N to 80E and exit to Alamo Drive. Note that the Benicia Bridge costs $4 going north and on July 1st, it will cost $5.

If you need specific information on areas or neighborhoods for Vacaville, Concord, Fairfield, Benicia, or Vallejo (areas that I house shopped in and am most familiar with), let me know.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Honolulu...Maybe SF or SD soon?
32 posts, read 75,948 times
Reputation: 13
What was your opinion of Concord and Benicia? I was looking into Benicia but I think its too small-town for what I'm looking for. I don't want to live in the same town as the facility for various reasons....Did you end up in Vacaville or Fairfield?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 6,634,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi10 View Post
What was your opinion of Concord and Benicia? I was looking into Benicia but I think its too small-town for what I'm looking for. I don't want to live in the same town as the facility for various reasons....Did you end up in Vacaville or Fairfield?
Sorry it took me a few days to see this.

I understand your explanation about not wanting to live near the prison.

----

I lived in Vacaville for 1 year (North Point Apts on Leisure Town on the extreme east side of town) and have since bought a home in the Green Valley-Suisun area of Fairfield.

Concord is a place we looked at extensively and at one time, it was #1 on our list to where we wanted to move to (since we couldn't afford homes in Walnut Creek). Due to its location along the BART, Concord is a bit more expensive than Solano County, however, and has its share of areas that are less than desirable.

The biggest challenge with Concord will be that a great number of apartments in Concord are in some of those undesirable areas - most notably the area boxed in by 680/242 to the west, Monument to the south, Clayton to the north, and Galindo to the east. - There are a lot of lower to lower-middle class apartment-dwelling families in this area.

At the corner of Galindo and Willow Pass are a new set of apartments that they were going to make condominiums but when the housing market collapsed, they decided to rent the spaces instead. It's proximitity to Todos Santos Plaza makes it a really neat place to live. I would venture to guess they are on the pricey side.

You might be best served by seeing about renting a room or an in-home rental in the more established family neighborhoods of Concord.

----

Benicia I'm less familiar with as our interest was primarily in a downtown condo that we didn't look into too extensively because it some of the land near Benicia is having its foundations sink.

We loved the downtown area though, and it does feel small towny, but you're in the Bay, just 30 minutes from SF and Oakland. There are a great deal of apartments on condominiums for rent especially along 780.

Benicia is more ideal than Concord in order to save money $5 in commuting to Vacaville for work.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:13 PM
 
379 posts, read 741,326 times
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I'm not sure a commute from Walnut Creek to Vacaville would be worth it for a 26-year-old single female. Walnut Creek is very family oriented and known for its good schools, and I'm not sure you would find an interesting social life there without children. Most of Solano County is similar in that it's mostly families and run down or small town feeling, and there really isn't much there if you aren't raising a family. I am your age, and my fiancee and I lived in Vacaville for a year when I worked at CMF. We were very bored there and usually had to drive into the Davis / Sacramento or Berkeley / Oakland area for anything interesting to do. There isn't much to Vacaville that isn't strip malls or chain restaurants. Most of my co-workers who liked living in Vacaville liked that it was reasonably safe and quiet for their kids, as well as it having a lower cost of living than most bay area cities.

If you end up choosing CMF I might consider midtown Sacramento, Davis, or North Berkeley. A number of my younger coworkers without kids commute from the midtown and Davis areas. It takes 35-40 minutes from midtown and 20-25 minutes from Davis, according to them. Having done the commute from Berkeley, I can say that it's a 45-minute drive if you live near 80, since you're going counter-commute and don't hit traffic. I feel like all of these areas would be more interesting for you than the ones you've mentioned.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 6,634,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalLover View Post
I'm not sure a commute from Walnut Creek to Vacaville would be worth it for a 26-year-old single female. Walnut Creek is very family oriented and known for its good schools, and I'm not sure you would find an interesting social life there without children. Most of Solano County is similar in that it's mostly families and run down or small town feeling, and there really isn't much there if you aren't raising a family. I am your age, and my fiancee and I lived in Vacaville for a year when I worked at CMF. We were very bored there and usually had to drive into the Davis / Sacramento or Berkeley / Oakland area for anything interesting to do. There isn't much to Vacaville that isn't strip malls or chain restaurants. Most of my co-workers who liked living in Vacaville liked that it was reasonably safe and quiet for their kids, as well as it having a lower cost of living than most bay area cities.

If you end up choosing CMF I might consider midtown Sacramento, Davis, or North Berkeley. A number of my younger coworkers without kids commute from the midtown and Davis areas. It takes 35-40 minutes from midtown and 20-25 minutes from Davis, according to them. Having done the commute from Berkeley, I can say that it's a 45-minute drive if you live near 80, since you're going counter-commute and don't hit traffic. I feel like all of these areas would be more interesting for you than the ones you've mentioned.
There is some decent advice in here, but let's not forget that Sacramento is still Sacramento. I assume that on the weekends, she wants to explore SF/Oakland and a drive from Sacramento (and even Davis) would be great enough that you'd have 2nd thoughts as to whether you'd even want to go into the City.

Part of the reason to move to Concord would be to be along the BART and not even have to drive into the City. Is Davis more fun than Concord? Yeah, but a small margin. I mean, let's be honest, Davis is a nice place to live but it's not a mecca of fun either.

Personally, I'd rather be on the BART and still be 25 minutes from work (Davis to west Vacaville is the same amount of time anyway).

In addition, what if she accepts the job at San Quentin? You'd advocate a drive from Sacramento or Davis to SQ? No way.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:20 PM
 
379 posts, read 741,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddy4LyF View Post

In addition, what if she accepts the job at San Quentin? You'd advocate a drive from Sacramento or Davis to SQ? No way.
Definitely not! I was discussing options if she took the job at CMF. If she were to accept at San Quentin I would suggest the Berkeley, Albany, or El Cerrito (if she wants something less expensive) areas for San Quentin, which is a reasonable commute according to my friend's husband who commutes from North Oakland to SQ.

As for Concord vs. Davis, it would depend on how often the OP planned to commute into San Francisco. If she planned to take BART there every weekend Concord might be a better choice, but if she's satisfied with going less often she might enjoy the walkability of Downtown Davis while taking Amtrak and BART into SF. It all comes down to OP's priority.

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, Albany might be ideal for the OP. It's quieter, safer, and less expensive than Berkeley, but has a nice downtown, is close to Berkeley and Oakland, and near North Berkeley BART for a quick commute into the city. It would also be a reasonable commute to SQ and CMF if she moves before accepting a job at either.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:57 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,792 times
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I actually wanted to post a question on here, but it is quite similar to hers, so i am just going to attach it to the thread. I moved to Walnut Creek from Washington DC about 6 months ago when my partner got a job out here. I recently found employment as well, but it is in Richmond. When I lived in DC I used the metro line for work commute. I was wondering if it is safe to use the BART out to Richmond and if not, what the average commute time for driving is from WC to Richmond during morning rush hour. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Honolulu...Maybe SF or SD soon?
32 posts, read 75,948 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddy4LyF View Post
Sorry it took me a few days to see this.


----

Benicia I'm less familiar with as our interest was primarily in a downtown condo that we didn't look into too extensively because it some of the land near Benicia is having its foundations sink.

We loved the downtown area though, and it does feel small towny, but you're in the Bay, just 30 minutes from SF and Oakland. There are a great deal of apartments on condominiums for rent especially along 780.

Benicia is more ideal than Concord in order to save money $5 in commuting to Vacaville for work.
Thanks for the info, Im looking into Benicia and Albany (depending on which worksite i choose)
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Honolulu...Maybe SF or SD soon?
32 posts, read 75,948 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalLover View Post
Definitely not! I was discussing options if she took the job at CMF. If she were to accept at San Quentin I would suggest the Berkeley, Albany, or El Cerrito (if she wants something less expensive) areas for San Quentin, which is a reasonable commute according to my friend's husband who commutes from North Oakland to SQ.

As for Concord vs. Davis, it would depend on how often the OP planned to commute into San Francisco. If she planned to take BART there every weekend Concord might be a better choice, but if she's satisfied with going less often she might enjoy the walkability of Downtown Davis while taking Amtrak and BART into SF. It all comes down to OP's priority.

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, Albany might be ideal for the OP. It's quieter, safer, and less expensive than Berkeley, but has a nice downtown, is close to Berkeley and Oakland, and near North Berkeley BART for a quick commute into the city. It would also be a reasonable commute to SQ and CMF if she moves before accepting a job at either.
Im looking into albany and like what i see so far, but I still have to look into the SQ vs. CMF factor...are you still w/cdcr?
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