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Old 06-19-2007, 02:07 PM
 
271 posts, read 280,385 times
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My fiance and I are renting a house in the Palma Ceia area of South Tampa while we figure out a neighborhood to buy in. We just moved here from San Diego for job opportunities and more affordable housing, and we're amazed at how cheap even the nice suburbs here. Seems like 500K actually gets you something decent! We'll probably buy sometime within 1 year.

Anyway, I'm working near downtown now but my office is permanently moving to the west side of Brandon just off the Crosstown Expy. I've tested that commute from South Tampa and it isn't bad at all. My fiance works at Moffitt on the USF campus and her commute isn't bad either.

If possible we'd rather not pay the South Tampa prices, and get a larger, newer home with a pool somewhere like New Tampa or Brandon. Family oriented is what we're looking for in the long run (we're both 28, probably having kids within 2 years).

Which one would make the most sense commute-wise? I'm guessing it'd be worse for me going south on I-75 in the morning from New Tampa to Brandon vs. her going north on I-75 from Brandon to USF.

Is there anything that can be 30, 40 minutes tops with traffic for both of us besides South Tampa? It is definitely nice down here but we'd rather stay in the 500K price range and get a nicer place. We're both from very small midwestern towns originally, but have grown accustomed to the fast paced SoCal lifestyle, so I think we'd be happy in a massive development or something more rural, either way.

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:39 PM
 
144 posts, read 674,981 times
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From my experience, Brandon traffic flows mostly Westward in the morning and Eastward in the afternoon. Southbound traffic from USF to Brandon in the morning is not that bad -- after you are passed the I-75 & I-4 junction.

Northbound traffic from Brandon to USF varies depending on the school season; summer school is not as busy.

The only drawback I see in New Tampa is your fiancee putting up with Bruce B. Downs southbound traffic in the morning and you partly putting up with southbound traffic on I-75. Plus, you'll likely be surrounded with the college crowds since many of them live in the New Tampa area. If you're planning on having a family in a few years, Brandon maybe more suitable.

Maybe this traffic data can help in your decision:
http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/transportation/resources/publications/maps/trafficcountsmap.pdf (broken link)

In my opinion, if you are used to San Diego traffic on I-10 or I-5 during rush hour, then Tampa traffic should be a piece of cake.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:23 PM
 
57 posts, read 188,103 times
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Blockzilla,
My wife and I live in Wesley Chapel right off Hwy-56 and love the area. I used to work in South Tampa, right off Kennedy, and the drive was not unreal, but I did leave pretty early to get to the office.
Keep in mind the amount of house you can get in the New Tampa area. That is why we moved out here versus other areas in town.
I hope this helps.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:54 PM
 
58 posts, read 245,778 times
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The drive from the Brandon area to USF would be pretty easy (most traffic would go into town. Obviously, if you lived and worked in Brandon (or the surrounding Valrico/Lithia/Fishhawk area, which all have "A" schools), your commute would be painless. South Tampa is great, but the prices are much higher. For someone planning for kids, you can't really compare the 2/1 you'd get in South Tampa for the 4/3 you'd find in the burbs. The elevated crosstown allows one to be to downtown in less than 20 minutes (10 from parts of Brandon).
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Poulsbo, WA
467 posts, read 299,163 times
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Schilly:

We are trying to decide between Brandon and St Pete as well. My husband will be travelling to MacDill and I'll probably be working downtown so we want to be within a half hour (miles don't matter to me, but time does) of work.

I've heard the Selmon from Brandon to STampa can be over an hour each way in rush traffic. Is this true? That really worries me because I don't want to spend two hours a day in traffic - yuck!

We've become so spoiled living close to the bases where we are stationed (none were in thriving cities) that it is hard to think about that kind of commute.

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:45 AM
 
144 posts, read 674,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toninole View Post
Schilly:

We are trying to decide between Brandon and St Pete as well. My husband will be travelling to MacDill and I'll probably be working downtown so we want to be within a half hour (miles don't matter to me, but time does) of work.

I've heard the Selmon from Brandon to STampa can be over an hour each way in rush traffic. Is this true? That really worries me because I don't want to spend two hours a day in traffic - yuck!

We've become so spoiled living close to the bases where we are stationed (none were in thriving cities) that it is hard to think about that kind of commute.

Thanks!
I drive on the Selmon Expressway everyday and traffic is definitely not as bad as it used to be. The second level really helps a lot.

Another tip would be to get the SunPass since it cuts down on your time trying to line up for the toll lines. From Brandon, you can also try getting off on Kennedy Blvd and getting back on the expressway at the Willow Ave. ramp. This will save you a couple of cents, since you will get charge another $1.50+ at next toll booth if you continue on the expressway. Plus, Kennedy Blvd. isn't really that bad during rush hour. I used to drive there last year, and it's nowhere near as bad as driving on Dale Mabry.

I think your husband should be more concern about traffic getting into the base rather than traffic on the expressway. I know of two entrances to MacDill. There's the main one that you can take by taking Dale Mabry south. There's also a smaller entrance near Bay to Bay Blvd. From what I was told by my friend, both entrances are packed during the morning due to extra security after 9/11.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:50 PM
 
58 posts, read 245,778 times
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Toninole:

Anyone commenting on how bad the Selmon is hasn't taken it since before November 2006 (when the elevated portion opened up). I live in Valrico and only take the lower (original) part of the Selmon on the weekends (if I'm too lazy to take HWY 60). I take the elevated expressway to and from downtown and do not sit in one minute of traffic until I get onto Lumsden. Even then, it might tack on an extra 10 minutes on a bad day.

Pre-November 2006, it would take 45 minutes to an hour to get from Brandon to downtown. Since the elevated opened (which works on a rotating schedule...into Tampa in the morning and out of Tampa the rest of the time), that drive takes 10 minutes. The elevated part is a thing of beauty. My only complaint is that they should have added a train to that route.

In my opinion, the only shorter commute to downtown Tampa is in South Tampa(North of Gandy and East of Dale Mabry). However, your husband will be a slightly different boat. Distance wise, its pretty far from Brandon to MacDill. That's a tough call on which place to move as one of you will be making a decent hike unless you live in South Tampa.

Now, if you leave "Brandon" and move to Valrico, Riverview, Lithia, Fishhawk, you will have to add some commute time to get to the Crosstown.

Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:55 PM
 
144 posts, read 674,981 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schilly View Post
The elevated part is a thing of beauty. My only complaint is that they should have added a train to that route.
I think if we got the Olympic bid, then we would have gotten some sort of train route. I voted for that high speed monorail that goes from city to city and it passed, but when the Olympic bid was over, then it went kaput.
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:07 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,342 times
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Default Fishhawk Ranch

Perfect for families. I work downtown and it takes me less than 45 minutes each way even in traffic.

Good luck
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Poulsbo, WA
467 posts, read 299,163 times
Reputation: 110
YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! I really appreciate the info. He spends 6 months a year at sea during a sea tour and so I want to make his life on "shore" tour as easy and painless as possible.

Thanks again!
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