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Old 03-31-2013, 02:16 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,676 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, and Happy Easter!

I will be starting as a full-time grad student and teaching assistant at University of Maryland, College Park next fall. My husband works in Chantilly. Changing jobs at this point in time is not an option for him. We are looking for places to live somewhere in between, where the commute won't be completely unbearable, and where rent can be affordable for us.

Our price limit is 1300/month, and we want a 1 bedroom (no studios).

That being said, we were looking into the McLean area, but we cannot afford anything there. Which led us to Alexandria-- particularly, the Huntington area... reason being, we can afford the apartments there. Also, it appears that I could get to College Park quite easily on the metro (Yellow/Green line).

My question is, do any of you have much experience commuting from the Alexandria area to Chantilly? What are the traffic patterns like? How long is that drive likely to take him? My husband works off of 28. Is there any way for him to avoid the beltway?

I'm sure there will be some days that I will need to drive into school, rather than rely on public transport. What would my commute to College Park be like? Are there any alternate routes I could take to avoid hellacious traffic?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
14,063 posts, read 21,717,386 times
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Alexandria (Huntington area) to Chantilly is, IMO, a terrible commute. I tried it once and hated it. Alexandria to College Park is a little better. You have the choice of using 295 or 495 to get to College Park.

If you go 295, watch out for speed cameras and heavy traffic until you get to the exit for 395, and then it will be better. Keep left when you reach the Baltimore Washington Parkway. Take it to the exit for 410-Riverdale Rd. Turn left and take it to 201 Kenilworth. Turn right and take it to the Paint Branch Parkway. Turn left and it will take you straight to campus.

If you use 495 you can take that to 201- Kenilworth and turn left. Take it to the Paint Branch Parkway and turn left.

An alternative would be 495 to 50 West to 410. Turn right on 410 and take it til it ends at Riverdale Rd. Turn left and take it to 201 Kenilworth. Take 201 north to Paint Branch Parkway and turn left.

You can also go 295 north to 50 East to 410 if desired.

Those are the main ways. My preferred route is the first one. They all have traffic, but I still would rather do that commute than the one to Chantilly. Others may disagree. This is just my opinion.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:29 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,676 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Alexandria (Huntington area) to Chantilly is, IMO, a terrible commute. I tried it once and hated it. Alexandria to College Park is a little better. You have the choice of using 295 or 495 to get to College Park.

If you go 295, watch out for speed cameras and heavy traffic until you get to the exit for 395, and then it will be better. Keep left when you reach the Baltimore Washington Parkway. Take it to the exit for 410-Riverdale Rd. Turn left and take it to 201 Kenilworth. Turn right and take it to the Paint Branch Parkway. Turn left and it will take you straight to campus.

If you use 495 you can take that to 201- Kenilworth and turn left. Take it to the Paint Branch Parkway and turn left.

An alternative would be 495 to 50 West to 410. Turn right on 410 and take it til it ends at Riverdale Rd. Turn left and take it to 201 Kenilworth. Take 201 north to Paint Branch Parkway and turn left.

You can also go 295 north to 50 East to 410 if desired.

Those are the main ways. My preferred route is the first one. They all have traffic, but I still would rather do that commute than the one to Chantilly. Others may disagree. This is just my opinion.

Would there be some way for him to bypass the Beltway/I66, to make his commute a little better? Would there be any better option as far as our living location, where the commute would be better and we could still afford it?
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,801 posts, read 5,826,532 times
Reputation: 3119
Two part-question related to DC area rents...

1)---Is $1,300 about the minimum that a potential new resident can expect to spend for rent in a nice area with the usual amenities and within a few blocks of the Metro?

2)---If you can spend less for rent ($850-$1,000 or thereabouts) to live in a nice are as stated above, can it be done, and which area or areas would you recommend?
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
14,063 posts, read 21,717,386 times
Reputation: 8825
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaelbird View Post
Would there be some way for him to bypass the Beltway/I66, to make his commute a little better? Would there be any better option as far as our living location, where the commute would be better and we could still afford it?
I would probably take Franconia Rd (continue when it changes to Old Keene Mill Rd) take it to the Fairfax County Pkwy. Find the way to Chantilly from there. This is an alternative. It may not be quicker than 495 to 66. I don't have enough experience going all the way to Chantilly. My old commute back then was to Burke.

As for a possible better location: What about Vienna or Falls Church? North Bethesda? I'm not sure just some ideas.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Denver
434 posts, read 1,017,442 times
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Is one of you going to be working off hours ? If so, then live closer to the person's work where they will be working traditional hours and a little further from the person's work where they can work off hours.

Sounds like it might be a rough couple years but will be worth it in the long run.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:17 AM
 
14 posts, read 19,393 times
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Default Alexandria to Chantilly morning commute

did you ever find out how the commute is from Alexandria to Chantilly. I am thinking of the same commute. I am in Alexandria by Alexandria Hospital and driving to Conference Center Drive area in Chantilly.

I was told it will take about 30 minutes no traffic, in traffic about an hour. Has anyone dont that drive
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:29 PM
 
Location: alexandria, VA
14,476 posts, read 5,993,282 times
Reputation: 8273
A-town to Chantilly in 30 minutes? That would be booking. And lots of stop lights on rt. 50. 40 min. is more realistic.
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