Help me live in DC without a wicked commute.
April 28, 2009 8:46 AM   Subscribe

What would be the best way to live in DC yet work in Germantown, MD?

After almost a year in Gaithersburg I've become quite sick of the suburbs. Having a short (5 minute) commute to work is nice, but it isn't worth it anymore. I want to live in the city, but I don't want to find a new job. The problem is my job is at the tail end of the I270 tech corridor in Germantown.

I'm willing to commute from DC, but just how feasible is this? I'm more concerned about mornings as I generally miss the traffic in the evenings due to the gym, various practices and happy hour. I don't want to live in Rockville and I'd prefer not to live in Bethesda.

Any ideas?
posted by Loto to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It might be easier to try and move past the suburbs, and live a bit further out. To the north and west of the I-70 corridor is some really nice country. Moving into the city will get you the opportunity to pay more money for a longer commute. I wish I could give you more constructive advice as to where would be a good portion to live in, but my impression of I-70 is that is mainly for people who are trying to get on 495 and get around the city, not necessarily into and out of it. Perhaps you might find something you want way up 16th street, as that leads into and out of MD fairly easily, but again I would advise you to go west.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:04 AM on April 28, 2009

MARC trains are only semi-reliable, but a pretty sweet commute, especially going out of the city.

The problem is that the earliest northbound train is like 115 pm. So if you have to work 9-5 you're screwed.

Other than that, I got nothing, other than: living downtown is so worth it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:10 AM on April 28, 2009

It's feasible. Plenty of people go in the opposite direction, after all. Guessing that you drive, you'd be going against traffic for the 270N portion of the trip (~25 min), but everything before that is a mess during rush hour. Really it just depends on how much you're willing to put up with. From the edge of DC NW, you'd likely be looking at a 50-minute commute minimum. I used to commute 12 miles from the northern corner of DC to North Bethesda; that was a 30-minute commute in the morning, and a 45-minute commute in the evening.

Is there a reason you're ruling out the Bethesda area? Seems to me that it might serve your interests to live by the base of 270, near a Red Line station for easy downtown access.
posted by zennie at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2009

The only other option I can think of is to take the Red Line and carpool with someone to/from Shady Grove station (no idea about public transportation north of there). It could work if you have co-workers who live near Derwood.
posted by zennie at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2009

If you opt for metro, Montgomery county Ride On buses could get you to Germantown, and you can use your metro's SmarTrip card on them.

If you drive, note that both the Clara Barton parkway and Rock Creek parkway are closed to northbound traffic during morning rush and closed to southbound traffic during evening rush. River road might be your best option as it will get you right out to the Beltway at one of the least congested parts during rush hour.
posted by hoppytoad at 10:41 AM on April 28, 2009

Traffic in Monkey County's much worse, as it is everywhere now, but I had a great time in the 1980s when I lived in Adams-Morgan and worked in Greenbelt. Sailing up the Parkway, traffic all backed up on the other side, a textbook definition of the reverse commute. Maybe 270's the same way, even today?

I'd just do it -- you'll make it work. Gaithersburg's the worst sort of suburb -- escape to the city!
posted by Rash at 3:32 PM on April 28, 2009

Response by poster: BobbyDigital: That is pretty much exactly what I don't want to do. I want to move closer to the city, not further into the country. Not that I don't enjoy the country, but I grew up there and would like to experience big city living!

As for Bethesda, it's okay but it's just not the sort of area I'd like to live in. A little too classy for me.

I didn't even think about doing the whole Metro thing. Apparently there is an express bus from Bethesda to Germantown (right outside my office!) and I can get from Cleveland Park to Germantown in about 40 minutes or so with a combination of metro and bus. Very interesting...
posted by Loto at 6:04 PM on April 28, 2009

Live in upper northwest, it'll cut your commute down, but you'll still get the benefits of living in the city - we live in Glover Park and find it's a fairly easy get up to Gaithersburg (which is just below Germantown, right?). We take Mass up to River Road and either get on 495 to 270 or take Seven Locks Road up to Democracy and get on 270 from there.
posted by echo0720 at 6:55 AM on April 29, 2009

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