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Thread: Bike Friendly Living Recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Smile Bike Friendly Living Recommendations?

    Good morning Washington Area Bicyclists.

    My name is Ted, I am in discussions to accept a job with Adventist Rehabilitation in Takoma Park. The hospital is right on the Sligo Creek parkway!! I am not from the Washington D.C./Maryland metro area, and have little knowledge of the different areas and neighborhoods. I will be visiting the area next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (3/15, 3/16, 3/17) to check out the hospital, as well as to try to find some good rental properties in the area.

    I am a recent college graduate/young professional. I am an avid cyclist. I ride recreationally on the weekends, and when I am not working during the week. I also am a bike commuter.

    I am looking for areas within a 10 mile radius of the Takoma Park area, that are 1)known for bike friendlyness 2)a fun area for young professionals (lots going on like bars, restaurants, parks, etc). 3)somewhere near one of these many recreational bike/pedestrian trails scattered throughout the DC area. 4)Not too high cost of living.

    I am asking which areas would you recommend that I look into during my research here at home in Atlanta, as well as next week when I am visiting the area.

    Further more, if you know of a place for rent that you would like to recommend (apartment, room for rent, etc) please let me know!

    Happy riding everyone!
    Last edited by SurlyTed1187; 03-07-2012 at 09:25 AM.

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    Would be a very easy commute from downtown Silver Spring where there's a bunch to do, as well as easy access to the Georgetown Branch Trail to Bethesda and DC, Metro's red line into DC, and the Beltway if you were so inclined to drive somewhere. If it's too expensive there the Sligo Creek trail goes up into Wheaton where the cost of living is very reasonable (my friends live 100ft off that trail and have a great house) but not so much to do at night.

    You could also look in the Petworth neighborhood in DC, the costs of living aren't too bad and there's lots going on, but it is still very much (to quote a realtor's term) "up-and-coming". Kansas Ave gets you most of the way to work with bike lanes.

    Honestly, if you're open to a 10-mile bike commute, you can live almost anywhere in DC.

  3. #3
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Congrats on landing a job and welcome.

    I know nothing about Takoma Park, but I've heard it's very bike friendly. I have some friends in a group house in the District who are looking to fill an opening. They are super-duper bikey (I know them through my husband's cycling team). I'll see if the place is still open and PM you.

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    I tend to avoid Takoma Park, since it's a Nuclear Free Zone. (I can't carry cruise missles to take care of cars that cut me off.)

    Takoma, on the other hand, on the D.C. side if the border is not too bad. The area has been building up around the Metro station in the past few years. I'm not sure what changes are going on a mile or two furhter west with the closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, so you might look there, too.

  5. 03-07-2012, 02:33 PM


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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Congrats on landing a job and welcome.

    I know nothing about Takoma Park, but I've heard it's very bike friendly. I have some friends in a group house in the District who are looking to fill an opening. They are super-duper bikey (I know them through my husband's cycling team). I'll see if the place is still open and PM you.
    I would be open to considering the group house for starting out while I get myself established in the area for the first few months. Please do let me know what the status is with it.

    And super-duper bikey would be a plus!

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    Craigslist is a popular place for Takoma Park listings. There are a great many apartment buildings along the Sligo Creek Parkway 'corridor' and its been a great neighborhood for decades ( take it from an ex-Takoma Park hippie). A couple of things to be aware of, East of New Hampshire Ave is not Takoma Park regardless of the description in the advert. Sligo Creek is at the bottom of a sizeable valley so biking to the Metro station or to downtown Silver Spring ( the nearest commercial area ) means some serious hills. On the other hand Takoma all in all is one of the highest areas in or around the city so just about all of downtown is 'down' from TP. Welcome to the area.

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    Coming from Atlanta, and the mountains of western nc for college, I am used to hilly rides. That is one reason why I'm not headed to Florida. Too flat for me. I just bought a map of the dc area so
    I can study up on locations and distance.

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    I used to live relatively close to there.

    For starters, the Sligo Trail goes for a long time and has some linkups too. It starts near Wheaton if I remember right and goes down to Brentwood where it hits up with Anacosta-related trails. As many have suggested, your best for living would probably be Silver Spring.

    Silver Spring-Be forewarned that rental properties in 'Silver Spring' will actually bring up a ridiculous set of areas ranging from near-Ashton (a good 15-20 miles north and west) and straight up 29 as far as Cherry Hill (sort of north of College Park), neither of which are really 'Silver Spring' that folks are referencing. I have absolutely no clue why everything in MoCo (acronym for Montgomery County) tends to have a Silver Spring zip code. Similarly in Virginia, I swear Alexandria is the all encompassing zip code. I tell people I live there and they start thinking everything from Arlandria down to Mt. Vernon. Anyway, there is a fairly decent youthful crowd to SS. If you move there or when you're visiting, look for an underground burger/dive-bar called 'Quarry House' (underneath an Indian restaurant) and you will not be disappointed. The main stretch of stuff is over near Ellsworth. They have a big movie theatre, Irish bar, pool hall, there is pirate bar not too far away, and a few other places. Silver Spring will be moderate/moderate-to-high pricing for the area. If you want, I can go into a lot more detail about this area.

    Takoma--There are some new nice looking condos right by the Metro. Otherwise, there aren't a lot of apartment buildings that I would recommend living within there. You may be able to live in a group house with roommates nearby. A lot of folks will confuse the apartments along Sligo Creek Pwky with Takoma, but they're actually considered Silver Spring. They have mixed reputations from what I gather, but they're safe. Takoma is more coffee-shop nightlife. On the DC side you will find a bar or two that are decent and a good bbq place. In between Takoma and Silver Spring is a great local pizza joint (Ledos) along Georgia Avenue.

    Bethesda--This may give you a decent commute into work. The problem here is that Bethesda housing is very expensive. However, they have some good bars/nightlight, also right off the metro and they have a good slieu of restaurants. You could probably also live a little further up in Grosvenor and take Beach Drive to the CCT I think. (Oh, in Bethesda--Bethesda Bagels--awesome)

    You could also live in a lot of the eastern edges of NW quadrant of DC. Someone tossed out Petworth--sort of up and coming. The nightlight side is better over at Columbia Heights. If you live in these areas, I would suggest taking the back streets rather than the big ones on your commute. It's basically a grid (letters e-w, numbers n-s, states-diaganal) divided into four quadrants. NW, NE, SE and SW. But since it was originally designed with Alexandria in it, SW is pretty small.

    White Oak--lot of housing (this will be called Silver Spring), but I don't know if I would recommend it. Would make for a fairly easy commute.

    Ok, I've written more than enough. If you want more, let me know or just ask specific questions.

  10. #9
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    I love Quarry House and I don't even live close to Silver Spring.
    /end interjection

  11. #10
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    That is a lot of info. I'll be visiting the area next week, and I'll scout out some areas. The more base info I have, the better prepared I'll be in knowing what's what. This is exciting stuff. First time I'll be taking off on my own!

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