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Thread: Commute between Valley and Anchorage... Is it realistic?

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    Default Commute between Valley and Anchorage... Is it realistic?

    Alaska is my home and has been for a long time, but I'm tired of living out in the bush. I'm thinking of taking a job in Anchorage... But I would rather live out in the valley... I've driven the road between Palmer and Anchorage several times but I don't know how it would be to travel this road every day for a commute. I have horses so I really need the space the valley would provide.

    I would sure appreciate some advise/recommendations from those of you who live in or around the Valley or Anchorage. Do they keep the roads good in the winter? How long a drive is it during rush hour? Much traffic? Do people do this long term or it unrealistic?

    Thank you.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    lots of people do it, thats reason enough not to.
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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    If you don't mind working an extra 2-3 hours per day commuting and/or wearing out a vehicle every few years go for it.

    Personally, if I were on the slope or possibly on a 4 day work week, I would have to REALLY think about it. I am 12 minutes from work in the summer and 15-20 in the winter. My truck gets worn out on the weekends.

    If I were to move to the valley, I would want to move farther out in a year or so anyway.

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    Default Talk to the people about four dollar gallon gas

    Depending on where you lived and worked in Anchorage is a big factor.
    If you lived north of Wasilla and worked on the west side of Anchorage - it would make for a very long day. Think about it - after ten years of driving it - one whole year of your life would be spent on that hiway driving back and forth - is it worth it? Thousands of people a day think it is. You would wear a vehicle out about every four years - unless you can rideshare with a coworker.
    How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I've been doing it for about 16 years and don't mind it a bit especially if you can work a shift other than normal 8-5. The roads are kept in good shape and usually the problems don't start until the big traffic merge at S. Eagle River. 90% of the time you won't have any problems in the winter, but there will always be those 10% that suck. Best thing to do is crank up the radio, sit back and enjoy the snail pace because EVERYONE else will be late for work too.

    Summer time is no issue.

    The money you will save by living in the valley more than makes up for the added expense of fuel. Taxes are lower and you can buy a LOT more house/land for an equal amount in Los Anchorage or Eagle River.
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    Arrow winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Packer View Post
    Do they keep the roads good in the winter? How long a drive is it during rush hour?
    Some winter days you wouldn't want to be on that road, especially the first real snowfall each year - sheet ice, ruts in the pavement that grab you, and ditch divers everywhere.

    Rush hour can delay you greatly, yes.

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    was a train morning train ride into and out anchorage to wasllia and back in the evening time ..
    i remember reading about for the help with the daily drive down there..

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    i think if you work on the slope then it would be good to buy north of wasilla so you only have to drive once ever few weeks into town.. wasilla is getting pretty overgrown now, i consider it a suburb of anchorage without the jobs.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Tracy and I have always been commuters, I frankly don't see what the big deal is. Traffic is, well better than 90% of the places outside I've lived. Ya the weather sometimes sucks but I've yet to see a storm as bad as the ones we got on a regular basis back in Michigan's UP. Sure it adds some time to your work day but I for one didn't spend my life working towards being an Alaskan just to live so close to my neighbor I can pee out the window and hit his house!

    Thinking back it seems to me we now have one of the shorter commutes of our working lives. 45 minutes to an hour beats the snot out of the drive from Gwinn to Marquette, an hour and 15 in good weather. And the commute from Gwinn to Gladstone kept me in Gladstone 5 nights a week!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post

    The money you will save by living in the valley more than makes up for the added expense of fuel. Taxes are lower and you can buy a LOT more house/land for an equal amount in Los Anchorage or Eagle River.
    Thats exactly why we are thinking the valley is where we will buy. For a nice horse property in Anchorage I would be 3/4 to 1 million. For that same property in the valley I would be 500 to 600k.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    Sure it adds some time to your work day but I for one didn't spend my life working towards being an Alaskan just to live so close to my neighbor I can pee out the window and hit his house!
    !
    The homes I have looked at in Anchorage are way to close together for my liking. I grew up in the country, I've never had to live close like city people do.

    I've heard tail they might be putting a bridge across the inlet... any truth to this? Would it cut much time?

    Thanks for the replies I've received folks, its helpful.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    If you don't mind working an extra 2-3 hours per day commuting and/or wearing out a vehicle every few years go for it.
    That's reality for you right there! If you need space there is horse property in Chugiak/Eagle River.

    Tim

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    ucould have the horse property but no time to ride the horses, unless your riding them to your commute to work in anchorage.
    Semper Fi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    If you need space there is horse property in Chugiak/Eagle River.

    Tim
    Homes in Eagle River are pretty costly too, a lot more than the valley. Also, they don't seem to have the space places in the valley do. Chugiak is an idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishnut View Post
    Depending on where you lived and worked in Anchorage is a big factor.
    If you lived north of Wasilla and worked on the west side of Anchorage - it would make for a very long day. Think about it - after ten years of driving it - one whole year of your life would be spent on that hiway driving back and forth - is it worth it? Thousands of people a day think it is. You would wear a vehicle out about every four years - unless you can rideshare with a coworker.

    I did actually think about it, it would take 20 years of driving for me to spend an actual year on this road and thats if I went to work for the standard 220 workdays a year but I also get 30 days of vacation a year 15 days of sick leave and every other friday off so if I actually work my schedule it would take ME 26 years to spend one year on the road.

    In four years of driving just to and from work I would have put on 59,032 miles on my vehicle. The DOE reports that in 1994 (best I could find) the average number of miles driven per year was 11,400 well that was 14 years ago now all I can find it between 12 and 15,000.

    So lets just say the average is 13,000 per yer, so over a four year period you would on average drive 52,000 miles so you're only driving a little more than the average American. If you think that having 60,000 miles on a car means it is worn out then maybe your being a little too hard on your vehicles.

    I mean think about it.

    Is it worth it to me? I spent 40 minutes a day in Anchorage driving to work now I have to spend 45 minutes in the morning and 45 to and hour in the afternoon, BUT I have a lot measured in acres not feet I don't have my dogs penned in, I shoot my moose within 8 miles of my home and I can load my retriever up after work for either ducks or upland birds and still make it home at a reasonable hour.

    Is it worth it? Yes

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    I can pretty much make it across the city in under 15 minutes any time of the day, and im a slow driver.
    Semper Fi!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I have gotten to where the 50-60 minute drive home is a good time to unwind from the day. It is pretty easy if you are not a "wound tight" kind of person. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Of course, I'm driving a police cruiser for 1/2 that drive and people tend to behave themselves and are usually polite for that half.
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    84 miles a day to and from work.

    I spend about 1.25 hrs driving. Well worth the 1 acre lot I have and the 2100sqft house I live in plus the over sized 2 car garage...All at the same price as a zero lot line, no-garage-havin Anchorage home. Built in 2004, too.

    If I had to drive any further into Anchorage, perhaps I would be rethinking my distance from work.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Do a lot of people carpool? What are the busiest times on the road, or should I say, what are the times to avoid?

    Any word on the bridge across the inlet?

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    bridge aint gonna happen in the next 20 years.. they been talking about it since the 50's... RDRASH used to drive a carpool van i belive to anchorage from wasilla
    Semper Fi!

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    Default bridge

    The bridge won't happen in the next year or two, but likely it will happen before 20 - too many of our politicians bought up the land on the other side for it not to happen.

    So in lieu of getting their bridge now, they've instead paved the road that goes all the way to the end on Pt. Mackenzie. Of course next will be lots of houses built and then the bridge will be to "somewhere" all of a sudden. That's my guess; the bridge will happen just not now.

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