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harringtonhouse

Triangle relocation thread

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I may be relocating to Raleigh, NC and would like to know more about neighborhoods and areas. I have been living in Portland, OR and really enjoy the public transportation, walking to neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants and biking and walking, etc. I'm hoping that there are some neighborhoods in Raleigh that offer similar amenities. I'm hoping to find a neighborhood, new or old, that is at least somewhat diverse (economically, and ethnically) and that is not too conservative--a neighborhood with some style, and fun and maybe a little funky/quirky too. Any suggestions from the Raleigh experts?

Thanks.

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I may be relocating to Raleigh, NC and would like to know more about neighborhoods and areas.  I have been living in Portland, OR and really enjoy the public transportation, walking to neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants and biking and walking, etc.  I'm hoping that there are some neighborhoods in Raleigh that offer similar amenities.  I'm hoping to find a neighborhood, new or old, that is at least somewhat diverse (economically, and ethnically) and that is not too conservative--a neighborhood with some style, and fun and maybe a little funky/quirky too.  Any suggestions from the Raleigh experts?

Thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LOL. Raleigh is a big sprawl. The public transportation system is almost laughable. When my car broke down, i had to ride the city bus and it could take up to two hours to get to the other side of town. The city is so sprawling it has two beltways...(I 540 is still under construction though) and it can take up to an hour to drive across the city. Dont get me wrong, I love raleigh, its where I live. But it's not exactly an urbanist paradise. Not with its 8 lane boulevards with thousands of strip malls.

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North Raleigh is a sprawling mess, but the older inner part of Raleigh has several locations that would suit you nicely. One of several such neighborhoods can be found here. Even the lower parts of North Raleigh have neighborhoods with nice ammenities nearby. In time they will be connected better.

Raleigh also has a very impressive greeway system which can use to get around by foot or bike without having to deal much with busy roadways.

Raleigh's CAT bus is cheap but the routes aren't all that great. However combined with TTA buses it offers reasonable connectivity. I suspect that in the coming years, especially when TTA Regional Rail gets off the ground, you will see more transit accessibility.

In terms of sprawl, Raleigh is doing much better than many other southern cities. The city of Raleigh only covers 124 square miles (less than half of Charlotte), and even the Triangle metro is relatively small by southern standards (~3500 square miles)--includes 3 other major towns/cities.

Another city to investigate in this area is Durham. There a lot of great things happening in central Durham these days. The downtown is full of old warehouses and factories that are undergoing renovation into living/office/retail space. One such project that has been completed recently is the American Tobacco Historic District, seen here

Come check out the North Carolina section and check out some the threads. Welcome to UrbanPlanet!

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I always thought Durham was synonomous with high crime

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Durham does have a reputation--probably a product of uptight Triangle suburbanites :D I'm sure it ranks safer than Charlotte overall--and I certainly don't consider Charlotte to be a dangerous city. Downtown Durham is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. The east side of town has some pretty questionable places IMO, but it's still more tame than parts of North Charlotte.

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Durham does have a reputation--probably a product of uptight Triangle suburbanites :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. Some people (many of whom reside in North Raleigh or Cary) are quite absurd and would go to heights of absurdity to keep themselves far away from any percieved "crime-ridden" areas in the city. Especially that area they call "downtown." Going down there means you'll lose your wallet, your car, and perhaps some or all of your clothes. You'll be lucky just to get away with your life with all the criminal activity going on down there.

There actually were one or two shootings on Durham's DATA buses within the past couple years. (The culprits? A 15 year old and a 16 year old. Gang activity.) I've ridden DATA before, though, and I've never seen anything out of the ordinary at all. Perhaps it just depends on the route you take, but regardless those sorts of incidents will most likely not be repeated for a very long time.

Compared to the likes of Cary, a convent of nuns is an area of high crime.

Regarding the Raleigh buses, they actually work pretty well. I'm curious what route WillRusso was taking that took him 2 hours to get across town because to the best of my knowledge nothing like that exists. Of course, it's no New York Subway, nor will it ever be. And of course making the standard suburban commute from, say, [email protected] in North Raleigh to IBM in RTP in the same 35 minutes that it takes you by car is an impossibility. That's why I think EVERYBODY should weigh the importance of access to public transit when chosing a home/apartment - because you never know how expensive gas will get or when your car might break down.

Just like lots of people live close to interstates because it makes driving easier, you could live somewhere within walking distance of a few major bus lines instead. It's particularly helpful to chose a place on the same line as your workplace. If you chose your location smartly, a plethora of very reasonable transit options will be available to you. From my apartment in West Raleigh near Hillsborough, I can ride a bus to anywhere in the triangle in roughly an hour (barring traffic jams.) Destinations within raleigh take significantly less time.

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Agreed. Some people (many of whom reside in North Raleigh or Cary) are quite absurd and would go to heights of absurdity to keep themselves far away from any percieved "crime-ridden" areas in the city. Especially that area they call "downtown."

Yeah, it's laughable to think that DT Raleigh is considering dangerous by some. And don't get me started about parking...

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Downtown Durham/West Village or 9th Street near Duke is really something you might consider (Eno River Park is nearby), or Five Pts. in Raleigh. I moved here in 2000, and after all of this time..Durham is the true gem in the region's crown. It's less gentrified, and more funky...imperfect but culturally right on. Full Frame was just held there last week, which is the premier documentary festival in the country right now. Durham is just beginning to get it's legs, but I believe in no time this will be the one place in the Triangle with serious dense, walkable, urban life.

BTW, best of luck to you and welcome!

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I live in Mordecai and love it.

I also think Oakwood is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh.

Oh yeah that is a great looking little community--I drove through there last weekend but I'm not familiar with it. Next time I'll set aside some time to explore around and snap some pictures.

Raleigh has some great places around the core. Living in Cary, I often forget about that. I used to explore around central Raleigh a lot back in the mid 1990s, but over the last couple of years I've slacked off. Lately what I've seen has surprised me. However the biggest surprise for me in this area is Durham :thumbsup:

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LOL.  Raleigh is a big sprawl.  The public transportation system is almost laughable.  When my car broke down, i had to ride the city bus and it could take up to two hours to get to the other side of town.  The city is so sprawling it has two beltways...(I 540 is still under construction though) and it can take up to an hour to drive across the city.  Dont get me wrong, I love raleigh, its where I live.  But it's not exactly an urbanist paradise.  Not with its 8 lane boulevards with thousands of strip malls.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm......well if I relocate I hope that I can find some areas that have more charm than strip malls.

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North Raleigh is a sprawling mess, but the older inner part of Raleigh has several locations that would suit you nicely. One of several such neighborhoods can be found here. Even the lower parts of North Raleigh have neighborhoods with nice ammenities nearby. In time they will be connected better.

Raleigh also has a very impressive greeway system which can use to get around by foot or bike without having to deal much with busy roadways.

Raleigh's CAT bus is cheap but the routes aren't all that great. However combined with TTA buses it offers reasonable connectivity. I suspect that in the coming years, especially when TTA Regional Rail gets off the ground, you will see more transit accessibility.

In terms of sprawl, Raleigh is doing much better than many other southern cities. The city of Raleigh only covers 124 square miles (less than half of Charlotte), and even the Triangle metro is relatively small by southern standards (~3500 square miles)--includes 3 other major towns/cities.

Another city to investigate in this area is Durham. There a lot of great things happening in central Durham these days. The downtown is full of old warehouses and factories that are undergoing renovation into living/office/retail space. One such project that has been completed recently is the American Tobacco Historic District, seen here

Come check out the North Carolina section and check out some the threads. Welcome to UrbanPlanet!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks, this is good information. I do have a car, I just prefer not to use it everytime I want a cup of coffee or a quart of milk. I like urban life and would rather use my car to escape to the country every so often (and to get to work), but am looking for neighborhoods that encourage walking with sidewalks and pleasant area destinations. I've got nothing against the occasional strip mall, but am hoping to find some charming spots as well.

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In North Raleigh the area where I live Durant and Falls of the Neuse Rd. are really nice with lots of amenities nearby. Traffic is no problem most days, and the area is really well kept. And there are tons of parks and greenways.

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I'm curious what route WillRusso was taking that took him 2 hours to get across town because to the best of my knowledge nothing like that exists.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I live on Lake Wheeler Rd. So I have to get on 7c connecter which has to go to the farmers market and loop around......then it goes to the food lion shopping center and sits there for like 15 minutes. Then I connect with the #7 South Sauders, then take the South Saunder's bus to Moore Square downtown.....by the time i've done all this, 45 minutes to an hour have passed. Then i have to sit at Moore Square and wait 30 more minutes for the Capital Blvd or Wake Forest Rd or whatever bus I'm taking to arrive. When it finally gets there, i transfer onto that bus and we stop at 50 million bus stops. By this time, i'm nausiated because i get motion sickness really easily LOL. Then finally I get where I need to go. That's why it takes me 2 hours LOL. Maybe its because I live in an awkward section of town. I've taken the city bus on several occasions and it always takes around 2 hours one way. I refuse to take it ever again unless i have absolutely no choice. I'm glad my car is fixed LOL.

Oh, btw, the buses in North Raleigh only run once an hour (except during peak times)........WTF!! I used to live in Baltimore, so I'm used to buses coming every 15 or 20 minutes. Also some routes stop running at like 6pm. Whats up with that? I know Raleigh isn't big enough to have 24 hr buses like Baltimore, but they could at least make all the routes run until at least 10pm or something.

I live about 3 miles from downtown and I go down there often to go to the barber shop, etc. I used to debate on whether I wanted to take the bus rather than drive, but It's too much of a hassle. It shouldnt take close to an hour to go 3 miles down the road LOL.

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In North Raleigh the area where I live Durant and Falls of the Neuse Rd. are really nice with lots of amenities nearby.  Traffic is no problem most days, and the area is really well kept.  And there are tons of parks and greenways.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

my rooommate lives near there. It's a nice part of town

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Just wanted to delurk to say hello. I've lived in Portland, OR for a number of years, but I am considering a move to Raleigh. Portland is great, but I cannot take the climate anymore. I've never gotten used to the constant overcast and drizzle. It's a beautiful city, and could serve as model for other downtown areas looking to revitalize.

I think it will be exciting to watch the renaissance of downtown Raleigh, and if I move, I will probably want to live downtown and be part of it. This is such an interesting forum, and I hope to contribute now and then.

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Just wanted to delurk to say hello.  I've lived in Portland, OR for a number of years, but I am considering a move to Raleigh.  Portland is great, but I cannot take the climate anymore.  I've never gotten used to the constant overcast and drizzle.  It's a beautiful city, and could serve as model for other downtown areas looking to revitalize.

I think it will be exciting to watch the renaissance of downtown Raleigh, and if I move, I will probably want to live downtown and be part of it.  This is such an interesting forum, and I hope to contribute now and then.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey pdx. I live in the RDU area now, although not in downtown Raleigh. I do think the revitalization downtown will only speed up (but things do sometimes move quite slowly around here).

Interesting you are considering a move from Portland. I have a friend that grew up in Portland and lives here now and he says there are quite a few similarities between the two places (although I can't say, I've never been to Portland).

The Triangle isn't quite as dense as the Portland area, but if you like nature and trees everywhere (which I will be stereotypical for a moment, and say Portland has many trees), then you will love this area, it isn't called the City of Oaks for no reason. You can be stuck in traffic on the interstate, but think you are in the middle of a huge forest...it's quite surreal sometimes!

If you have any questions about the area..feel free to ask.

- Eric

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I have a friend that grew up in Portland and lives here now and he says there are quite a few similarities between the two places (although I can't say, I've never been to Portland). 

The Triangle isn't quite as dense as the Portland area,

I visited RDU for the first time in early April, and I was struck by the similarities between the two cities. Portland is more dense, but this isn't necessarily a good thing. We have an urban growth boundary, designed to slow down sprawl. It is an innovative approach, but it seems to be backfiring. Property values have skyrocketed here, in part because of the artificial squeeze on supply.

Density downtown is great, but more established neighborhoods within a 10-mile radius of downtown are seeing some unsightly infill development. A house on 1/4 acre lot might be torn down, and replaced by three houses, built nearly out to the property lines. It's ruining the beauty of the area, and the livability. I'd hate to be the nextdoor neighbors of these changes.

Anyway, thanks for the welcome. Another thing I like about RDU is the open hospitality to newcomers. In Oregon, they are treated rather coldly, because of the provincial attitude of growth being bad.

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I think it will be exciting to watch the renaissance of downtown Raleigh, and if I move, I will probably want to live downtown and be part of it.  This is such an interesting forum, and I hope to contribute now and then.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with you 100% on that one. Bluntly stated, there's a lot missing in downtown Raleigh. But the draw is not that it's a wonderful and complete urban haven; it's the excitement of knowing that you'll be able to watch it grow up around you! Downtown Raleigh feels like it's on the verge of becoming something big. It's only just turned around from several decades of being ignored in favor of the suburbs and RTP.

If you want to be ahead of the curve, and are willing to make some short-term sacrifices (no grocery store, yet) then this is the place for you. You might also find a great deal on a condo or downtown fixer-upper home that that will appreciate significantly in the years to come.

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Another forumer and I were discussing something similar over a beer on saturday. It was suggested that in the future, as our cities grow and mature, Charlotte will be more like Seattle while Raleigh will be more like Portland.

This is just an analogy of course--it is essentially saying that the contrast between Seattle and Portland may very well be like the contrast that will exist between Charlotte and Raleigh.

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