For the past two years, my commute was an hour one-way on the Blue Line door-to-door. That’s not terrible for an average DC metro area trip to work – it definitely makes for a good reading time. But as I started spending more and more time in Arlington for fun, the 45-minute or longer train ride to Springfield in the late evening quickly began to lose its appeal to me.
All this changed when I moved to Columbia Pike a couple months ago. I haven’t commuted the same way more than two days in a row and for me, that’s the dream.
The Home Hunt
When I was looking for an apartment earlier this year I did extensive research that included nearby transportation options. Sites like Car Free Near Me and Car Free A-to-Z are excellent tools to find out what transportation options are near an address and what routes are best to get to work or other places you frequently visit.
The last time I was looking for a place about two and a half years ago, I had limited my searches to homes within walking distance of Metro stations. This time around I kept in mind that there are a myriad of options in Arlington, including bike lanes and trails and two bus services (Metrobus and ART bus) that connect to Metrorail and throughout the County.
All the Options
So far I have used a combination of Metrobus and Metrorail to get to work. There are 13 bus routes that stop within a quick walk from my apartment, and it’s a short ride to either the Pentagon or Pentagon City Metro Stations. There’s also a bus that goes right to Rosslyn but as of yet I haven’t timed my departure to use it in the mornings. My apartment community has a rush hour shuttle bus that takes residents directly to Pentagon City Metro.
I have also used Capital Bikeshare to get home from Courthouse. The Arlington Boulevard Trail along Route 50 is hilly but not as hard as I imagined it would be based on the Google Maps bike module.
I don’t normally come straight home from work but in the couple times that I’ve needed to, ART 45 and ART 42 (via transfer point at Clarendon Metro) have been very helpful.
Flexibility for Activities
As much as I appreciate my new commute to work, I love having so many options on weekends. The walk to restaurants on Columbia Pike is an easy fraction of a mile. Clarendon and Pentagon City are less than 10 minutes away driving, but when I’m not in a rush a 15 minute bus ride to dinner is quite leisurely. If I want to go DC or Old Town Alexandria, Pentagon City Metro is a quick Capital Bikeshare ride away. For trips that require a more timely arrival, car2go has changed my world.
This is Why I Chose Arlington
There is so much to take advantage of as an Arlington resident – world class dining (as in lots of international food), parks and sports facilities all over and dogs everywhere. With all this and more bundled into a cozy 25 square miles, Arlington offers a whole new way to live.
Check out our transportation guides to Arlington's Urban Villages. Know the transit options near your neighborhood in a quick glance so you can get to where you need to be.
First Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com
Second Photo Credit: Erica Baker/EricaBakerPhoto.com