Mountain - Plains - Considering a job in Highlands Ranch: Commuting options?
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11-28-09, 07:28 PM
So I potentially have a job offer for an office located at Broadway, just south of the toll road in Highlands Ranch. I drew a circle around the office, and it looks like I could find housing in the Columbine, Littleton, Centenial, Highlands Ranch, or even Castle Pines, and still have a reasonable commute into the office. What say you experts out there who commute in the area? Are my assumptions of the area reasonable? Is commuting in the area like Nirvana I expect it will be compared to commuting in Dallas, TX? I'm a hefty guy who already commutes in cold weather, so I'm not afraid of 10F morning commutes...
11-28-09, 07:37 PM
The toll road extends from I-25 east and north, circling around the eastern part of the city, going north and eventually intersecting I-25 again at Broomfield, far north. So, the C-470 section you would be near is not toll.
All of the areas you mention are typically middle to upper class areas. I would think Castle Pines would be a stretch.
There is a cement bike path all along C-470 extending from Parker west around C-470 to Morrison. The C-470 Trail intersects the Highline Canal Trail (hard-pack dirt) just west of Broadway.
I think you will find the weather here generally colder than Dallas - sometimes greatly colder, and, then again, it may be 70 in January. Cold here would be 20-35 F and below.
Highlands Ranch generally has broad streets with bicycle lanes, and some pretty good and long hills, depending on where one locates. You would find getting underneath C-470 at Broadway or University to be a challenge, but folks do it all the time. A well known BFN cyclist was killed in HR a couple of years ago by a kid texting in a car.
Here is a map of the designated bicycle trails in the area:
Here's another useful map: http://www.highlandsranch.org/03_p&os/03_p&os_pdffiles/HROmap.pdf HR has good bike lanes on all the major roads. The bike lanes on the shady side of the street can hold plowed up snow and ice for quite a while after the snow melts elsewhere. I commute across 470 at Broadway. It's usually just a minor inconvenience.
What say you experts out there who commute in the area? Are my assumptions of the area reasonable? Is commuting in the area like Nirvana I expect it will be compared to commuting in Dallas, TX? I'm a hefty guy who already commutes in cold weather, so I'm not afraid of 10F morning commutes...
I used to commute through there every day, when I lived at University and E-470. Now I live in Parker, and commute from the other direction.
My advice beyond what others have given is that this area is hillier than most of the rest of Denver, so take that into account. If you're not used to hills, maybe take 1/3 off of the radius of your planning circles to account for it. Think constant 1%-3% up-down grades with the occasional short bump of 5% or so.
If you end up in traffic on Broadway, keep an eye out for some of the gaps in the concrete just south of E-470. In particular I'm thinking of one in the rightmost northbound lane that threw me, but was deep enough to leave my bike wedged upright and standing. I've been giving every concrete gap a lot of respect since that one.
01-04-10, 09:17 PM
If you're not used to hills, maybe take 1/3 off of the radius of your planning circles to account for it. Think constant 1%-3% up-down grades with the occasional short bump of 5% or so. I've been giving every concrete gap a lot of respect since that one.
In Texas, all we have is wind, so no, 1-3% is going to smoke me for a while. So noted that freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw is going to make gaps a real danger.
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