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Phoenix’s rapidly growing population and its ranking as one of the nation’s largest cities mean that rush-hour traffic often leaves the Valley’s highways clogged. Many residents rely on cars for transportation, although Phoenix’s new light rail system continues to expand and serve additional areas of the Valley.
When looking to buy your new home, proximity to your work and lifestyle amenities such as restaurants, parks and shopping will inevitably play an important role. Be sure to ask your local real estate agent about the traffic you can expect to encounter in any neighborhood you’re considering. Realtors are a wonderful source of information on metro Phoenix real estate and can provide insight regarding any particular area’s traffic nuances.
If you despise traffic and want to live, work and play in a concentrated area, consider living in downtown Phoenix or near downtown Scottsdale. Both areas feature plentiful shopping, dining and work opportunities. Condominium living is prevalent in these areas, so if you’re looking for a backyard or a larger space, consider moving to a more suburban area.
The further away you go from Phoenix, of course, you’ll find less traffic. However, that also means a longer drive to downtown and all its activities. Living further out could also translate into a longer commute, depending upon where you work.
Interstate 10, the main east-west highway that connects the entire Valley, is notorious for both traffic and accidents. If you’re headed down the highway during rush hour, consider allotting anywhere from 10 to 30 extra minutes, depending upon how far you’re traveling.
Another consideration when purchasing your house is how many highway interchanges your morning commute requires navigating. Stop and go traffic is a steady feature on highways, but interchanges bring additional wait times. When merging onto I-10 from Highway 60, or onto Highway 51 from the 202, for example, cars tend to bottleneck and traffic slows.
All this talk of traffic may have you wanting to purchase a home near the Metro Light Rail. As of April 2013, metro Phoenix’s light rail runs from Dobson and Main Streets in Mesa, west through Tempe and downtown Phoenix, and ends at Bethany Home and 19th Avenue. Expansions are planned.
Rail riders will find multiple free park and ride lots along the way, the two largest at Sycamore and Main Streets in Mesa, and at 19th and Montebello Avenues in Phoenix. Whether you’re taking the light rail on your way to work or to visit a downtown sporting event, many find this mode of transportation reduces the stress of navigating traffic-laden areas.
Despite the emergence of light rail, automobiles remain the Valley’s favored method of transportation. Even in rush hour traffic, driving is often the most convenient way to get where you’re going.
Because of the prevalence of automobiles, Valley residents will find plentiful parking on the street or in designated lots. Whether you’re taking in a sports game downtown, hitting the Scottsdale restaurant scene or going to work, rush hour traffic won’t keep you from living life to the fullest.