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Another question

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Dublin, CA
posts: 26
Another question

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their wonderful help on my last post. This is really a great place to get help. My other question is that we are also looking at Seattle. I don't know if I should ask this in the Seattle forum also but I was wondering if anyone has any insight on the differences between Portland and Seattle. We are definitely going to take a trip to Seattle too, but we have one family member in Portland, so we have been leaning more towards Portland so far. Any info would be great. Thank you!

-Monika

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 9,024
reviews: 70
1. Re: Another question

Monika--We live here in the Portland area now, but we moved from the Seattle area. We were there for 5 years and my inlaws have been there for roughly 40 years. Anyway, we lived north of Seattle, in a suburb and loved it. The main differences between Portland and Seattle are that Seattle is bigger (more cultural things to do and pro sports teams, etc), cost of housing is much higher in Seattle, and even though both areas are rainy, Seattle has more (which I miss, believe it or not, lol!). Any other questions, just ask!

Dublin, CA
posts: 26
2. Re: Another question

Thank you Mtngrl! I actually was wondering a few more things about the two different places. I did see that the housing costs seemed higher in Seattle, but we would probably want to move to the suburbs. I also was wondering about the weather. We live in California now, and while I did grow up with a lot of rain and can handle it I think the less the better since there is plenty anyways up there. We don't want to live too far away from either city but we still want to live in a place that is nice. How are the public transportation systems? I've heard that Portland has amazing public transportation for an American city. This has major appeal because I'm sick of living in my car. How far out into the suburbs does the public transportation go? I was also wondering about the cloudy days. I grew up in Eureka, CA where most of the time even if it wasn't raining it was still very overcast. Is this the case up there or is it usually sunny when it's not raining. We plan on visiting Portland once during the summer and once during the winter to get a feel for both seasons. I think that if we don't like Portland then we will check out Seattle. We still have a little while before we move because my husband has to finish school. Anyways, thanks again!

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 9,024
reviews: 70
3. Re: Another question

Monika--Portland does have great public transportation, and it does go out to some suburbs. MAX, the train, goes out to Hillsboro to the west and Gresham to the east. The problem for us is that we are in SW suburb and so far there is nothing, although I hear plans are in the works. In Seattle, there were quite a few park and rides in the suburbs, but I still think the transportation is better down here. Of course you are used to BART where you are (we have family in the east bay) and coming from that you will probably be very frustrated. As far as housing costs let me give you an idea of what we experienced. Our homes in each place were in very similar neighborhoods. A close friend from our old neighborhood is a realtor, and she came down to see the house before we moved in. She told me that it would go for about $180K more in our old neighborhood than here. You mentioned that you will visit a few times. Try to incorporate both areas on your trips. When we go back to our old neighborhood (20 miles N of Seattle), it takes us 3 1/2 hours, going the speed limit. So it is not too far and it might help in your decision making. Another place you may want to look at is Bend, Oregon. It does have much more snow, but far less rain. It is the fastest growing county in the state. If you are into outdoor activities at all, it is heaven!

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Portland
posts: 1,457
reviews: 61
4. Re: Another question

Monika:

About two months back there was a topic in this forum called "Is it possible to live carless in Portland?". You should search for this topic; there were several good posts about Portland (and Seattle) public transit.

Brian

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Portland
posts: 5,537
reviews: 147
5. Re: Another question

Portland and Seattle are both beautiful. I live in Portland but frequently travel to Seattle and have family there. I think it's easier to be car-less in Portland, especially if you pick a neighborhood to live in with that priority in mind. What kind of area to you want to live in? Urban (downtown), city residential, suburban or country? Do you have children and are you looking for a specific school type? We can all help more if you give us more information!

Dublin, CA
posts: 26
6. Re: Another question

Okay I will definitely look for that public transportation question. Thanks!

Mama- We are just starting out but we would like to have children in a couple of years so I think we want something a little more suburban but still with easy access to the city. We live a couple of blocks away from our subway type thing here in the bay area, and we love it. I think we would try to look for somewhere close to some kind of station. I do have a car so I don't absolutely need public transportation but I also do think about what I will want for my own children. My best friend died in a car accident at the age of 17 so I have very mixed feelings about letting kids drive, and I just think it would be wonderful to not really need a car. Thanks again!

Sacramento, CA
Destination Expert
for Sacramento
posts: 2,873
reviews: 33
7. Re: Another question

Actually, some of your posters are mistaken on the rasin issue. Portland gets about 5 inches more rain a year than Seattle.

Hey, I thought you were going to move to Sacramento, What happened?

USA
posts: 706
reviews: 3
8. Re: Another question

Seattle has the Puget Sound, which is so awesomely serene I don't know how people manage not to get mesmerized by it. I'd be taking ferries every day. It has culture and nature and diversity and all sorts of amazing things. I love to visit, and when I was younger it was where I wanted to live.

But ... Seattle these days has really horrible traffic jams that drive people mad, and despite years of effort it can't seem to expand its transit system to meet the needs.

Portland is a smaller city, but it is comparatively easy to get around... for now. People in Portland are generally pleasant and cheerful even to strangers - qualities that often seem to rub off as a city grows. And Portland is big enough to offer plenty of the things that people visit cities for, from shopping to cultural events to its own kinds of diversity. If you can afford it, pick a close-in east side neighborhood either 1) in walking distance to a light rail stop or 2) walking distance to a bus that goes downtown.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 9,024
reviews: 70
9. Re: Another question

Tripjunky--It all depends on where you live. The town we lived in N of Seattle did get more rain than the town we are currently in. I do not disclose my towns though, at least not on a public forum. At any rate, I was trying to communicate what our experiences were, but I guess I should have clarified that.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Portland
posts: 1,457
reviews: 61
10. Re: Another question

Monika:

You should look more closely at the transit system map on www.trimet.org to better understand Portland's options. Note that the MAX runs on only 3 main routes (Blue, Red & Yellow lines). MAX is 'light-rail', therefore it runs on surface streets in most locations, meaning more stops and slower speeds than a 'subway' system. The bus system covers most of the areas not covered by MAX.

Of the areas you might consider if you want a more 'suburban' area, look at Beaverton & Hillsboro. There are many developments growing around the Blue MAX line around the Quatama & Orenco stations. Most of the housing in these areas will be well below the cost of your current home, but there is some pretty-pricey housing in the Orenco Station development (see www.orencostation.com). Just so you know, a ride on the MAX from either of these to downtown is about 40 minutes.

Eventually, MAX lines are supposed to extend southward but it will be several years before that happens. Also being a link to Vancouver, WA has been suggested. For now though, energy is being focused on widening US26 toward Hillsboro and on improving the bus mall (5th & 6th Aves.) & adding more light-rail in downtown Portland.

Hope this helps,

Brian