Commuting from Lamorinda to Livermore
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Commuting from Lafayette/Orinda to Livermore
Does anyone commute from Lafayette/Orinda to Livermore? How hellish is the commute? We are thinking of moving from Livermore, where my husband works, to Lafayette because it seems like a much better fit for our family. The major downside is gaining a terrible commute (and loss of family time as a result) but hopefully the upsides will be more friends, easier city access and a highly recommended school system for our kids. Please let me know if anyone out there has made this move and loves it despite the commute--or if you wish you had stayed put! Thank you. pondering a move
I commute from Walnut Creek to Dublin, you are going farther in both directions with the move. Atypical commute from downtown WC is 35-45 min in the morning and 40-50 in the evening. The commute back is more likely to go over, somewhat regularly being an hour plus. Add to this the extra time going to Lafayette and Livermore. Personally I would not do it. You never get back your time. That extra two hours a day in commute can be spent sleeping, taking care of errands, spending time with your family, etc. I would try to work on building local friendships with that time first. Then, if you really think it's your neighborhood take a broad look at possible locations. Lisa
I can't imagine moving in order to commute from Lafayette/Orinda to Livermore. I live in Walnut Creek (south of 24 - this makes a difference), work in Livermore, and have been doing this commute for 3 years. I have a number of colleagues who do the same thing - but we all had the home before the job...
The morning commute is fine - 35 minutes door-to-door, occasionally a little longer, closer to 30 minutes on Fridays. The evening commute (leaving Livermore at 5-ish) is the problem: it basically always takes at least 45 minutes, and regularly takes an hour to get home (again, south of 24) - occasionally takes as long as 1 hour 15 mins.
Any commute that includes the 680-24 interchange will take at least 10-15 minutes longer. So, if you are in Lafayette, add at least 10 minutes to my times, probably more. If you are in Orinda - especially if you are not right by the freeway - add at least 20 minutes. If your husband works off hours, the evening commute will be more like the morning one - but if he wants to do aftercare pick up, or make it home for dinner, he will be cursing at the traffic on 680.
I'm not sure exactly what makes Lafayette a better fit for you, but perhaps you could consider San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, or Pleasanton as a reasonable compromise of commute and life.
I've been making that commute on and off over the past year. If you live in Livermore you know what the traffic is like on 580 from 680 to Livermore. Even with the new lanes it's a nightmare. I live in Orinda/Lafayette area and can tell you I have spent over The drive from Lafayette to Livermore is about 45-50 minutes no traffic. Getting to Livermore during commute hours (5:30- 9:30) will be any hour and a half. Coming back will be worse. Cant' give you a good time for Livermore to 680 but 20-30 mins should be about right. 680 to Bollinger canyon is 5 minutes. But Bollinger canyon Crow Canyon to Walnut Creek is almost always an hour to hour and a half. Then add another 5-10 from 680 to Lafayette on 24. Around the holidays expect to spend one hour traveling one exit between row Canyon and Sycamore. (The problem is five lanes converge to four than to three and then two.) There is no other way to go. Friday's add another 10-20% to the time. Just look at 580 on a Friday afternoon. Forget the carpool lanes. They are just as bad.
Two other things you need to factor in. First is they are building no new freeways so things won't get better. But here's the real issue. They are building like crazy. Expect traffic to get much worse all along 24 and 680. Just look at the building that's been going on in Dublin. Same thing is happening in Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Concord. It's only going to get much worse. My drive to the freeway on city streets is 5 minutes non-commute. It's 20-30 commute hours. With all of the new homes being built I'm expecting my five minute drive to take 35 minutes. You've got to love what city planners and builders have done to the Bay Area. ANON