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Moving to Virginia and could use some advice

Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by 97desertCobra, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. 97desertCobra

    97desertCobra Procharged! Established Member

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    In February I'll be heading to Ft Lee for the first part of my very long training pipeline to become an Army EOD officer. I'll be there for about 6 months before heading to Florida for that last phase. During that time I'm looking to get an apartment off base. My wife and 6 month old son will be joining me along with our 2 cats. I'm going to be bringing very minimal furniture and leaving most of our stuff here in Arizona as we will be coming back when it's all over in about 13 months.

    From my personal experience of 13 years in the Army I know that generally the towns immediately outside Army bases are pretty terrible. So for those who are or have lived in Virginia or have experience with Ft Lee what towns should I avoid and what towns should I look into? Ideally I want to stay within 30 minutes drive time of the base.
     
  2. Machdup1

    Machdup1 Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    PM silver03svt. That is in his general neck of the woods.
     
  3. BigPoppa

    BigPoppa Wut? Established Member

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    Lol, nothing about that area is "bad". Petersburg is fine. Hopewell is fine also. The only place to avoid anywhere near there is going to be southside Richmond. Everything up and down I-295 is fine.

    Ft. Lee is one of the "Ivy League" bases. Heck, even the federal prison nearby is swank.
     
  4. Drive XR7

    Drive XR7 NE Ohio's Fastest Established Member

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    Don't speed in Virginia.
     
    Snake Pliskin and scott9050 like this.
  5. rotor_powerd

    rotor_powerd Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Lol. If you aren't going 80-90 on 95 or 295 you'll get ran off the road.
     
  6. mgh471

    mgh471 New Member Established Member

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    Prince George and Chesterfield are the nicer areas. I would stay away from downtown Petersburg. Old town is nice to party/dinner, but a lot of the city is rough. Not to mention the city is bankrupt. Colonial heights is decent too. There's a ton of rental houses all behind Southpark mall.
     
  7. Led_Zep

    Led_Zep Don't tread on me Established Member

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    Don't bring a radar detector with you lol.
     
  8. RES0574

    RES0574 Active Member Established Member

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    As stated, Petersburg is bankrupt. Items are being repossessed on a weekly basis from the city, including first responder equipment. Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Windsor Hills are all nice. Probably want to stay on the south side of the Varina-Enon Bridge to keep the commute to a minimum. Also, State Troopers do not hang out in that area much, but watch out for the local LE. That area on 295 south of the bridge is notorious for speed traps, and the local LE is typically 6 deep on the side of 295 pinging away at the Yankees making their way south.
     
  9. bssmith1220

    bssmith1220 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Except that anything over 80 on 95 is a misdemeanor ticket. Trust me
     
  10. lobra97

    lobra97 PIITB since 1984 Established Member

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    im in virginia beach, its expensive lol
    have you tried militarybyowner.com
    we found our condo using that website.
     
  11. 97desertCobra

    97desertCobra Procharged! Established Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! It's been helpful in narrowing things down a bit. I won't be there for but a brief 4-6 months but we don't want to move to a place that isn't safe or friendly even in the short term.

    I will admit that here in Phoenix it's common practice to travel at 75-80 on the highway. I'll slow down my driving habits in VA. Can't afford to get a misdemeanor ticket right now as I am required to have a Top Secret clearance for EOD. Don't want anything to jeopardize or hold up the process.

    Anyone ever stay in the hotel on Ft Lee? That may be an option for me too I just have o get confirmation from base lodging to find out. I hear and read that the old hotel is a complete shit hole but the new one is nice. Hoping they have a pet friendly room.
     
  12. alex3610

    alex3610 Member Established Member

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    Stay the hell out of Petersburg and Hopewell. Chester area of Chesterfield County is nice. Colonial Heights isn't too bad either, very blue collar town. After integration in the 60's it is where all the white families that left Petersburg ended up earning it the unoffical name of "Colonial Whites". It's become a pretty normal place since then though. I live in Midlothian about 20 minutes west of that area. Prince George isn't bad if you want something rural. VMP drag strip is in Dinwiddie off I-85 just a few minutes from the base.

    As others have said, anything over 80mph can get you Reckless Driving which is a criminal offense in VA so be mindful of that. The stretch of 295 that passes through Hopewell is known as the Million Dollar Mile for a reason so literally don't go 1 mph over in that area.

    Southside of Richmond is still pretty rough in a lot of areas, although it is changing drastically in the Manchester area just across the river from downtown. I work in south Richmond and know the area intimately so if you want more info on any specific neighborhoods in Richmond just let me know.
     
  13. lobra97

    lobra97 PIITB since 1984 Established Member

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    ]

    its 55 here in VB on 264 lol, i see peeps getting tickets all the time heading to work.
     
  14. NasteeNate

    NasteeNate 2V Warrior Established Member

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    I drive down to VA all the time for the holidays since my in laws live there. LE hid in between the cuts of I-64 and especially route 13 near the cheesapeake bay bridge. One advice I could give that everyone mentioned is do not speed. I wonder why its so strict down there. This is only state that really presses on it. I remember years ago that NJST got pulled over riding through VA with there lights and sirens to help victims of hurricane Katrina by Virginia troopers. All in it was giant mess lol.
     
  15. Machdup1

    Machdup1 Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Give the VSP a break. They are a great LE agency. As much as seeing the grey ghost seems a drag (if you are speeding), their efforts save lives, especially their holiday awareness campaigns.
     
  16. NasteeNate

    NasteeNate 2V Warrior Established Member

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    If there campaigns is truly about saving lives I do not have problem with it. I always pay attention to speed limit signs when I'm traveling to VA.
     
  17. Led_Zep

    Led_Zep Don't tread on me Established Member

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    I misS VB, was stationed there for a few years. Miss all my spots, don't miss the 55 on 264 and the bumps every 50 ft
     
  18. 93 347 Cobra

    93 347 Cobra Well-Known Member Established Member

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    You can bring Bel's STi Magnum into VA. I drove with mine all the time in my 2014 GT500 there. Use a Blendmount or Rogue mount and use Waze and you'll be unlikely to get caught or ticketed for it.

    You can thank State Rep Albo, who owns a traffic law-firm, for the super strict speeding laws there. Total cronyism on that law.

    Good luck in the 'Commonwealth', op.
     
  19. Machdup1

    Machdup1 Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Encouraging someone to violate the law is bad advice.
     
  20. lobra97

    lobra97 PIITB since 1984 Established Member

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    lol yup bumps are still there
     

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