Bah! I'm in Airdrie and it takes me 15 minutes to get to work (at the airport). Downtown is a half hour drive. There are many parts of Calgary itself that would take longer than half an hour to get downtown!
As traffic starts to back up around beddington, I've already exited the highway at country hills.
On the other hand we moved from the GTA, where it was 1:15 to work for me, and there was real traffic everywhere. Not this little stuff people bitch about here! Traffic? What traffic!!!
Hah, downtown might be a half hour at 3am! But yeah, I moved from Calgary to Vancouver and laughed at people back home complaining about traffic. Then I moved to San Francisco and laughed at both of them. I lived in country hills for a while and got sick of the commute to downtown and ended up moving to 17th ave. Also because none of your city friends will want to visit you in the burbs, and cab rides are not cheap. But if you don't care about this and don't even work downtown, it's a good choice.
The airdrie highway route seems busier than Cochrane. Any reason? Or was it just luck of the draw when I checked it out (9am on a Friday)
That highway connects calgary/red deer/edmonton and all of the rural towns in between, so it's a much busier route. There is not very much in the direction of cochrane.
You might also want to check out arbour lake area. The light rail was recently extended out there giving you easy access to the downtown core, and it's right near the city limit on the highway taking you out to cochrane, rather close to Hwy 1, the route taking you to nakiska/sunshine/lake louise/fortress (when it reopens). You can actually go the cochrane way as well, but it's slower than cutting over to Hwy 1. You're looking at about 20 minutes to the airport from there, depending on traffic - not sure how bad that route gets, haven't lived there since before that road was opened. However, it is a little more expensive in that area.