Monday, July 2

Random observations about driving in Philadelphia

1. Even in the suburbs many main roads lack center turning lanes, which means that left turners can create significant backups.

2. The red phase on traffic lights tends to be longer than in most other places.

3. Distances are surprisingly short.  My temporary abode in Plymouth Meeting feels like it’s well into the distant suburbs, but when I headed into the city on Germantown Road after completing my work assignment I was surprised to see that it was only four miles to the city line.

4.  Speaking of which, upon crossing into the City of Brotherly Love I found myself in the Chestnut Hill district, which is one of the more attractive and upscale urban neighborhoods I’ve ever seen.  With its cobblestone streets and quaint stone buildings it had a definite Old World feel.

5. A few miles further east on Germantown Road got me into the Germantown neighborhood.  It is not quaint.  Or upscale.  In fact, it was unspeakably bad.

6. Driving around Downtown Center City Philadelphia is no picnic thanks to all the buses.  I am no stranger to urban driving, but in no other place I’ve ever driven have the buses been so constantly, so maddeningly in the way.  I don’t just mean the regular SEPTA city buses; the double-decker sightseeing buses were the worst offenders.

7. On a better note, the drive along the river in Fairmont Park, with all the rowers out on the water, was a very pleasant experience.

I’ll probably think of more to add.

Published in: on July 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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