Ok. every major city in the world has traffic problems... and I have been in most of them haha. But, what is unique about the east coast of the U.S. is that there are so many major cities very close together.. Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. So, when you travel you have to worry not just about the traffic in one city but others.
The pic I took here was the third major traffic jam I was in driving from Dover, DE to Philadelphia on Interstate 95. One was a 13 mile backup!! When I drive to Washington D.C on business from Philadephia, I count my blessings when I can make it all the way there without being in a traffic jam. There is always heavy traffic on the major interstates between the cities and within them as well.
If you planning on driving on the east coast... realize the time frames for your normal rush hours.. 7-9 am and 4 - 7pm, Monday to Friday. But... also realize that in the summer months traffic is very very heavy on Friday nights going south and East and on Sundays going North and west. This is mostly beach traffic and you can get stuck in some nasty traffic jams at toll booths or bridges. Just hope there isn't an accident somewhere ... yikes :)
Friday nights and Sunday nights can get heavy all year also because a lot of people commute from where they work.. to where they live or have family.
In Philadephia.. listen to the AM radio station 1060 for traffic updates.... I don't go anywhere without tuning in and if you have computer access, check out the traffic.com website before you take that drive.
Philadelphia has it's dangers just like any big city. I will just give you a brief reminder of the things you should keep in mind while in the city.
Don't walk alone at night, and be mindful of your surroundings.
Never carry large sums of money on your person, or leave them in your hotel room-- leave extra money in the safe at the front desk.
(This one may appear racist, but it is not intended to be, it's just 'the way it is'.) Some communities in the city do not welcome people of other ethnic or sexual persuasions or race. While I think it is sad and close minded on their part, you can be putting your self in danger if you go in these areas uninvited or unescorted. Be mindful of where you are-- you could be entering someone else's *territory*. (I think this whole thing is stressful, which is one of the reasons I could never live in the city.)
Don't leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle and lock the doors.
Parking is an absolute nightmare in Philadelphia. Plan extra time to find a spot if you have an appointment. Expect to pay exhorbitant prices to park. I suggest you leave your car behind and use public transportation.
Philly has reliable transportation-- trolly, subway, bus, high speedline, train-- we've got it all. They can take you wherever you want to go. Just one word of caution, Philly's underground subway is one of the filthiest I have ever seen, and some really shady charaters are about-- but it can get you where you need to go.
None really, except the normal: Be aware of your surroundings all the time, never give any money to beggers( which I am sure you dont do anyway)!.There are plenty of police around the historical sites, so if you ever feel unsafe or lost, they can help you.
With the events of Sept. 11, 2001 in NYC and Washington, I thought it might be prudent to discuss the possibility of an attack. I seriously doubt that any of the tall buildings in Center City would be affected, mostly because we don't really house any giants of U.S. commerce.
Unfortunately, the area that is likely to be targetted is Olde City...that's the historic area. Within an 8 block area lies the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, U.S. Mint, and many documents of historical significance. There are also many foreign embassies in the area.
In the event that anything should happen, head North. You'll be getting out of the way of emergency personnel and out of the general historic area faster that way.
Use big city survival tactics and stay in the tourist areas and you should be fine. Dress down when walking around (Don't look like a visitor). Use common sense, don't flash money, etc... Stay out of the many drug infested areas, it is very dangerous. I owned a store for three years in the Frankford section of North philly, I was lucky to get out alive!
As with any big city, practice discretion, but you don't need to be too paranoid here. Mainly, you just have to be a little more cautious at night.
The primary tourist areas, including Center City(Spring Garden to South, Delaware river to Schuylkill river), are fine in the daytime. At night, just be aware and stay where you see other people.
After 10PM, it's a good idea to stay off the subways (unless you're riding home from South Philly after a game); take a bus or taxi instead. Also, use caution at night at regional train stations (R trains) outside of Center City.
Other places tourists should generally avoid: North Philly, West Philly west of UPenn & Drexel areas.
AS IN MOST MAJOR CITIES,PHILLY HAS IT'S CRIME RATE.I SUGGEST THAT WHEN YOU VISIT PROTECT YOURSELF...DON'T CARRY LARGE SUMS OF MONEY AND FOR GOD'S SAKES, DON'T FLASH IT. THIS ATTRACTS THE WRONG ELEMENT TO YOU. DON'T WALK DOWN STREETS THAT ARE ISOLATED OR DESERTED...YOU NEVER KNOW WHO MIGHT BE LURKING IN THE SHADOWS. PHILLY, WELL DOWNTOWN PHILLY HAS MANY LITTLE PARKS. PERFECT FOR WALKING THROUGH FOR THOSE ROMANTIC MOMENTS UNDER THAT STAR LIT SKY...BUT IT'S ALSO A PERFECT PLACE TO GET AMBUSHED BY A MUGGER OR RAPIST...DON'T LOOSE YOUR COMMON SENSE, AS HISTORIC AS PHILLY LOOKS, IT'S STILL MODERN TIMES...ENJOY BUT USE CAUTION...PLEASE!!!!
While the city is apparently quite safe, always be careful when walking at night, especially if you're alone, and keep your valuable items with you, out of sight.
Alexander Inn Philadelphia
8 Reviews and 703 Opinions The staff were friendly, knowledgeable & helpful. Room 204 was clean and comfortable. King bed was...
Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia Philadelphia
4 Reviews and 624 Opinions Located in the heart of the city, it seems that this is one of the better hotels with an ability to...
Rittenhouse 1715, A Boutique Hotel Philadelphia
1 Review and 280 Opinions My husband and I stayed at the Rittenhouse Square Bed and Breakfast in January 2002 for our wedding...