Friday, February 5, 2016

No roads lead to Greater Philadelphia

From south and north, a nearly invisible city

No roads lead to Greater Philadelphia

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The latest mini-movement among metro boosters to re-brand the region as "Greater Philadelphia" -- and retire the inane and inaccurate "Delaware Valley" --  is most welcome.

But better signage on the two major East Coast highways serving the city itself would be even better.

As anyone who's travelled north on I-95 from Baltimore or south on the NJ Turnpike from NYC knows, Philadelphia is an afterthought, an Interstate orphan. One might be forgiven for thinking that Wilmington, Trenton and Camden are where these two iconic highways lead; signage for Philadelphia is so minimal it barely exists.

With all due respect to the three smaller cities, and for that matter, GPS technology, why is it that destination Philadelphia appears to materialize out of nowhere at Exits 3 and 4 of the Turnpike? And rears its head only once on 95 north from Balto until one has almost arrived in, you guessed it, Wilmington?

Perhaps the eternally proposed completion/connection of I-95 and the Pennsylvania (and thus, NJ) Turnpike will render Philly a bit less invisible. Better branding of the 95-295 north/south metamorphosis might help as well. But clearer and more abundant signs for the core of this enormous metropolis surely matter as much as what we choose to call the region around it.

--KEVIN RIORDAN

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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