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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 01-06-2022, 09:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Leps12 View Post
Not true. Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties gained population according to the Census. Small, slow growth that trailed the US and NJ as a whole, but growth nonetheless.

South Jersey’s days of sustained and competitive growth are indeed long gone though, and I don’t think they are coming back. I would not be surprised to eventually see those three counties decline in population at some point in the near future…it just hasn’t happened yet.
Yes, you are right. Those three counties gained some population, so not all of South Jersey lost population. As long as new housing is built, likely small growth will continue there.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:43 PM
 
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I guess I see Center City as the 'center' of METRO Philly, and I just can't get over how, as the crow flies, you can be under 30 miles, and in some cases 10-20 miles, from there and not be in a dense developed suburb; whereas if you were in PA west of Philly, you would have a lot more 'interference' to contend with to get to the center.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
I guess I see Center City as the 'center' of METRO Philly, and I just can't get over how, as the crow flies, you can be under 30 miles, and in some cases 10-20 miles, from there and not be in a dense developed suburb; whereas if you were in PA west of Philly, you would have a lot more 'interference' to contend with to get to the center.
Right, but when you consider that a lot of the job growth has been in KOP/Montgomery/Chester County it makes sense. Cherry Hill and Moorestown just aren't the job centers they used to be.

But, parts of South Jersey have a decent QOL, and I think they can try to capitalize on WFH. If they can keep sprawl under check and revitalize the towns, make it more walkable, increase transit, I can see it being a place that has steady growth instead of decline.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bridge12 View Post
Right, but when you consider that a lot of the job growth has been in KOP/Montgomery/Chester County it makes sense. Cherry Hill and Moorestown just aren't the job centers they used to be.

But, parts of South Jersey have a decent QOL, and I think they can try to capitalize on WFH. If they can keep sprawl under check and revitalize the towns, make it more walkable, increase transit, I can see it being a place that has steady growth instead of decline.
It's just so weird how SJ south of exit 3 on the NJTP and north of exit 5 is so undeveloped despite being in such proximity to Philly, a top 10 market.
One would have thought once post WWII sprawl began that area would have become like Nassau Co Long Island.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
It's just so weird how SJ south of exit 3 on the NJTP and north of exit 5 is so undeveloped despite being in such proximity to Philly, a top 10 market.
One would have thought once post WWII sprawl began that area would have become like Nassau Co Long Island.
Here is what is wrong with your thought process comparing Nassau County to South Jersey and why you should not assume SJ should have developed in the same way:

Nassau County was already decently developed PRE war. You can see as much of the county is well served by railroad lines from the pre-automobile era and massive parts of the western part of the county have high density housing stock reminiscent of bordering Queens. However, South Jersey pre-war was mostly still farmland. When suburban housing demand increased postwar, a place like Nassau County with its rail lines and already being established as a place where people live was able to continue that momentum. South Jersey was starting many places from scratch, and in areas without rail lines and thus being far more auto dependent, meant they built to accommodate cars and with lower density. In PA, Nassau’s equivalent is the Main Line and adjacent towns especially in Montgomery and Delaware Counties. South Jersey’s only comparable areas were really confined to what is west of I-295/NJTP from Woodbury up to Maple Shade and then a few more communities only hugging the Delaware River up to Riverside. Understand what “inner ring suburb” means, and you will see those complement Camden and its position against Center City in the same way Nassau County does to Queens and its position against Manhattan. Or what Westchester County does with the Bronx. Everywhere beyond those areas in South Jersey, such as eastern Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Berlin, Deptford, Marlton, Mount Laurel, Washington Township, etc. were almost entirely still farmland pre-war. You had a few isolated spots like Medford which was a summer resort area, Vineland and Hammonton as major agricultural hubs that spawned adjacent development, Millville and Mount Holly with its some industry, and Glassboro with Rowan University, but these were pockets unto themselves with not much else around, and jobs even starting leaving them post war, so development ceased there, too.

Continued growth in the metro post war was more robust all around for NYC metro and NYC city limits when compared to Philadelphia metro and Philadelphia city limits. Philadelphia city limits actually lost population in every single decade starting in the 50’s while NYC lost population in the 50’s and 70’s but gained in every other decade (and the 50’s population loss was very small to boot). So as the city continues to grow, eventually that translates to more suburban growth as well. Higher NYC growth meant Nassau County could continue its future growth down the line once people start having children and want more living space. South Jersey did not have the same residual benefits to draw on from Philadelphia.

Nassau County is anchored to NYC with a current population of 8.8 million. Philly has a population of 1.6 million. When one city is 5.5x’s larger than the other, it should follow that it’s suburban sprawl will go out much further and be more robust as well.

Back to the point about original development pre war and rail lines helping to foster further continued development, for this reason, PA suburbs including the areas I mentioned above were always going to have an easier time to continue growing than South Jersey would starting from scratch. Hence why you do see that PA suburban growth sprawls out much further (however it does not reach the sprawl level of NYC suburbs which continue to feel heavily developed even pushing an hour from Manhattan such as Monmouth, Morris, Middlesex, and Somerset County in NJ, fairly deep into Suffolk County on LI beyond Nassau, and Fairfield County, CT). Couple that with the fact that many jobs actually moved from Philadelphia to those PA suburbs as the people started to move, and that of course means housing demand would only continue to go up moreso over there than in South Jersey because commuting from South Jersey to PA suburbs doesn’t make much sense. It’s a snowball effect/positive feedback loop. Because of geographical differences and the separation that the Delaware River created from South Jersey to Philadelphia (which was a much bigger deal back historically before we had cars and bridges, and South Jersey also being in a different state, so politically from the perspective of Philadelphian and Pennsylvanian leaders, it was irrelevant), South Jersey was always secondary to PA suburbs in terms of development from the very beginning of colonization. And that secondary position continually reinforces itself over time.

Long Island is pretty skinny north to south. So the only way to expand is to go further East. So development to stretch out further is also more natural. South Jersey’s shape radiating from Philadelphia means growth can be more circular rather than linear, and as such, it doesn’t have to stretch out a further distance away from Center City. It can develop smaller distances away but from more angles and directions.

The question should not be why does South Jersey not sprawl like Nassau County, but rather, why does it not sprawl like North/Central Jersey? Those are the greater parallels (different state from its anchor city, separated by a wide river that was historically a significant barrier, similar shape in terms of being able to grow out from many directions from the city center). And to those points, I reiterate things like size of the city itself, how the city grew overtime, economic health, etc. Another piece is that by necessity many active rail lines already existed in North Jersey because that is how they got important steel and coal from Pennsylvania to NYC. Not something that could have been done with South Jersey since Philadelphia is already in the same state where the steel and coal was, so rail lines to accommodate Philadelphia were to built to connect steel/coal regions and ran through, you guessed it, the PA suburbs.
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Old 01-13-2022, 10:33 AM
 
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Thank you, so essentially South Jersey was not developed like Nassau/LI because aside from Camden it did not have the rail infrastructure for density, in part because Philly is much smaller than NYC and LI is an island, whereas metro Philly is mostly land, and that Philly has not been a dynamic high growth market post WWII?

I guess this leaves the following questions:

1) Why did Nassau/LI have the rail lines that SJ did not? Given that like SJ, LI is flat, and doesn't have rivers conducive to industry growth like North Jersey?

2) Since WWII, when cars became the big thing, why didn't those areas so close in SJ to Philly develop more like say Fairfax County, VA which lacks much in transit?
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
Thank you, so essentially South Jersey was not developed like Nassau/LI because aside from Camden it did not have the rail infrastructure for density, in part because Philly is much smaller than NYC and LI is an island, whereas metro Philly is mostly land, and that Philly has not been a dynamic high growth market post WWII?

I guess this leaves the following questions:

1) Why did Nassau/LI have the rail lines that SJ did not? Given that like SJ, LI is flat, and doesn't have rivers conducive to industry growth like North Jersey?

2) Since WWII, when cars became the big thing, why didn't those areas so close in SJ to Philly develop more like say Fairfax County, VA which lacks much in transit?
A few places beyond Camden had rail infrastructure, pre war development and density, like Collingswood, Oaklyn, Audubon, and parts of the Haddons. But beyond that, not so much. The Haddons and Collingswood still have the train service today from PATCO. There are some other spots that have old tracks but no active service. Areas that were developed but have stalled and declined, like Gloucester City, Westville, and Woodbury, which are all in that “west of 295/Turnpike” corridor I alluded to. Part of the reason they are trying to make that Glassboro-Camden Line happen is returning train service to those areas could be a major shot in the arm for them. Of course, that has been stuck in limbo for going on two decades now. In my opinion anyway, so long as it is light rail (a.k.a. “snail rail”) and not traditional commuter rail, it is a waste of a project and should not be done. The RiverLine already tried that, and it hasn’t done anything for Riverside, Burlington, Palmyra, etc.

1. Back to size and influence of the city. NYC always being larger than Philadelphia meant there would always be more of an incentive to continue building infrastructure like rail to surround it. Another important thing to remember is that the Delaware River always separated SJ from Philly. For rail, prior to the Ben Franklin Bridge opening and enabling PATCO to run over it, all SJ rail lines ended in Camden and required a ferry transfer to get into Philly. There were actually many rail lines running through South Jersey, most notably going all of the way from Camden to Cape May. But because of them ending in Camden and requiring a ferry transfer, it meant that they were not ideal for everyday commuting. They mostly got used for vacationers going to the shore and to transport agricultural products from the farms. On the contrary, what is now the Long Island Railroad was already built and fleshed out with original termini ending in Queens and Brooklyn, which were actually independent cities/counties not part of NYC until the consolidation in 1898. There was no river barrier to do that…the barrier is the East River separating Manhattan from Queens and Brooklyn. That would be addressed two decades later when the Pennsylvania Railroad built the tunnels to connect them (they owned what is now the LIRR at the time). When the Ben Franklin Bridge was built to finally connect Camden to Philadelphia, it was a double edged sword. They were able to eventually re-rout what is now PATCO to go over the bridge, but it also meant people could now drive. On the contrary, the tunnels built for LIRR (and NJ Transit for that matter) by the PRR were connections exclusively for rail.

2. A place like Fairfax County had major industry growth to support it. The federal government moved many Department of Defense agencies into Northern Virginia, and those government agencies always grow larger over time. There was a transfer of jobs from DC city limits to NoVa, just like Philly shed jobs to its PA suburbs enabling them to continue growing. You just did not have the same degree of this happening from Philadelphia to South Jersey. NoVa got propped up by the federal government, which could only happen around DC and not anywhere else. The snowball effect starts happening…financial institutions, tech, science, etc. all want connections to the federal government (and their highly educated talent pool) and start moving offices there as well…again, this obviously couldn’t have happened in South Jersey. Nowadays as a result, NoVa is home to massive industry not just with the government but also companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, Northtrop Grumman, General Dynamics, AES, Mars, Gannett, Nestle, Hilton, and of course Amazon HQ2.
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:16 PM
 
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Thanks. It still is interesting how LI got the rails and development that SJ did not, given both are east of their metro core centers, and both are in the Atlantic coastal plain lacking rivers which meant a lack of industry and dense cities.
One would have thought with the post WWII boom, SJ would be completely suburban within a 30 mile radius of Philly.
That this would have been an ideal setting for people wanting a single family house in a quiet area so close to the center city.
That is what baffles me.
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Old 01-13-2022, 09:40 PM
 
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What baffles me is here you are asking the same exact question 11 and a half years later.

https://www.city-data.com/forum/new-...developed.html
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
Salem County, Gloucester, Burlington, most of it is within 25 miles of Philly and you'd never know it.
If this was another similar metro area it would be McMansions every square mile.
I can't help but think the relative gap here is due to Philly's stagnation.
Stagnation by what metric, exactly? The metro area had a GDP of about $250 billion in 2001, which grew to $440 million by 2020.

There was also 5% population growth in the last decade which isn't huge, but also not "stagnant".

Lastly, Philly is on track to build a record number of apartments this year.

I'm sorry this question has confounded and befuddled you for at least a decade now, it might be time to come to terms with the fact that not everything will have a definitive answer, no matter how many times the question is asked.
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