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View Poll Results: Best Philadelphia Suburb
Upper Main Line: Malvern/Wayne/Radnor 3 9.09%
Lower Main Line: Bryn Mawr/Ardmore/Wynnewood 10 30.30%
West Chester/Chadds Ford 3 9.09%
Newtown 1 3.03%
Downingtown/Exton 0 0%
Media 3 9.09%
Newtown Square 0 0%
Doylestown 5 15.15%
Yardley/Solesbury 1 3.03%
Lower Gwynedd/Ambler 1 3.03%
King of Prussia/West Norriton 1 3.03%
Other 5 15.15%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-15-2020, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,906 posts, read 1,093,184 times
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I thought it would be fun to discuss with everyone the best Philadelphia suburb with a poll.

IMO Philadelphia has the top 5 if not top 3 suburbs in the nation. So let's see what is the best suburb in the collar counties, based on the following criteria.

And remember this is the Pennsylvania thread. So if someone wants to do a poll for the NJ side, you can start it in the NJ thread. TY!

Transit access:
Employment access:
Airport access:
NYC access:
Shore access:
Schools:
Variety of housing stock and housing costs:
Walkable town center:
Vibrancy:
COL:
Character:
Taxes:

If anyone wants to add additional criteria please do so. This is what I came up with, but add more if so.

Last edited by rowhomecity; 11-15-2020 at 03:26 AM..
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,220 posts, read 4,008,478 times
Reputation: 5318
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
I thought it would be fun to discuss with everyone the best Philadelphia suburb with a poll.

IMO Philadelphia has the top 5 if not top 3 suburbs in the nation. So let's see what is the best suburb in the collar counties, based on the following criteria.

And remember this is the Pennsylvania thread. So if someone wants to do a poll for the NJ side, you can start it in the NJ thread. TY!

Transit access:
Employment access:
Airport access:
NYC access:
Shore access:
Schools:
Variety of housing stock and housing costs:
Walkable town center:
Vibrancy:
COL:
Character:
Taxes:

If anyone wants to add additional criteria please do so. This is what I came up with, but add more if so.
Jenkintown/Abington is a glaring omission from this list.

That said, on to your list:

Transit access: Lower Main Line (Ardmore/Bryn Mawr/Wynnewood) takes top honors, but Media comes in a close second, and the Upper Main Line and King of Prussia also rate. Were Jenkintown on this list, it would place first.
Employment access: King of Prussia/West Norriton by a huge margin over runners-up Upper Main Line and Lower Main Line.
Airport access: In order: Media, the Upper Main Line, King of Prussia, the Lower Main Line.
New York City access: Any of the suburbs in Bucks County — Newtown, Yardley/Solebury(/New Hope), Doylestown (slightly farther away).
Shore access: I'd say none of these are standouts, but Media and the Lower Main Line probably hold a slight advantage.
Schools: All of these communities save one are located in great school districts, with Upper Merion (King of Prussia) maybe a notch down on the scale. West Norriton Township, which is in the Norristown Area School District, is the exception.
Variety of housing stock and housing costs: Again, were Jenkintown/Abington on this list, it would place at or near the top. The Lower Main Line does better than one might expect here. King of Prussia is an up-and-comer, and Lower Gwynedd/Ambler shines too.
Walkable town center: Media, West Chester, Jenkintown and Ardmore tie for first. Wayne, Ambler, Newtown and Yardley are runners-up.
Vibrancy: See Walkable town center but add King of Prussia to the list, tied for first.
Cost of living: I'm not sure any of these places score significantly lower on this scale, though West Norriton might. The Upper Main Line is also probably higher.
Character: King of Prussia is the outlier, on the downside. Exton and Downingtown also rate a notch below the others.
Taxes: I don't know enough about local taxes in these communities to rank them.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:03 AM
 
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As suggested, Abington/Jenkintown (my personal bias) would hold its own in most of these categories. Taxes are high albeit to support well-regarded schools and you won't find much new construction; that would be the area's most glaring deficits although even then some may see either or both qualities as a plus.
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:21 PM
 
Location: New York City
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I love them all, therefore I don't need to do a detailed analysis.

But I would add Swarthmore to the Media option since they are both very connected to one another.
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,220 posts, read 4,008,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
I love them all, therefore I don't need to do a detailed analysis.

But I would add Swarthmore to the Media option since they are both very connected to one another.
Really?

Yes, they're both on the same Regional Rail line, but Swarthmore's on one side of the Blue Route while Media's on the other. Two stations (Wallingford and Moylan/Rose Valley) lie in between.

Media has a trolley line running down the middle of its Main Street. Swarthmore doesn't.

Swarthmore does have a very nice, compact business district right next to the train station, but I'd say Media's is livelier and more extensive.
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Old 11-15-2020, 07:48 PM
 
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One quick note about NYC access as this was one of my good-to-haves when looking.

Amtrak has (limited) service through Ardmore right to NYP. If going Amtrak anyways, it's a pretty great amenity. Either that or within a easy drive to Cornwells Heights are good options.

But yeah, Jenkintown/Abington would hit high marks on half of those categories. Jenkintown being more walkable (generally) and Abington having lower taxes with a few walkable areas of its own.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
9,137 posts, read 13,687,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Jenkintown/Abington is a glaring omission from this list.

That said, on to your list:

Transit access: Lower Main Line (Ardmore/Bryn Mawr/Wynnewood) takes top honors, but Media comes in a close second, and the Upper Main Line and King of Prussia also rate. Were Jenkintown on this list, it would place first.
Employment access: King of Prussia/West Norriton by a huge margin over runners-up Upper Main Line and Lower Main Line.
Airport access: In order: Media, the Upper Main Line, King of Prussia, the Lower Main Line.
New York City access: Any of the suburbs in Bucks County — Newtown, Yardley/Solebury(/New Hope), Doylestown (slightly farther away).
Shore access: I'd say none of these are standouts, but Media and the Lower Main Line probably hold a slight advantage.
Schools: All of these communities save one are located in great school districts, with Upper Merion (King of Prussia) maybe a notch down on the scale. West Norriton Township, which is in the Norristown Area School District, is the exception.
Variety of housing stock and housing costs: Again, were Jenkintown/Abington on this list, it would place at or near the top. The Lower Main Line does better than one might expect here. King of Prussia is an up-and-comer, and Lower Gwynedd/Ambler shines too.
Walkable town center: Media, West Chester, Jenkintown and Ardmore tie for first. Wayne, Ambler, Newtown and Yardley are runners-up.
Vibrancy: See Walkable town center but add King of Prussia to the list, tied for first.
Cost of living: I'm not sure any of these places score significantly lower on this scale, though West Norriton might. The Upper Main Line is also probably higher.
Character: King of Prussia is the outlier, on the downside. Exton and Downingtown also rate a notch below the others.
Taxes: I don't know enough about local taxes in these communities to rank them.
Doylestown is up there with Media and West Chester as best walkable town center.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:09 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Really?

Yes, they're both on the same Regional Rail line, but Swarthmore's on one side of the Blue Route while Media's on the other. Two stations (Wallingford and Moylan/Rose Valley) lie in between.

Media has a trolley line running down the middle of its Main Street. Swarthmore doesn't.

Swarthmore does have a very nice, compact business district right next to the train station, but I'd say Media's is livelier and more extensive.
I understand, but I mentioned adding Swarthmore to Media because of their proximity when compared to other options in this thread.

Yardley to Solebury is ~15 miles.
West Chester to Chadds Ford is ~3-5 miles.
Malvern to Radnor is ~8 miles.
etc.

Downtown Media to downtown Swarthmore is ~3 miles, which I believe is closer in distance than any other comparison in this thread.

Media can stand on its own, but Rose Valley/Wallingford/Swarthmore are wonderful areas, some of the most picturesque little towns in the entire region, but rather small to have on their town, so I figured adding to Media made the most sense and packs a bigger punch for the Media area.

Last edited by cpomp; 11-16-2020 at 10:13 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:23 AM
 
130 posts, read 34,760 times
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Jenkintown is my favorite. Walkable with a nice mix of incomes, housing types, businesses, restaurants, great access to rail and public transportation, and great schools. I like the boroughs the best because you can have a real small-town community-centered experience where you can walk your kids to school and really know everyone. As nice as surrounding Abington is, you'd have to put your kids on a bus and it's much larger in area. Kind of a different type of suburbia.

Taxes are super high, but the services in Jenkintown get you a lot. Doylestown would be a runner up for me but the housing stock is not as varied IN the Borough. And it's so far from Center City. You can get to Center City in 30 mins on RR. Doylestown would be far more difficult in that regard.
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Old 11-16-2020, 01:50 PM
 
627 posts, read 323,533 times
Reputation: 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
I thought it would be fun to discuss with everyone the best Philadelphia suburb with a poll.

IMO Philadelphia has the top 5 if not top 3 suburbs in the nation. So let's see what is the best suburb in the collar counties, based on the following criteria.

And remember this is the Pennsylvania thread. So if someone wants to do a poll for the NJ side, you can start it in the NJ thread. TY!

Transit access:
Employment access:
Airport access:
NYC access:
Shore access:
Schools:
Variety of housing stock and housing costs:
Walkable town center:
Vibrancy:
COL:
Character:
Taxes:

If anyone wants to add additional criteria please do so. This is what I came up with, but add more if so.
Yardley and New Hope/Solebury are different suburbs. I'm not sure why you put Yardley with Solebury. I believe Solebury is actually closer to both Newtown and Doylestown than Yardley.
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