Philly Among Worst Cities for Drivers, WalletHub Says

Traffic on the Ben Franklin Bridge

Photo | Jeff Fusco

If it wasn’t already obvious based on your morning commute — or Sandy Hingston’s — Philadelphia is a really bad city for drivers.

WalletHub found that Philly is the third-worst U.S. city for driving, based on factors such as a vehicle’s operating costs, traffic, weather, and risk of theft, among other criteria, CBSPhilly reported earlier today. The ranking compared the 100 biggest cities in the U.S. (based on population), of which Philly is the fifth-largest overall, with around 1.5 million residents. Read more »

Penn Named Best University … Security

The University of Pennsylvania’s public safety division ranked first in its sector in the annual Security 500 rankings from Security magazine. It was the eighth consecutive year Penn topped the rankings for universities.

Penn has beefed up its security since the campus got a reputation for crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. Maureen Rush, Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department, joined Penn in 1994. Per The Daily Pennsylvanian, security contractors at Penn have doubled under Rush. Penn now has almost 800 people working in public safety in the 2.5-mile zone.

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Philadelphia Named Best City to Be a Vampire


In what is perhaps the most scientific and important poll in recent memory, Philadelphia has been named the best city to be a vampire. Finally, someone has recognized our city for what it’s all about!

The list, on the blog of the real estate broker Redfin, lists four reasons why Philadelphia is the best city for vampires: The bar hours (which it gets wrong), the number of cloudy days, the number of blood banks and blood drives and the number of homes for sale near cemeteries. (It lists bar hours as 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., when it’s really 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. — though, to be fair, there are plenty of bars that will stay open until 3 on the sly.)

According to Redfin, Philadelphia has the second-most homes for sale near cemeteries, behind only Baltimore.

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Hilariously, Penn Students Named Most Polite in Nation

If there’s one reputation Penn students have, it’s being impolite — especially to workers in the service industry. Penn kids reportedly tipped 40 cents at McGlinchey’s earlier this year. Other waiters and waitresses have similar tales of rudeness and cheapness.

And it’s not just food service. “I sit at this post and some of the kids just glare and keep it moving … no ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ or anything … where are some of their manners?” AlliedBarton security guard told the Daily Pennsylvanian in 2012.

But, apparently, Penn kids are nice to delivery people. Really nice. Best-in-the-nation nice.

A new survey from GrubHub and the Huffington Post’s Spoon University ranked the 10 nicest colleges in the country, based on how frequently students used “please” and “thank you” in the special orders box. Penn came out on top.

Really. Penn.

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Great Adventure, Hersheypark Top Disney Parks in Ranking

USA Today recently announced its 10 best theme parks. With the caveat that this is a readers’ choice award, we bring you the exciting news that Great Adventure took second and Hersheypark placed fifth. They beat a number of better-known theme parks: Disneyland, the parks at Disney World, Legoland, Busch Gardens and Wally World.

Six Flags Great Adventure is home of the world’s tallest steel roller coaster, Kinda Ka, as well as the recently debuted Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride. The park boasts around a dozen coasters in all, plus a slew of tamer rides and attractions, Looney Toons character meet-and-greets, live stage shows and a 350-acre safari park with 1,200 animal residents.

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Morning Headlines: PA and NJ Are in “20 Worst States to Make a Living”

The website has published research results that rank the 50 states according to a proprietary metric they call Compensation and Quality Factor pertaining to employment. It’s based on four factors:

  • Average salary, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Cost of living, based on data from C2ER.
  • Employment rate, based on BLS data.
  • Workplace conditions, based on the “Work Environment” component of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The best state for job-searching and employment quality is Washington, which has one of the highest average incomes in the country. There’s also no state income tax and workplace conditions are tops.

The worst is Hawaii, which has a very high cost of living but wages that don’t compensate.

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Philadelphia Named 6th Best City for Singles

Pat yourself on the back, single people. According to, Philadelphia is the sixth-best city for singles in the country. Before you get too excited, please note that the list includes Jersey City (Jersey City!) at No. 9 and the usual suspects (Seattle, Boston, D.C., New York, San Francisco) in the top five. But, hey, sixth-best is pretty good!

Per the site, 26 percent of Philadelphia’s population is single (and the median one-bedroom rent is $1,295 — and, yeah, you can live for much cheaper than that if you look around a bit).

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Philadelphia Is One of 20 Most Walkable Metros

night market old cityNext City reports today on Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, a report by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business.  The report’s authors, Christopher B. Leinberger and Patrick Lynch, come to some pretty interesting conclusions about the way cities are changing when it comes to walkable urbanism. From Next City:

Leinberger and Lynch’s operating premise is that Americans with options are increasingly moving away from what they call “drivable sub-urban” in favor of walkable urban places, which they call WalkUPs — basically, places where offices and stores are walking distance from homes and where those spaces are beginning to fetch higher rents because of demand.

The report on the 30 largest metros in the country divides results into current walkable urbanism and future walkable urbanism; and then demonstrates the way walkability is related to education and wealth.

Charts below.

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Springfield, PA Ranks High on “Most Like The Simpsons” List

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via

Estately Real Estate Search analyzed 11 different data sets to arrive at its rankings of which actual cities most resemble the fictional Springfield portrayed on “The Simpsons.”  The chart below shows the criteria as well as each state’s ranking in each category. As you’ll see, Pennsylvania does well not only with power plants, which we knew, but with businesses named “Moe’s,” which I would not personally have assumed.

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Is Philly One of the “Smartest” Cities in the World?


It’s sort of like the Ben Franklin Bridge, except in the world’s smartest city, Tokyo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Spain’s IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, which is not a dependent clause we’ve typed on this blog before, has released its Cities in Motion Index — a report I can’t imagine most Philadelphians would be interested in unless Philadelphia was mentioned in it.

As luck should have it, Philadelphia was mentioned in it! And superficially, the results are good, at least for headline writers: The city seems to one of the world’s 20 “smartest,” as IESE calls them.

But let’s clarify. Not because we don’t want the compliment, but because it’s useful to see what our strengths and weaknesses are.

First of all, the pool from which the researchers drew was not ALL THE CITIES IN THE WORLD. Because that would make them very, very sad. There were 135 cities included in the survey, with a selection from each continent. As an example, the cities from North America were:

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