Philadelphia is affectionately known by some as the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ (from the Greek words Philos, meaning “love” or “friendship”, and adelphos, “brother”). Unfortunately, the logistic hurdles of America’s sixth-largest city creates a lot of challenges when it comes to moving in Philadelphia. The process of navigating and parking a moving van is anything but easy in the City of Brotherly Love. Here are some tips for anyone considering moving to Philadelphia our moving out of Philadelphia.
Reserve A Street Parking Spot With The City At Least 3 Days Before Your Moving Van Arrives
To make moving in Philadelphia a little easier, The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Street’s Traffic Division allows residents to temporarily prohibit public parking in a spot on the street. But you have to call 215-686-5525 no later than 3 business days (72 hours) prior to having the need for the spot. For a $25 fee, the City will issue you a permit to reserve 40 feet of space near your home. Requests made later than 3 days will not be processed.
Larger Trucks Can’t Navigate The Spaghetti-Style Streets Of Philadelphia
After driving around Philly, one of the first things you’ll probably ask yourself is, “Why isn’t Philadelphia built on a grid system like Manhattan?”
Shortly after William Penn purchased the land from a native Lenape tribe in 1681, he planned a quaint little town based on a rectilinear street grid designed to keep houses and businesses spread far, far, far apart. The Quaker’s original idea was to avoid some of the unhealthy congestion typical of many seventeenth-century European cities during the young country’s colonial expansion.
Unfortunately, Penn’s urban planning attempts didn’t last long. Due to the site’s relative proximity to the center of the thirteen original colonies, Philly became popular not only as a trading center and cultural arena but quickly established itself as the political hub for the country’s founding fathers.
Limited from expansion by the Delaware River, prosperous merchants and wealthy residents quickly subdivided then resold their original plots into smaller and smaller lots. The end result was a city that experienced fast organic growth and a messy pile of spaghetti-style streets. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, Philly already had a reputation of being one of the most difficult and congested cities to travel around in the United States.
In the hundreds of years since 1776, these congestion and navigation issues have only continued to increase with the growth with the city. Driving a semi-trailer truck through the neighborhood streets of Philly is almost impossible.
Be Prepared For “Shuttle Van” Fees
Your moving van probably won’t be able to navigate the streets of Philadelphia to get to your home. And even if it did, it won’t be able to park. The 40-foot space that the City Philadelphia will reserve for you is equal to two parking spaces. Even if your moving van could navigate the winding streets of Philly and get to you, a 40-foot parking space might not be long enough for it to park.
This means that if your moving truck is too long, then a smaller auxiliary vehicle might be necessary to ‘shuttle’ items. Since many full-service movers use much longer tractor-trailer combinations to perform long-distance relocations, budget-conscious consumers should plan for the possibility of having additional charges tacked on to their moving bill. Justification for this is probably listed under the moving company’s ‘impractical operation’ clause in your moving contract.
Depending on the amount of ‘stuff’ being moved, this often unanticipated expense can add hundreds or $1,000+ of dollars to the final cost.
DIY Moving In Philadelphia: You Might Not Have Enough Space To Unload
Even if you aren’t using a moving company and instead are handling the move yourself, you still might not have enough space to load or unload. DIY movers using portable storage containers like PODS, frequently don’t consider the total amount of space required to accommodate both the delivery vehicle and the container. The truck and the container are often much longer than what the traffic department’s permit allows. For that reason, many of these portable storage companies won’t service many addresses in the greater Philly metro area.
This can be a huge problem (and an expensive budget buster) for anyone planning a move to Philadelphia without knowing an exact delivery address. Click here to review the ordinance requirements under Title 11 of the Philadelphia Code.
Hire A Local Philadelphia Moving Company
Since many Philadelphia moving companies are already familiar with the city’s layout, parking, permits, regulations, and unique building service requirements, it can often be cheaper paying for professionals to handle your Philadelphia moving project than doing it yourself. They have the proper equipment, trained manpower, and most importantly, the local experience required to minimize problems doing a job that most novices normally find quite difficult.
Moving In Philadelphia Isn’t Easy
Wanna plan a successful move to Philadelphia? As a wise ol’ Mr. Franklin once observed, “Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck.” But only if you do your homework first! For all its charms, however, moving to Philadelphia can be a logistic nightmare for those unfamiliar or inexperienced with the process.