Originally Posted by jjv007
Am I the only one who thinks the distribution of Philly's MSA is way off? It seems it's robbed of SO much territory, population, and GDP by New York especially. New York has cities at outrageous lengths from itself added to its MSA, while several areas, particularly Mercer County and areas even before it are not included for Philadelphia.
It seems even more skewed to me due to the fact I'm right around NE Philly. It literally takes FIFTEEN minutes to drive from Trenton to Philly, even in fairly normal traffic. Princeton isn't much farther either. It's ludicrous for those areas to be omitted from Philly's MSA. Every other city in the U.S. would have them included and it wouldn't even be a question.
This doesn't even include areas like Reading and Allentown or Atlantic City, all of which arguably belong to Philly's MSA. Compare this to cities in the South and West (Houston, LA, etc.), which have such lax boundaries, and no wonder Philly sometimes looks likes it's doing poorly to outsiders when compared to those cities.
I think a significant change needs to be done here. Thoughts?
The MSA's are supposed to be based on commute sheds. But I agree, Philly gets robbed:
-A large part of Salem County, NJ (i.e. the part along the Delaware River north of Pennsville) is inarguably within the Philadelphia economic region. This region also hosts, if not a majority, at least a plurality of Salem County's residents
-If Salem Co. ought arguably be a part of the Philly MSA, then you can drop the "arguably" part for Cumberland Co., NJ. While Bridgeton is a bit disconnected from the regional transportation network, Vineland and Millville -- where most of the county's residents live -- are clearly within Philly's commuter belt.
-Mercer Co. is the toughest. The problem is that it has equal commute sheds to New York and Philadelphia, and MSA's aren't supposed to overlap.
-If Cecil Co., MD is part of the Philly MSA, then why is Kent Co., DE given its own MSA?
I'm generally okay with Berks, Lancaster, and Lehigh/Northampton counties, PA, and Atlantic/Cape May counties, NJ, being their own MSA's. Each has its own clear economic center (Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, and Atlantic City) that nevertheless has strong economic -- but not necessarily commuting -- ties with Philadelphia. (This second-level agglomeration could be considered the conceptual basis behind the Combined Statistical Area
, or CSA.)