Getting Around Allentown

The city's primary airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), is located three miles northeast of Allentown in Hanover Township. The city is also served by Queen City Municipal Airport, a two-runway general aviation facility that was awarded General Aviation Airport of the year by the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is a major airport that is about two hours away. As it is a hub for several national airlines, it is easy to get from many airports to Philadelphia non-stop, although it is sometimes cheaper to fly directly to the Lehigh Valley.

US Highway 22 is a main thoroughfare, being a 4 lane limited-access highway with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour through all of the Lehigh Valley except Easton. Drivers coming from points east will want to note that all of the major bridges across the Delaware River (from New Jersey) are free eastbound, but require tolls westbound. Locating the free bridge in Phillipsburg is possible, but not recommended to those unfamiliar with the area. It is called Northampton Street for the adventurous, and only adds about half a mile to the trip (assuming you don't get easily lost). From the southeast and northwest, PA Route 309 provides fairly quick access and is a good road to travel. Interstate 78 and Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike; tolled) intersect very close to the city of Allentown, going in all directions north, south, east, and west. PA Route 33 is the best approach for travelers from I-80 in Mount Pocono and points east.

Public transportation services provided within Allentown is provided by LANTA, a public bus system serving both Lehigh County and Northampton County. Several private bus lines provide nearly round-the-clock roundtrip daily bus service to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and other regional locations.

Allentown is a major regional center for commercial rail traffic. Currently, Norfolk Southern's primary hump classification yards are located in Allentown. The city is also served by R.J. Corman Railroad. Historically, Allentown has been served by Central Railroad of New Jersey, Conrail, Lehigh and New England Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, and Reading Railroad. While Allentown currently has no passenger rail service (the last public rail service, which was part of the Bethlehem-Philadelphia service provided by Conrail under contract with SEPTA, ceased operating in 1979), several of the Allentown-area stations once used for passenger service have been preserved through their current commercial use.

Most visitors to the Lehigh Valley will want to either rent a car or drive their own. Traffic can be heavy and perhaps slightly intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with driving through heavy traffic. 7th Street in Allentown is a three-lane-wide one-way street, and can be challenging for novice or rural drivers. Use Cedar Crest Boulevard or Airport Road if this could be a problem for you. Due to the fact that 7th street in Allentown is one-way, if you aim to go north to Whitehall, you will want to be on 6th street. Be forewarned, it does look a little bit un-city-like (going through a grove of trees with a couple houses scattered about) for a while, but you are on the right road. Hamilton Street (PA 222) is a continuation of US 222/ Hamilton Boulevard and provides easy access for travelers from Reading & Lancaster and vicinity. Hamilton continues into nearby Bethlehem as Hanover Avenue providing direct access to its downtown as well. Tilghman Street is also a useful east-west urban thoroughfare which also provides access to Bethlehem, as Union Boulevard, and Easton as well. US Route 22 is a 4 lane limited-access freeway across the north side of the city, and is often the best route of approach. However, this road is prone to minor traffic jams and accidents, especially during rush hour. Don't panic, though, most traffic jams are only a mile or so long, and usually take less than half an hour before opening up into freer travel. Interstate 78 is a better bet during rush hours as it is as wide as 8 lanes in some areas.