Originally Posted by The Historian
My guess is that it's tagged that way because they cross the Barry bridge and ride through Chester.
Take PATCO from Philadelphia to Cherry Hill, and bypass Camden. Start in Cherry Hill. Save the miles and the potential trouble.
My, goodness. All of this irrational Camden Fear is silly, although it does make me feel super-macho. The fact is, I rode a FG or a mtb through Camden (down haddon avenue) anywhere from 2 to 10 times each week while attending school at Rutgers. I'd make the trip both ways, at times ranging from 8am to 10pm. And no one ever shot at me, ever. Not even once. To do such a relatively short ride with PATCO involved would be sad, and a slap in the spirit of adventure's face!
You'll want to cross the Ben. The Ben franklin Bridge is open to bikes on the elevated sidewalk-thing from 7am to 7pm, so plan accordingly. You'll need to walk the bike at the ends, where you'll encounter stairs. At the East end (Camden, NJ) of the Bridge, you'll want to get on the southside at the Rutgers Campus, on whatsitcalled street and Fifth. Take Fifth South to cooper, make a left on Cooper.
Now, you can continue roughly straight on Cooper and take Admiral Wilson Blvd (Rte 30 east) using the sidewalk. I personally don't like this, because i think riding the sidewalk is slightly more dangerous than riding in the projects, but I've seen a few cyclotourists (presumably, frightened of urban crime) over the years riding Admiral Wilson's sidewalk. From Admiral Wilson Blvd, you can cut upto rte 130south on the walk, and cross rte 130 just before the cooper river at the first light, across the street from Connie Mac's bar-n-grill. Follow the road that runs parallel to the cooper river to the first light, which is Cuthbert blvd. Right on cuthbert, through 2 lights, left at the third light/WaWa onto Haddon Avenue, and then follow the route Tom Cotter described above, with the turn onto Kresson at kress Liquors.
Of course, this wouldn't be adventurous, and we all know it. Anyone starting a ride in Killadelphia need not fear Haddon Ave, Camden in daylight. I'd leave as early as possible, which is good form. This'll put you at Rutgers around 730am, depending where in Philly you start. From the Bridge, take Fifth to Cooper, left on Cooper, 2 blocks up there's a light. To the left the street is called "7th street"; to the right, it's Haddon ave. Take the right. Bask in Camden's endemic charm. Be wary between Cooper Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, because there are some shenanigans, but not at 745am! Stick up kids sleep late. It'll be a shame that you can't stop at Donkey's Place for the best cheesesteak on earth, but perhaps the Donut Queen at Kaighn/Baird/Haddon will be open. (But, don't bother.) Once you're past lourdes, you're effectively out of Camden. Bear left at the light just before rte130 to go *under* the highway, stay on Haddon, Follow Tom's excellent route to Kresson road.
Really, you're just looking at maybe 2 miles of hood. If you get shot there, you're very unlucky, and the tour would've failed regardless.
So, in order from least-to-most dangerous, from a guy who's done em all:
-Ben directly to Haddon Ave, via the hood (almost zero chance of gun-violence, widish shoulder for most of route, any vehicular traffic is likely to be going slow, half-hearted thug-hazing a slight possibility)
-Ben to Admiral wilson blvd to Haddon (zero chance of gun violence, NO SHOULDER, 55mph traffic, up to 6 lanes of it, probably some honking.)
-Patco Speedline to whatever (No traffic, almost zero chance of gun-violence, harassment from patco people about the presence of your ungainly bike, wierd, sporadically enforced rules regarding bikes, NO CYCLING involved for start of the trip, violent heckling from other cyclists who will jokingly suggest that you take the Patco to Lindenwold, and then take the AC train all the way to the shore, so you can get by with just a back pack and some train tickets rather than a bicycle, racks, bags, etc.)
Seriously, many "outsiders" see Camden as a place peopled by the super-fast Zombies of films like "28 Days Later". Not so. *People* live in Camden. And, in the morning, you'll see normal people going to normal jobs, who will just be confused by the stuff you have hanging on your bike. Yes, Camden has crack and guns and violence. But, there's more crackheads, bullets, stick-up kids, crime, and murders in Philly than there is in Camden. (Lately, Camden reclaimed the "per-capita" crown over Philly, but it is close. And, you're a cyclotourist, passing thru for 15 minutes aroung 8a.m. You're not even a blip on the radar of drug czars and professional gun-slingers. You need not worry about Philly or Camden. In fact, I'd say that you're at more risk in Philly, because some art-school drop-out will covet your bike, and possibly attempt to take it by force.)