Lansdowne is one of the few places that is still affordable in the area. There is one major reason this is so, but later for that. My wife and I purchased a home on the west side of Lansdowne Ave. in 2009. We used to live in Philly and found that it was time to settle down and live a quieter lifestyle. Quiet it is here! Many of our neighbors have lived in their homes for decades and the rest are made up of late 20's to mid 30's professionals from the city -- just like us.
On my street, and every street that I frequent everyone seems to take care and pride in their lawn and home.
Mass transit is excellent here, but can be pricey in my opinion. It's a 15 minute walk from my home to the Regional Rail station (Gladstone) which will take you to all of the major stops in Philly, and west out toward Media. On that walk there are several bus stops that'll take you to 69th St. Station, or deeper into 'burbs. There is also Lansdowne Station which is in the heart of the town.
I feel very safe here. Every night I go for a run (around 9-10pm) and have encountered no issues. I encounter fellow neighbors who are out walking their dog or power walking. However, I have heard of a rash of bicycle thefts in the area and some minor youth tomfoolery once and a while. A major issue that happened recently is arson at the high school. It is a shame that they still have not caught the person who set the school on fire.
Lansdowne is unique in that it has a main street with shops and restaurants. Drexel Hill, Yeadon, or any of the surrounding communities do not have this. The main street (Lansdowne Ave.) seems to be on the up, especially since 2009. Several restaurants/stores have opened and some have closed, but overall I see positive changes. There's a group behind the restoration of the theatre, a farmer's market, and if Lansdowne gets too sleepy for you Philadelphia is only 20 minutes away (train ride). Could be up to 40-45min via Baltimore Ave. especially if you get stuck behind a trolley. It's also not the most pleasant of drives, but since 2009 (and earlier) University City/West Philly has been gentrifying outward.
There are plenty of parks in the area. Mostly smaller, and there are some that don't even appear to be usable due to almost swamp-like conditions. The bigger parks have a baseball diamond, pavilion, and some have playground equipment.
In contrast to the previous reviewer, services are acceptable. True, trash comes once a week, as does recycling. I have felt that trash pickup more than once a week was excessive anyway. Plus, they come to where you have your cans. You don't have to put the trash on the curb. Bulk trash pickup is often (a couple times a month) and is most often free. I've put out many pieces of furniture on the curb and have never paid a fee or run into any problem with them not taking it. Snow removal is OK. I agree that they could do a better job of plowing each street. All of the main arteries are fine, but some streets can become like a skating rink.
The school district is bad. Homes are cheap here, taxes are a bit high, and the school district is disappointing. My wife and I do not have any kids, but through our neighbors we have learned that the Ardmore Ave. Elementary school is actually fine. However, you may want to consider alternatives when your child reaches high school. It is not academically rigorous, and there are several times throughout the year where the police are called to the school for various infractions, involving fights and drugs.
To get out of the area is difficult. There are only a few major roads out of Lansdowne -- Baltimore Ave, Rt. 1 via State Road. All of these are clogged in the morning and on the weekend. People fly down side streets to try to be crafty and avoid the traffic and lights. Stops signs are run frequently in the area and pedestrians always have to be cautious when crossing any street here. I've had several close calls to people not paying attention or by just being plain jerks because they had to wait 3 extra seconds for me to legally cross the road.
Overall, I think Lansdowne is a good place to live and I do recommend it to other people. Especially those who are trying to get far enough away from the city for a quieter life, but also close enough to get down and party on the weekends. Again, the schools are not good, but are fine up until high school. Traffic stinks. The shops in the downtown are great, especially the gelato place and record store (which has a small performance area). I welcome all my fellow Philadelphians to consider Lansdowne as a place to purchase your first home!
I HAVE LIVED HERE SINCE 2002 AND AT FIRST IT WAS GREAT IN SPITE OF THE HIGH TAXES AND VERY POOR SCHOOLS.IT WAS NICE AND FRIENDLY AND REALLY HAD THAT SUBURBAN FEEL TO IT.SINCE THEN TAXES HAVE GONE THRU THE ROOF AND THE SERVICES HAVE GOTTEN WORSE.WE USED TO HAVE TWO TRASH PICK UPS A WEEK NOW WE HAVE ONE.THEY USE ON OF THOSE DAYS TO RE CYCLE NOW AND IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY.PLUS DO NOT LET IT SNOW BECAUSE YOUR STREET WILL NOT GET PLOWED. I MEAN ON MAJOR STREETS WHERE THE BUSES RUN.I WISH I COULD SHARE PICTURES TO LET YOU SEE WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.AND THE PEOPLE JUST DO NOT HAVE THE SAME PRIDE IN THEIR PROPERTY.