Cherry Hill is the latest South Jersey town to release its plan for vehicle and pedestrian traffic during Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia next month for the World Meeting of Families.
Officials are focusing on Woodcrest station, one of four PATCO stops that will be open in South Jersey during the visit.
No road closures are planned, but there will be parking restrictions and tight traffic controls around the station starting Friday, September 25.
The parking restrictions are to ensure first responders have access to nearby residents should an emergency occur, according to Cherry Hill police chief William Monaghan.
“Without any controls in place we’d have an inability to service those residents [in the event of] a medical emergency where we needed to get an ambulance or a fire truck or a police car down those roadways,” he said.
Source: Cherry Hill Police
The parking restrictions will apply to residents of the neighborhoods as well as to those who are parking there to go to the station. Some streets will have restrictions on only one side of the street, while others will have restrictions on both sides. Following is a list of specific parking restrictions:
Although the Delaware River Port Authority chose to open Woodcrest station during the World Meeting of Families because it has ample parking, Cherry Hill officials anticipate those spots will fill up quickly. Drivers are being warned that they may have to walk up to a mile to get to the station.
The other PATCO stations open in South Jersey are Broadway, Ferry Avenue, and Lindenwold. In Philadelphia, the 9th-10th and Locust station will be open.
Officials are also encouraging drivers unfamiliar with the Cherry Hill area to take a picture of where they parked so they can more easily find their car when they return from Philadelphia.
The surge in vehicle traffic may also cause jams on Routes 38 and 70, which lead into Camden and the Ben Franklin Bridge, which will be closed to vehicle traffic starting that Friday.
Monaghan says the police department has developed undisclosed routes to divert traffic off of those major roadways in case congestion backs up to Cherry Hill.
“We’re unsure how far back that congestion will go,” he said, “but if it does reach the borders of the township and cause congestion on Route 70 or Route 38, we have contingency plans in effect to divert traffic.”
Monaghan says the township and police department will update residents about detours and possible road closures via social media during the World Meeting of Families.