With less than three weeks until Philadelphia hosts the Democratic National Convention, the U.S. Secret Service, which is in charge of security for the event, has released information about road closures and other restrictions during the event.
The good news is, unlike the papal visit last September, there will be no restrictions in Center City. The affected areas are limited to the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia where the convention will be held. A map of street closures released by the Secret Service is shown above.
“Our perimeter is no larger than it needs to be,” said James Henry, the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office.
According to a press release from the agency, “fencing, other physical barriers and uniformed law enforcement officers” will be used to enforce road closures and other restrictions. During a news conference with state, federal and local officials, Henry declined to say how high the fencing would be, but said it would be comparable to what was used during the papal visit and would not block protesters from being visible to delegates.
The city expects about 50,000 visitors for the DNC, including delegates and media. Thousands of protesters are also expected.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the department is working with activist groups ahead of the convention and protesters won’t see police dressed in riot gear. He also touted a new city law also allows police to issue hundred-dollar fines for certain “nuisance crimes,” rather than making arrests.
“We don’t really have an interest in criminalizing a bunch of people who are out peacefully protesting,” he said, adding that some Philadelphia police officers are going to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention the week before the DNC to observe and get ready.
Here are the roads that will be off limits starting at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, until “late evening” Friday, July 29:
North and south bound lanes of S. Broad Street between Packer Avenue and the Navy Yard/Terminal Avenue
Pattison Avenue from S. 7th Street to the eastern most entrance to FDR Park
Terminal Avenue from S. Broad Street to S. 11th Street
S. 11th Street from Hartranft Street to Terminal Avenue
During the same time frame, the following roads will be closed to all vehicles except those with authorized access:
Pattison Avenue from S. 20th Street to the eastern most entrance to FDR Park
Hartranft Street from S. Broad Street to S. Darien Street
S. Darien Street from Packer Avenue to Lurie Way
10th Street south of Packer Avenue
All highways and expressways in Philadelphia will be open to passenger vehicles throughout the DNC. However, commercial vehicles over five tons (i.e., delivery trucks, utility vehicles, buses and tractor-trailers) will not be allowed to drive on I-95 between exit 13 exit 22.
From Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, exit 350 for Packer Avenue off I-76 east will be closed between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Drivers should also be prepared for other exit ramp closures on I-95 at varying times, which PennDOT announced last month.
The city has also released the dimensions of a “demonstration zone” in FDR Park, across the street from the Wells Fargo Center.
You must have a credential or ticket to enter the DNC at the Wells Fargo Center. Those with access will also be subjected to “a thorough security screening.”
The Secret Service has also released a list of items that will be banned from the arena. That list can be viewed here. Delegates — don’t bring your selfie sticks!