Philly Free Streets enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, beach lovers — but not drivers

Cyclists, walkers, children and dogs were happy to take over the four-lane expanse of Broad Street during Philly Free Streets on Saturday. The event, which is in its third year, is a “people powered initiative of the City of Philadelphia” to temporarily close city streets to cars and give people people on foot and wheel full access.

Inspired by the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015, this year’s event closed down Broad Street from City Hall to Germantown Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tyrone Davis, a Broad Street resident, was making the most of the the closure. “I’ve been out here since 7 a.m.,” he said. “I think I’ll stay here until 1 p.m. It’s so calm out here.”

Tyrone Davis sits in a chair which he has brought to the center of Broad Street between Fairmount Avenue and Brown Street. Although Davis lives just a few feet away, he moved to the center of the street to take full advantage of the Philly Free Streets event on August 11, 2018. (Rachel Wisniewski for WHYY)

Families dug in at “The Beach on North Broad” a four-day pop up “beach” at Broad and Master Streets that features fifty tons of sand.

Axel Reinherz plays in the sand at “The Beach on North Broad” a four-day pop up “beach” at the corner of Broad and Master Streets. Reinherz joined his father and two brothers for the Philly Free Streets event on August 11, 2018. (Rachel Wisniewski
for WHYY)

Philadelphia resident Lynne Silverstein took it all in. “When you live in the city,” she said, “you always have to compete with traffic. This is a nicer atmosphere.”

The sentiment was echoed by cyclist Eric Neuhaus. “We’re going to see everything we wouldn’t normally see in a car. It’s a great opportunity to see the city, and it’s a great day!”

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