Will the DNC bring the ‘traffic box’ back to Philly?

 A woman clings to the bars of a barricade as she watches Pope Francis on a jumbotron near City Hall. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A woman clings to the bars of a barricade as she watches Pope Francis on a jumbotron near City Hall. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia residents recovering from the street closures and disruptions of Pope Francis’ visit might shudder at the thought of the Democratic National Convention coming to the city in just 10 months.

But Kevin Washo, executive director of the city’s host committee, says the DNC will be a very different event. The papal mass was held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City. But Washo says the convention will be more isolated and contained. 

“Just like [the Republican convention] was in 2000, the convention will be held at the Wells Fargo Center, which is three and a half miles from Center City,” Washo said. “So there’s a lot of differences in terms of the size. The number of people is completely, completely, different.”

Security plans are not yet drawn for the Democratic convention, but Washo said 60,000 to 70,0000 visitors are expected, far fewer than the hundreds of thousands who came to see the pope.

When the city hosted the Republican convention in 2000, there were some traffic restrictions, especially on convention evenings when special bus lanes were established on Broad Street to get delegates to the convention from Center City.

But there were no large areas closed to traffic as occurred for the papal visit.

The Democratic National Convention will be held July 25-28, 2016.

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