Unlike the numerous road closures experienced during Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia last fall, Penn’s Division of Public Safety said the Democratic National Convention set to take place July 25-28 should be more quiet around University City and students should experience fewer, if any, disturbances as a result of the convention.
But if you want to see Hillary Clinton buy a cheesesteak from Tony Luke’s or join in the protests at FDR Park, there are some things you should know about traveling in Philadelphia during the DNC.
Traffic is expected to proceed normally, especially around the University City area.
“Delegates will travel to the convention via buses and police escorts, so street closures will not be necessary...the Democratic National Convention should not affect student life at Penn,” Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department Maureen Rush said.
As for the current state of road closures, there are no foreseeable road closures that will affect the University City area. According to a road closures map released by the the immediate area surrounding the Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field will be closed.
The DNC is expected to draw about 50,000 attendees, and the convention will impact regular city functions such as public transit. But the number of people is small compared to the Pope visit, when hundreds of thousands congregated in Philadelphia for the Sunday service, according to USA Today.
Road closures are primarily concentrated in South Philadelphia, according to NBC Philadelphia. Some additional ramp shutdowns will be happening on I-95 near the sports complex where the DNC is set to take place. Commercial vehicle restrictions are also in effect near a designated stretch of I-95 during the four-day convention.
Protesters will be allowed access to FDR Park, adjacent to Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, with designated permits, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Protesters without permits are expected to parade around the Center City area.
The Hilton Inn at Penn will serve as one of the locations serving DNC delegates. On-campus retail will operate on normal schedules and students should be able to proceed normally with daily activities without worry about major delays.
In 2000, Philadelphia hosted the Republican National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center. According to Newsworks, there were some traffic restrictions, especially on the evening of the convention when special bus lanes were established on Broad Street to get delegates to the convention from Center City.
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