The crowd in Philly for the NFL Draft could be massive — somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 people — and the city’s prepping the rollout of street closures and other changes ahead of the large event on the Parkway from April 27 to 29.
Here’s what we know about road closures and how this will impact transit, cycling, pedestrians and more:
How and when the roads will close
The city says a “full set of road closures” will be implemented at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, and the “the full extent of these closures” will be in place through 5 a.m. on Monday, May 1. There are several phases of road closures, but delays can be expected throughout Center City and the immediate area around the Parkway throughout the week and into the weekend. Drivers are encouraged to use other routes and refrain from double parking “which creates congestion, limits traffic flow and is illegal.”
Here’s a GIF showing what the road closures will look like (and you can find the full traffic plan at the end of this article):
Here’s the full road closure schedule from the city:
Phase 1 – April 10 through May 7
- Spring Garden Street westbound will close at Pennsylvania Avenue.
- The westbound center roadway of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will maintain two lanes from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. The left lane of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from East Eakins Oval to Spring Garden St. and continue to southbound Kelly Drive, where it will open up to three travel lanes.
- The right two lanes of Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum steps will be closed for the building of the theater where the draft picks will be announced on the Art Museum steps.
- Southbound Kelly Drive will have a lane drop between 25th St. and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Phase 2 – April 19 to May 2
- Inner lanes (inbound and outbound) of Benjamin Franklin Parkway closed from Eakins Oval to 20th Street.
Phase 3 – April 24 at 7 p.m. to May 1 at 5 a.m.
- Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from 20th Street to the Art Museum.
- Martin Luther King Drive will remain open to 24th Street.
- Eastbound Spring Garden Street will remain open from 31st Street to 24th Street.
- Kelly Drive will be closed at Fairmount Avenue with traffic detoured onto Fairmount Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.
From the city: “Starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 24th, due to the closure of the outer lanes on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, traffic headed inbound (to Center City) from Spring Garden Street Bridge or Martin Luther King Drive must exit Eakins Oval on the 24th Street ramp. Traffic headed inbound on Kelly Drive must exit Kelly Drive at Fairmount Avenue. Those wishing to access the rear of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the north side must exit onto Fairmount Avenue, turn right on Pennsylvania Avenue and proceed SB on 25th Street onto Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive.”
Phase 4 – Full Extent of Road Closures: April 25 at midnight to May 1 at 5 a.m.
- 21st Street closed from Winter Street to Spring Garden Street – Local access to Pennsylvania Avenue only (all traffic must turn left)
- 22nd Street closed from Race Street to Spring Garden Street – Local access to Park Towne Place only (residents)
- 23rd Street closed from Fairmount Avenue to Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Local access only
- 24th Street closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Park Towne Place – Local access only
- Martin Luther King Drive closed at Sweet Briar Drive – Road opened daily during peak AM rush hour on April 27 and April 28 (5 a.m. to 10 a.m.) for access to I-676 via 24th Street
- Kelly Drive closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
- Spring Garden Street Bridge closed at 31st Street – Road opened daily during peak AM rush hour on 4/27 & 4/28 (5AM-10AM) for access to I-676 via 24th Street. Access to I-76 westbound will be maintained and local access to Art Museum will be maintained.
- Spring Garden Street closed from 22nd Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Local access after peak AM rush hour
- Pennsylvania Avenue closed from Hamilton Street to Fairmount Avenue – Local access after peak AM rush hour
- Pennsylvania Avenue/Callowhill Street closed from 20th Street to 21st Street – Local access to Barnes Foundation driveway (westbound) only. Eastbound open from 21st Street.
- Park Towne Place closed from 22nd Street to 24th Street – Local access only (residents) and I-676 westbound 22nd Street off-ramp closed
- The following streets be designated “local access only” west of 22nd Street: Wallace Street, Mt. Vernon Street, Green Street, Judson Street, Brandywine Street.
Where you can’t park
- No parking on 2400 Pennsylvania Avenue (south side angle parking only) from April 5 to May 8
- Pennsylvania Avenue between 22nd Street & Fairmount Avenue (south side of street only)
- Winter Street between 20th and 22nd Streets (both sides of street)
- 20th Street between Vine and Callowhill Streets (east side of street only)
- 21st Street between Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Race Street (both sides of street)
- 22nd Street between Winter and Spring Garden Streets (both sides of street)
- Park Towne Place between 22nd and 24th Streets (both sides of street)
What it means for pedestrians and cyclists
Bike lanes and sidewalks along the Parkway, in the Eakins Oval area and near the Art Museum will be detoured while venue construction is underway. The city says “appropriate signage” will be displayed, and both cyclists and pedestrians are advised to use detours as marked. The primary north-south pedestrian detours will be 22nd Street and Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive.
What it means for public transit
The Broad Street Line will likely be the place to be, though. The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has secured free parking down at the stadiums for people attending the “NFL Draft Experience.” That means the BSL will be crammed with people heading back and forth between the stadiums and the Parkway.
The PHLASH Downtown Loop is also adding services for Thursday, April 27 and will operate on an April weekend scheduled Friday to Sunday that weekend. PHLASH will communicate detours at http://RidePhillyPHLASH.com.
If you feel the need to drive into Center City, the city says off-street parking lots and garages will be available. Visit www.philapark.org for a list of options.
The fan ‘experience’ you can be part of
The NFL is inviting fans to come to a three-day “football festival” held along the Parkway from Thursday, April 27 to Saturday, April 29. Admission is free! There will be “interactive exhibits, immersive games, and virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more” from noon to 11 p.m. each day.
The city also noted most of the cultural institutions along the Parkway will remain open throughout the NFL Draft and some of them, including the Franklin Institute, will offer specials.
Here’s the full traffic plan from the city: