Parkway Events Every Weekend

Discussion in 'Fairmount / Spring Garden / Francisville' started by Jim19130, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Jim19130

    Jim19130 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    15
    Dear Mayor Kenney and Councilman Clarke:

    I am a 25 year resident of 2200 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia, a former assistant district attorney for the city and currently a federal prosecutor here. I am writing to complain about the sheer number of events now occurring in front of the Art Museum and along the Parkway from March to November. I respectfully request that serious consideration be given to identifying ways to moderate the number of such events and to ameliorate the significant problems associated with scheduled events.

    I along with many in the Art Museum neighborhood realize we are fortunate to be near a world-class museum and public park. It is wonderful to invite friends and relatives to visit here and take in what the Parkway and Museum have to offer. We also realize the positive impact many events have on the city.

    However, over the past 5-7 years, the sheer number of groups permitted to have walks, runs, half-marathons, marathons, parades and other events in front of the Museum, in and around the Museum circle, along the Parkway and along the river drives has created significant hardships on residents in Fairmount and Spring Garden. The frequently of these events has now come to lower to qualify of life for residents, particularly on weekends.

    For me, the big, traditional events like the 4th of July celebration and Thanksgiving Day parade are wonderful and must continue. They are the pride of the City. However, there now are a myriad of significant events like the upcoming NFL Draft, and even private events like the Made in America concert, that are imposing severe restrictions on traffic flow and parking availability. They are even restricting the use and enjoyment of public spaces around the Museum for weeks at a time. And it seems as if there is little, if any, concern on the part of public officials to moderate these events and minimize the adverse impact.

    The private Made in America concert is particularly annoying, and has quite frankly ruined the past several Labor Day weekends for me and thousands of Fairmount residents with severe traffic detours, parking restrictions on adjoining streets, thumping bass and microphone tests as early as 7AM, restrictions on access to a wide area of public land, drunken youths throwing empty beer bottles and leaving Styrofoam food containers and waste on my street-- even crime in our gated alley. I for one measured almost 100 db of noise on my block at 10PM over this Labor Day weekend last year. Parking is impossible. Last year, neighbors saw two individuals who had succeeded in entering our private, gated alley behind our houses and one was seen trying to get into a fenced backyard. The event must be a nightmare for hundreds of residents at the Philadelphian at 24th and Pennsylvania Ave., many of them seniors, who face the Museum from their apartments.

    Let me identify a few concrete examples of how some of these events have affected me personally.

    I am an amateur organist and member of Saint Francis Xavier Church, at 24th and Green Streets, and on Mother’s Day several years ago, I organized a parish choir and hired several instrumentalists for a special Mother’s Day Mass. It was to be special music for the parish, and was well-attended. At the time, my mother was residing in the Atria assisted living facility at 20th and Cherry Streets, and I would routinely drive there, pick her up, and take her to Mass at my church. On that Mother’s Day, I knew there were going to be severe traffic restrictions along the Parkway for the Breast Cancer Walk, and planned to leave my home 2 hours before the 9:30 Mass in order to drive what as usually several blocks from 22nd and Brandywine to 20th and Cherry to get my mother and return with her in the car with her wheelchair.

    Immediately upon leaving my home, I found that could not cross the Parkway at all to get to her. I was forced to drive all the way to 4th Street from 22nd Street to be able to go south across Market Street. I then proceeded west in heavy traffic to get back to 20th and Cherry. Every street west of Broad Street was either blocked or full of traffic above Market Street. I could not get any permission to drive or even park my car anywhere close to 20th and Cherry, forcing me to abandon my car around 22nd and Chestnut, walk to my mother’s residence at 20th and Cherry, and then physically push her in a wheelchair across the Parkway to get her to the 9:30 Mass on time. I barely made it. All because the Breast Cancer Walk and traffic restrictions had completely immobilized a vast portion of Center City west of Broad Street. During Mass, announcement made over blaring loudspeakers ruined the sanctity of the Mass that Mother’s Day.

    Last fall, for the Made In America event, I was driving on I-95 toward the City and came up an incredible traffic tie-up on I-676 on Friday evening, the beginning of the Labor Day weekend. Without any advance warning on I-676 of an upcoming ramp closure (this is routine—police never seem to give any notice with highway signage that a ramp further ahead will be closed), the westbound entrance ramp to 22nd Street/Parkway was closed already during Friday holiday rush hour because of the Made in America event, so I could not drive directly home. I was forced to circle around the city to the Market Street exit off of the Schuylkill Expressway and go around 30th St station, only to find that there was a massive traffic jam along Market Street. Driving at a crawl eastbound on Market Street and still trying to get home to 2200 Brandywine Street, I was forced to drive all the way to and around City Hall, up North Broad Street and then finally west on Spring Garden Street. It took me two hours to get home. Literally thousands of cars were completely immobilized in and around the northwest corner of Center City, all because police had blocked a wide area around the Made in America concert site during holiday rush hour traffic. This kind of traffic restriction on a holiday weekend was completely ridiculous. I was exasperated, called the Traffic Unit, and was told there was nothing they could do because the Managing Director had implemented the plan.

    I'm confident many others have had similar experiences, even worse.

    Now, for the entire month of April in preparation for the NFL draft, visitors and residents already cannot walk up the Art Museum steps. Porta potties and chain link fencing line the roads in and around the Museum, and today more significant traffic restrictions were put in place—all for the benefit of a multi-million corporation called the National Football League and its millionaire owners. Reportedly, the ball games for hundreds of kids at the ballfield at 23rd and Pennsylvania are canceled that weekend. Tens of thousands of residents in Fairmount and Spring Garden are dealing with very real, daily inconveniences for weeks in advance of this event.

    Yesterday (Sunday) I wanted to take my mother for a short drive along one of the river drives and into Fairmount Park to see some of the cherry blossoms. MLK Drive (West River) was completely closed as it is every Sunday; Kelly Drive (East River) was blocked mid-way because of an event on the river. Traffic around the Art Museum circle was congested because of Draft construction. I was forced to drive into East Fairmount Park, through Strawberry Mansion and then back home. Realizing there was also significant traffic on the Schuylkill (in part because of the road closures on the river drives), I had to abandon my hope to take my mother on a little Sunday outing to see the blossoms in Fairmount Park.

    I'm not against events--some are great for the city. But now there are Art Museum circle, Parkway and river drive events every weekend, sometimes both Saturday and Sunday. Most benefit suburbanites more than city residents. Invariably, they create traffic detours and backups, parking restrictions, noise (including hovering helicopters from TV coverage early in the morning), litter and even crime. Finding a parking spot on a Sunday morning anywhere close to my home is impossible. I once confronted someone who the nerve to park on my sidewalk directly in front of my home for an event; the indignant response cannot be published here.

    I don't think every group deserves to have the Art Museum as a backdrop when there are beautiful alternative sites in many parts of the Park, Independence Mall, and other areas of the City. Why can’t some of these events, especially the walks and runs, be placed in Fairmount Park, with its nice paved roads, fields and lots for parking and away from significant traffic and homes?

    I am asking you to please undertake to formally examine the impact of these events and begin to restrict the number and size of them. Move many of these routine events to locations in Fairmount Park and eliminate traffic detours and ramp closures in all but the most extreme cases.

    Not every charitable group or private event should be entitled—every year—to have their event placed in front of the Art Museum and along the Parkway. No other residents of the City have to deal with this kind of inconvenience in their neighborhood on such a routine basis. I cannot imagine that other cities allow this kind of thing in the same public spaces so close to dense residential housing weekend after weekend.

    Sincerely,

    James Pavlock
    Brandywine St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19130

    Contacts:
    Darrell Clarke - our Councilman & the City Council President
    Phone: 215-686-3442
    Email: darrell.clarke@phila.gov

    Mayor James Kenney
    Phone: 215-686-2181
    Email: james.kenney@phila.gov
     
  2. Titus

    Titus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    219
    Thank you!
     
    vampyre927 likes this.
  3. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    225
    Well put. I live south of the Parkway nonsense but feel the effects- albeit to a far lesser extent. I took care of my bed-ridden father for several years on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Come spring, trying to get home on Saturday afternoon was crazy. There were regattas that closed Kelly Drive; there was "recreational use" which closed MLK Drive. Hence the expressway was a parking lot. The alternates- down Belmont or over Girard were parking lots. Meanwhile, if I took the Schuykill, I would see a sporadic biker or jogger on MLK. For this, they had to close the road?? I used to bike both drives every weekend. I never felt endangered by vehicles and it was always a pleasant morning exercise. Is it fair to the vast majority of the citizenry to close BOTH drives for the benefit of a few?

    I can't believe that there are closures and parking restrictions weeks ahead of this draft event. I don't see the necessity. I hear that it will be good for tourism. Do we not care about the institutions along the Parkway that are good for tourism? And what about good for us non-tourists?

    My sympathies to the residents of the area. My gripes are petty compared to yours.
     
  4. Frejo

    Frejo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    59
    Thank you Jim. I live at 20th at Mt Vernon and could not agree more. Unfortunately, all you will probably receive is a smart ass response from that bitch Lauren Hitt saying you are the only one complaining.
     
    funk and vampyre927 like this.
  5. Big Irish

    Big Irish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    207
    According to the list of Kelly Drive Closures here there's approx one weekend a month without a closure. I count 15 weekends of Regattas + 6 marathons extending from March to Thanksgiving. And that doesn't include any of the charity walks, parades, etc that don't shut down Kelly Drive but still make it a mess around here. For me MIA was the tipping point. We have scheduled a weekend vacation every year since that started.
     
    fiveomar likes this.
  6. Titus

    Titus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    219
    Those who are fortunate enough to have a second home or can move their vacations around are in luck - but others don't have that option. MIA is a nightmare and this new thing looks to be the worst inconvenience yet.
     
    Hospitalitygirl and fiveomar like this.
  7. Jim19130

    Jim19130 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    15
    Yoww!! Lol. Thx.
     
  8. Jim19130

    Jim19130 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    15

    This has to be a partial closure list. It doesn't include prep closures, or the MLK DRIVE shut down every Sunday for a start.
     
  9. Big Irish

    Big Irish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    207
    It's for Kelly Drive only, and it only lists events that actually close or partially close Kelly. It doesn't address MLK at all.
     
    fiveomar likes this.
  10. mixiboi

    mixiboi Philly Remixed

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    12,663
    Likes Received:
    320
    Because it doesn't look good on TV.
     
    Jim19130 likes this.
  11. Big Irish

    Big Irish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    207
    Really? As someone who doesn't usually watch Saturday or Sunday morning TV, how many of these walks & runs are televised?
     
    fiveomar likes this.
  12. mixiboi

    mixiboi Philly Remixed

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    12,663
    Likes Received:
    320
    I was oversimplifying it. Social media has a huge impact on all these things now., Just like the NFL is setting up in parts of the city that look good on TV, which includes the parkway, these walks/runs(and even the regattas) like the scenery around the Parkway because it looks good in pictures and video that makes these events look like big time events with the city in the backdrop.

    Visuals are very important to these events and the size and ability of the parkway area to be able to handle large crowds helps too...
     
    Templeton likes this.
  13. fiveomar

    fiveomar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    259
    High profile events like the regatta, Pope visit, etc. are understandable to have right on/near the Parkway for showcasing the beautiful city scenery, but not every regional walkathon/run needs to be (side note: walkathons are pointless, why can't they do something productive like pick up litter and raise awareness at the same time?)...those can be further into Fairmount Park or elsewhere in the city.

    Even for higher profile events like the NFL Draft (aka football bro-fest) when areas are closed off/public spaces are inaccessible for a couple days prep, that's fine, but even a week is too much. Three weeks/one month is completely absurd.
     
    #13 fiveomar, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  14. ODragon

    ODragon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    98
    I drive Belmont ave a decent amount of weekends and there always seems to be a walkathon here + Mann Center closing off the majority of the park + other events in the area. It can be frustrating all over.

    We have enough dedicated walking areas that it would be nice if they could just use them... MLK/Kelly drive closed for recreation, have the walkathon there. SRT is giant and ever expanding, have it there. Heck, go have it down by the stadiums on an off day or around FDR park.
     
    #14 ODragon, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    fiveomar likes this.
  15. OldMama

    OldMama Finally retired. Newly married. Kids are gone.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    225
    I don't think the MLK is used for recreational purposes nearly enough to have it closed on weekends for months. When there are events on the Kelly, MLK should be open.

    I went to Delaware today and passed the giant, currently unused, Linc. Couldn't that have been the venue for this draft thing? How photogenic is the Parkway really with all the crap they've assembled in front of the the Art Museum?
     
    vampyre927 likes this.
  16. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    964
    According to several recent news stories, South Philly stadium venues were offered, but the NFL was insistent on the Parkway (or presumably they'd take their ball and play in another city). It will be photogenic enough for the long shots up and down the Parkway, especially the aerial shots. But I also agree that it is wrong to disrupt the Parkway and the lives of its immediate neighbors for an entire month to accommodate a 3 day event.
     
    vampyre927 and fiveomar like this.
  17. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    839
    A city run by responsible adults would tell the NFL to not let the door hit them in the a$$. Instead the poverty pimps are getting a kickback I'm sure.

    Your city leadership takes you completely for granted. Don't let them.
     
    vampyre927, Hospitalitygirl and Frejo like this.
  18. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    22,995
    Likes Received:
    378
    I'm not sure I see the logic behind these statements. Sure we have terrible leadership but usually they are too fixated on driving to the corner store or talking about parking to run a city
     
    vampyre927 and fiveomar like this.
  19. mixiboi

    mixiboi Philly Remixed

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    12,663
    Likes Received:
    320
    Outside of San Diego, everyone pays homage to the shield.....Look what they just did in Las Vegas, 750 MILLION dollars for a stadium from the people's pockets...
     
    fiveomar likes this.
  20. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    839
    You're right, and it is ridiculous. Billionaires holding their cities hostage with vague and unquantified uplift in revenue and benefits, while lining their own pockets with guaranteed money. It is a scam.

    I say that as someone who loves the sport, having played for 13 years including at the intercollegiate level.
     
    fiveomar, Hospitalitygirl and mixiboi like this.
  21. boognish

    boognish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,360
    Likes Received:
    217
    I couldn't agree more, and I say that as a diehard Phils and Eagles fan. It's pure corporate welfare...and we all get screwed. How much is parking at the Bank now? $20?

    An old friend and his kids are in town, so I said I'd take them to the zoo. Dear god, steer clear of the parkway. And the zoo. It's horrible today.
     
    fiveomar and Tartan69 like this.
  22. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,599
    Likes Received:
    839
    Elmwood Park....shhhhhh....it's region's best-kept secret
     
  23. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    22,995
    Likes Received:
    378
    St Louis let them walk rather than buy them off. Perhaps the tide is turning. Here nothing is ever a popular vote so the fix is in
     
    vampyre927 likes this.
  24. Jim19130

    Jim19130 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    15
    I missed the TV coverage of the Greek Fest, the Sikh Fest and the Geek Fest events.
     
    fiveomar and vampyre927 like this.
  25. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,225
    Likes Received:
    271
    Not living near the Parkway but commuting out to Bala for work, I confess I'm rarely inconvenienced by these events although I definitely see the problem -- but this NFL draft nonsense is way, way too much. I really don't get it -- we set up and take down larger events (MIA has, what, 3 stages) in 1/4 the time. Even the PopeParty, with all its security, did not have this long of a lead time of road closures. And I have yet to hear anyone -- anyone -- explain why the NFL can't do the same.
     
  26. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    16,058
    Likes Received:
    776
    Yup, I don't get it either.
     
    fiveomar likes this.
  27. mixiboi

    mixiboi Philly Remixed

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    12,663
    Likes Received:
    320
    This is because this is the first time the NFL is making the Draft a event as big as the Super Bowl. This is a new thing for the NFL after being in NYC for years at the Square, they are now trying to sell this to every city as a event that if they can't get the Super Bowl due to weather ect... they can get this.

    NFL To Create Largest Free Fan Experience Ever For 2017 Draft In Philly

    NFL Draft Brings A Massive Free Outdoor Football Festival To Philly This April

    Details you need to know about attending the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia


    So this is the first time, so this is why its not the same as say MIA or the Pope, there are million of behind the scene things to make this event go smoothly on TV and also secure the NFL teams and players.

    What happens if it rains for the NFL draft in Philly?
     
    vampyre927 and Redder64 like this.
  28. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,437
    Likes Received:
    964
  29. DocAwesome

    DocAwesome The Doctor is In

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    72
    Traffic sucks, but it is a generalized nuisance and I guess we can learn to deal. I hate the NFL but the event is free, and that is pretty much my thin line separating if it is acceptable to shut down the parkway or not. MIA is not free, so it got up in my craw.
     
    mixiboi likes this.
  30. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    22,995
    Likes Received:
    378
    A lot more photogenic than thousands of parking spaces with refineries as the backdrop
     
    vampyre927 likes this.

Share This Page