DNC Security Zone: Here’s What Areas Are Off-Limits During the Convention
The U.S. Secret Service has just released details of the security zone around the Wells Fargo Center for the Democratic National Convention, which is coming to town from July 25th to July 28th.
Broad Street will be closed from Packer Avenue down to the Navy Yard from noon on July 23rd until “late evening” on July 29th. So will Pattison Avenue from 7th Street to Broad Street, Terminal Avenue from Broad Street to 11th Street, and 11th Street from Hartranft Street to Terminal Avenue.
There will also be airspace restrictions, waterway restrictions, and a no-drone zone.
No one without credentials and/or tickets will be allowed into the Wells Fargo Center for the DNC, and the Secret Service promises a “thorough security screening” for those with access. Backpacks, balloons, e-cigarettes and selfie sticks will be banned from the convention. See a full list of banned items and restricted areas here.
Secret Service representatives held a press conference Thursday afternoon along with city and state officials to answer questions about security preparations. Secret Service officials wouldn’t comment on how they made decisions about where to draw the security perimeter, only saying that it was no larger than it needs to be. They also wouldn’t comment on how high the fence around the event center would be. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said residents in surrounding neighborhoods should expect extra traffic and police activity. Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy said the city is still working through demonstration permits.
Officials estimate that 50,000 people will come to town for the DNC, and some of them will be very famous. But from a logistical perspective, it’s much less complicated than Pope Francis’s visit last September, when officials expected more than 1.5 million to make the pilgrimage to Philadelphia. During that event, roads were closed from the Delaware River all the way to 38th Street, and from Girard Avenue down to South Street. Visitors had to go through security screening to access the Benjamin Franklin Parkway between LOVE Park and the Art Museum and several blocks on either side. The Schuylkill Expressway was totally shut down.
The final headcount for the Pope’s visit remained a mystery, but it’s safe to say there were hundreds of thousands of people on the Parkway. Comparatively, 50,000 isn’t that many; Citizens Bank Park holds almost that many people when it’s at capacity.
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