Women’s March on Philly: Road Closures, Security and More

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s massive event, coming to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday.

women's march, womens march

A young girl holds a protest sign as she participates in a Women’s March on Saturday Jan. 21, 2017 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

It’s almost here.

No, not the Eagles NFC championship game — the Women’s March on Philadelphia.

Last year, the march brought 50,000 people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – more than double what officials predicted. This year, attendance is expected to climb even higher.

The city has released the official list of road closures for the 2018 event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday at 20th Street and the Parkway. From there, marchers will head west to Eakins Oval for a rally between noon and 3 p.m.

Participants are expected to assemble in the area as early as 8 a.m. on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know.

Road Closures

Starting at 5 a.m., eastbound traffic on Kelly Drive must exit at Fairmount Avenue. Those looking to use access the west side of the art museum can continue to 25th Street and turn right on Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive.

The following streets will be closed between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday:

  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th Street and 20th Street (including Logan Circle)
  • 19th Street between Race Street and Vine Street
  • Race Street between 20th Street and Logan Circle
  • 20th Street between Arch Street and Callowhill Street
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 20th Street and Eakins Oval (all lanes)
  • 21st Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter Street
  • 22nd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Race Street
  • 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Spring Garden Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 2000 Winter Street
  • Kelly Drive (outbound) from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
  • Martin Luther King Drive between Eakins Oval and Montgomery Drive
  • Spring Garden Street Bridge at 31st Street

Parking

Watch for signs indicating “Temporary No Parking” zones between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. That includes the following locations:

  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 16th Street to 20th Streets
  • 20th Street from Race Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway (east side of the street)
  • 19th Street from Cherry Street to Vine Street
  • 18th Street from Arch Street to Vine Street
  • 17th Street from Race Street to Arch Street
  • 1600 Cherry Street
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 20th Street to Eakins Oval (all lanes)
  • 21st Street between Pennsylvania Avenue & Race Street
  • 22nd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter Street
  • 2100-2200 Spring Garden Street (north side of the street)
  • 2000 Winter Street
  • 1400-1500 JFK Blvd. (north side of the street)

Museums

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and other institutions along the Parkway, including the Franklin Institute, will remain open for business throughout the march. Drivers looking to visit the Franklin Institute are encouraged to use the building’s parking garage, which can be accessed by traveling eastbound on Winter Street from 22nd Street or the I-676 off-ramp.

Public Transportation

The best  way to get to and from the march on Saturday will be to use public transportation.

The only routes affected by the march will be SEPTA bus routes 7, 32, 33, 38, 43 and 48. Detours on those routes will go into effect starting at 5 a.m. and lasting through 6 p.m. Changes will be available online through SEPTA’s System Status.

Security

Rumors over security details at the Women’s March have prompted backlash from some who worry that measures could potentially put “those already targeted by law enforcement at an even greater risk,” per a Facebook post shared by several local activists.

Police said on Friday that officers will not randomly search anyone at the march, which was a major concern of those who called for a boycott of the event. However, bags and backpacks are subject to search at the march’s various entry points, and other security measures typical of large-scale events will be in place.

Medical barricades will be established around the perimeter of the event for crowd control. Those looking to enter the march assembly area can do so at the following locations:

  • 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 20th and Race Streets
  • 20th and Vine Streets

And those looking to access the rally portion of the event (near Eakins Oval) can do so at the following locations:

  • 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway (north and south sides)
  • Pennsylvania Avenue and Spring Garden Street
  • 25th Street and Kelly Drive
  • Eakins Oval (south side, near 24th Street)

Police will not allow the following items inside the area:

  • Weapons and contraband of any kind (regardless of permitting, e.g. Right-to-Carry permits will not be honored and weapons will be confiscated)
  • Fireworks or explosives
  • Illegal or illicit substances of any kind
  • Skateboards, motorized vehicles or scooters (excluding motorized wheelchairs or similar equipment)
  • Laser pointers
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) & drones of any kind

For more information on security measures and other information on the Women’s March, visit the website for the city’s Office of Special Events.