Big events to shut down Broad this weekend

Posted: April 28, 2011

Two colossal events will bring normal operations on parts of Broad Street to a halt this weekend.

The juxtaposition of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts' street fair and the 32nd annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run will cause the city to shut down areas of Broad Street from 1 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

The close timing of the events - the run starts only 12 hours after the massive street fair is supposed to end - is compounded by a number of weeklong, citywide events, such as the Penn Relays, Equality Forum and Philly Tech Week. It was purely coincidental, said city officials, who've been preparing to handle the crush of congestion for about a year.

The street fair is set to end at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Broad Street Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

PIFA's Parisian-style street fair, which will begin to set up vendor kiosks, three stages, a 100-plus-foot crane and Ferris wheel at 1 p.m. Friday, will close off Broad Street from Chestnut to Lombard.

All cross streets, except Locust and Spruce, will remain open "unless conditions dictate their closure for safety to the public," said Jazelle Jones, the city's deputy managing director.

"There will be detours posted and a police detail assigned to the event, but traffic could be heavy at times," Jones said.

Carlton Williams, the deputy Streets Department commissioner, said staff will clean throughout the street fair to clear the streets in time for the 30,000 athletes participating in the 10-mile Broad Street Run the next morning.

The race will result in rolling closures beginning at Somerville Avenue, near and Broad and Olney, and ending at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

SEPTA bus routes that travel through the fair's area of closure will close in phases beginning as early as 1 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Sunday, SEPTA press officer Andrew Busch said. Broad Street bus routes, as well as routes that run parallel or cross Broad at key intersections, will close again from 8 a.m. Sunday until the end of the race.

Busch said bus service may still continue to operate with residual delays as streets reopen. Additional subway service for the Broad Street Line will be implemented as needed, he said.

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