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Jovida Hill: Will enjoy the view of the fireworks from a friend's balcony.
Jovida Hill: Will enjoy the view of the fireworks from a friend's balcony.
Posted: July 03, 2012

Robert Chaney and his family will flee his Fairmount neighborhood before things get crazy on the Fourth of July with the Parkway festivities.

"It's hard to park in this neighborhood, anyway," said Chaney, 49, adding that "there is a lot of urinating on the corners after the fireworks, and that's not great."

He and his wife used to enjoy going down to the Parkway concert, but now, with two boys, ages 2 and 4, things are "a little different." On Tuesday, they will be heading to the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland.

While many residents around the Parkway escape the crowds, others deal with them.

Jovida Hill, who served as vice president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association until her term ended Saturday, said she was "very pleased" that the city listened to the association's concerns about giving prior notification as to which streets would be closed or have no-parking zones on the Fourth.

Hill, who turns 58 on Tuesday, won't jostle her way through the throngs on the Parkway to see the fireworks, but plans to watch them from a friend's balcony at the Parkway House apartments, on Pennsylvania Avenue near 22nd Street.

The city will close streets around the Parkway starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday, and will shut off others in the surrounding neighborhoods at 4 p.m. (For details, visit phila.gov, and click on the "More Info" button.)

Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers advised nonresidents to park a safe distance away from the Parkway or take public transportation. He said that more cops will be in the neighborhoods.

City Representative Melanie Johnson said that residents who show cops their driver's licenses should be allowed to enter the closed areas to get home as long as they don't drive on the Parkway.

Andi Watts, who lives in the Hamilton Townhouses, near 20th and Hamilton streets, is lucky to have her own off-street parking. "It does get a little crazy with the traffic," she said. She plans to watch the nighttime festivities on TV.

Looking ahead to the Jay-Z festival in front of the Art Museum over Labor Day Weekend, she wondered how people who don't have tickets to the concert would be kept from crowding around the event and listening to it. Sound travels, after all.

Johnson said that the city still has time to work out those details and will meet with residents on their concerns.

For now, the city has to focus on the Fourth, she said. 3n

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or shawj@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @julieshawphilly.

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