By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The city is gearing up for Wednesday’s Fourth of July festivities.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter warns drivers to stay away from the Art Museum area on July 4th, and encourages folks to get there using public transportation instead.
“Set up for the Party on the Parkway begins at 6 a.m. Motorists should avoid the area around the Ben Franklin Parkway between 20th and 25th Streets. Beginning at 4 p.m., additional roads will be closed. Fairmount Avenue at Corinthian Streets at Broad will be closed. Additional closures will span the area of the Parkway and stretch to Arch Street at the peak of the event.”
He says to avoid congestion, take public transportation.
“SEPTA subway operations will run until 12:30 a.m. on July 5th and PATCO will run its usual 24 hours-a-day service at 15 minute intervals.”
With about 600,000 people expected on the parkway, the mayor says there will be extra security and this year, there will be 12 mini-police stations or beacons lined up.
“It’s going to be a beacon and it’s going to have a light on it and it’s going to flash and then you’ll see it and you’ll know that that’s a police beacon,” Nutter explained.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says extra crews will be on hand to handle the Fourth of July crowds.
“We’ll have some personnel because we’ve canceled days off and have extended shifts, but that’s to make sure that we have enough people to comfortably be able to handle the variety of events taking place.”