PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Democratic National Convention will be in Philadelphia from July 25-28. Delegates, celebrities and possibly the future president all will be in town. But you live here, and just want to get out and about. From navigating your commute and parking your car, to food and phone service, whether to stay in the city or skip town, here are five key things that can help you survive the DNC.Family Holds Balloon Release For 'Gentle Soul' 17-Year-Old Nasir Muhammad, Gunned Down In Front Of Mom's Home
There will be some restrictions for the occasional motorcade, but getting around the city during the Democratic National Convention will be nothing like the Pope’s visit. No traffic box here.
Nearly all streets will be open except around the Wells Fargo Center – a security perimeter is set up there south of Pattison Avenue from 7th to 20th Streets.
Large trucks can’t use I-95 between 291 and the Vine Expressway during the week of the convention.
SEPTA will have extra service on the Broad Street Line similar to an Eagles game. SEPTA is also providing 125 buses to the DNC to transport delegates. Regular bus routes, though could get stuck in spontaneous protests.
Guide To Getting To The DNC http://cbsloc.al/28IRNdq
“We know just from past experience that we do expect to have pop-up detours,” said SEPTA Assistant General Manager Ron Hopkins.
Hopkins says the transit agency will be closely monitoring social media to try to prevent its vehicles from being trapped in any protests, and will also use social media to alert passengers to any detours.
2. Where to Eat
With 50,000 people in town for the Democratic National Convention, it’s going to be impossible to get a dinner reservation, right?
Wrong, says Host Committee Chair Ed Rendell.
“From 6 [p.m.] until 11:30 [p.m.], we’re all going to be down in South Philly,” Rendell said. “So it’s a perfect time to come downtown, to go to the restaurants — a number of whom are going to have convention specials.”
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With the hashtag #DNCDeals.
Ben Fileccia is the president of the Philadelphia Restaurant and Hotel Alliance. He also runs Reserve Philly – a restaurant reservation app. He expects that delegates will want to eat in Center City at times other than dinnertime.
“Breakfast, lunchtime and then late night,” Fileccia said, “when the convention breaks at 11 o’clock every night and they come back into the city.”
There will be some establishments booked for private parties, but Fileccia predicts for most Philly restaurants it’ll be business as usual for the DNC.
3. Stay or Go?
A lot of Philadelphia residents got out of Dodge for the Papal visit, but Host Committee spokeswoman Anna Adams-Sarthou says there’s no need to do that for the Democratic National Convention.
“This is not the Pope,” she said. “It’s a very different event.”
Generally, only the area around the Wells Fargo Center will be blocked-off. So if you’re not a delegate, Adams-Sarthou says there are still ways to experience the convention including PoliticalFest, taking place at seven venues around town, including the Convention Center and the Constitution Center.
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“It’s meant to be nonpartisan,” she explained. “So it really celebrates American politics in a historic sense. And covers everything from whistlestop tours to famous speeches.”
She says there are also caucus meetings that are open to the public.
“If you’re at PoliticalFest in Convention Center,” Adams-Sarthou said, “maybe go check out one of the caucus meetings while you’re in the facility.”
A food truck festival and convention watch parties are also reasons not to leave town.
4. Cell Phone Service
There will be protesters and politicians and celebrity sightings during the DNC. And people will want a good cell signal to Tweet and post about them.
Verizon and AT&T are promising a doubling of cell service, over and above the permanent upgrades made for last year’s Papal visit.
Verizon is adding temporary cell sites and has installed new fiber lines for broadcasters at sites including Independence Mall and The National Constitution Center.
Mike Katra, AT&T’s area manager for Radio Access Network engineering, says his company is beefing up service at the site of the convention.
“Inside the Wells Fargo Center, we’re going to be doubling the capacity of our network,” he said. “Basically we’re adding more lanes to our highway. We want to make sure people stay connected.”
Katra says AT&T has analyzed the areas where high usage is expected in Center City and at the sports complex – and it’s installing 500 LTE upgrades that will remain after the delegates and demonstrators leave town.
It’s an essential Philadelphia question: Will I be able to park during the Democratic National Convention?
The answer: Most likely.
“We anticipate minimal disruption,” said Parking Authority Executive Director Vince Fenerty.
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He says unlike the Pope’s visit, only a small fraction of street spaces will be unavailable for the DNC.
“There will be some streets where there is parking now that will be cleared in order for the conventioneers to be bused back and forth to their hotels,” Fenerty said.
And don’t expect much slack.
“If it says TEMPORARY POLICE REGULATION – NO PARKING – TOWAWAY ZONE, I’d advise everyone not to park there,” he said. “because that is a significant warning. You will be towed. You will be ticketed.”MORE NEWS: 'Mom-And-Pop Bakeries Are Dying': Homemade Goodies By Roz May Have To Close Due To Worker Shortage
SEPTA moved WFC park-and-ride spots across to Citizens Bank Park.