PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For weeks ahead of the NFL Draft, the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia has been more like a parking lot, according to some drivers.
“I can sit in traffic for forty minutes just to get to I-676,” says Larry Targan, who lives in Fairmount and says he can usually cross the Parkway in less than half that time. “It’s just utter chaos here.”READ MORE: Police Asking For Help Identifying Man Wanted In Strawberry Mansion Hit-And-Run That Killed 8-Year-Old Boy
Road closures and traffic detours have been in effect as crews custom build a 3000-seat open-air theater by the Art Museum.
Phase 3 of road closures, which will shut down the Ben Franklin Parkway between 20th Street and the Art Museum, goes into effect at 7 p.m. Monday. Phase 4 goes into effect at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Especially for some neighbors in Fairmount and the Art Museum area, having such a close-up seat to the action has its downsides.
“It seems to me, there’s more security here than there is for the pope,” said Jesse Schmeller. “It’s really disrupted traffic and everybody’s lives.”
“When you have Made in America, the NFL Draft, which shuts down a public space for a good number of people for a good number of time, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said neighbor Dan Cook.READ MORE: Open For Business: Spike's Trophies Focusing On Wins After Dealing With Major Losses During Pandemic
“I think it’s really put the neighborhood through turmoil. It’s okay for a weekend, but for four weeks or six weeks, it’s really just quite an inconvenience,” Targan added.
Targan has lived in Fairmount for ten years, and while he’s an avid Eagles fan, the location of the Draft wouldn’t have been his first-round pick.
“Diehard. I bleed green. I go to every game,” he said. “But I think it should’ve probably been around the sports complex, which would’ve been less intrusive, and there’s plenty of parking.”
But others in the neighborhood are happy the Draft is returning to its roots.
“I think the Draft is great for the city,” said neighbor Joseph Niagara. “Philadelphia is a football town. I’m pretty sure this is the first place where the first Draft was, so I think it’s really fitting to have it here in Philadelphia.”
Security will also be tight when the Draft begins April 27.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Agrees To Equip All Officers With Tasers Year After Police Killing Of Walter Wallace Jr.
Trucks and barricades will surround the event area. The Philadelphia Police Department says officers will also patrol popular tourist spots around the city.