PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — About 3.5 miles of pavement in Philadelphia were closed to vehicles Saturday as city officials encouraged people to get out and walk the open road.

Portions of 3rd, 4th and 5th Streets connecting Old City with Fairhill in North Philly were blocked off to cars — only pedestrians and cyclists allowed.

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Councilman Mark Squilla says “Philly Free Streets” has become very popular in just two years.

“People love Philadelphia because it’s a walkable city,” he said. “And so why not walk the streets that really engage the city of Philadelphia? You can see from the historic parts of our city to the more modern vibrant parts of the city.”

Stephen Frankel and his family came from Havertown to chase Pokemon.

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“It’s great to be able to walk through the city without all the traffic,” he said. “We took the train in to make it easy and it gives a chance to see the city and enjoy the weather and to just have fun.”

The Frankel Family (credit: Mike Dougherty)

Mom says chasing Pokemon is the only way she could get dad to walk seven miles.

“We could never get him to do seven miles, right Matt? So this is great that he’ll walk around,” she said. “We love being down the city.”

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Parking restrictions were to remain in place until everything gets cleaned up around 5pm.