“March for Our Lives,” a nation-wide gun control protest, will bring thousands of activists to streets around the country Saturday and, like many other cities, Philly is getting prepared.
The city announced road closures and parking restrictions in Old City, especially around Market Street and Columbus Boulevard, as well as a route for the demonstration in a statement Thursday. Some of the restrictions and closures are expected to last throughout the day Saturday, according to the statement.
The Philly protest is expected to start around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and last until 2 p.m., bringing over 20,000 people to the streets of Philly, according to Gigi Peterkin, media spokesperson for the event. They will demand, “a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” according to the march’s website.
It’s just one of many similar “March for Our Lives” demonstrations happening around the country and the world, inspired by the DC march of the same name. The DC march was organized by the student survivors of the Parkland, Fla. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people—mostly students—at the school in February. Since the shooting, many of the surviving students have launched a campaign for comprehensive gun control reform.
If you’re planning on joining the march or traveling in the city Saturday, here’s what you should know.
The route of the march
Marchers will meet in Old City on the Corner of Market and 5th streets and will line up near the Independence Mall around 9:30 a.m. before marching down Market Street to South Front Street at 10 a.m. From there, they’ll walk to Dock Street and cross over to Columbus Boulevard before finishing the march around 11:30 a.m. at Lombard Circle.
Once the march is over, protesters will convene in a rally at Lombard Circle until around 2 p.m., according to the city.
How will transportation be affected?
Philadelphians can expect an all-day street closure at Columbus Boulevard, where a section of the road from Dock Street to Lombard Circle, will be shut down starting at 6 a.m. and lasting until 6 p.m. Local access to the I-95 on ramp and the east side of the boulevard will be maintained.
Central Old City will also see closures at 500 Market Street and at 5th Street from Market to Arch streets, starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until 11 a.m. Saturday.
SEPTA is detouring buses that pass through the area of the march, starting at 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, and will post specific route changes on their website.
Parking will be banned starting at 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. on the east side of North 6th and 5th streets from Market to Arch, and on Market Street from 5th to Front streets. Parking along the sections of Front Street, Dock Street and Columbus Boulevard that are affected by the march will also be banned.