Are you planning on joining in the annual Women’s March on Philadelphia?
Thousands are expected to flock to the city to take part in the event that joins hundreds of others around the nation. The women’s marches began in 2017, following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and morphed into a larger protest advocating for women’s rights and other social issues.
This year, things are a little more complicated. You may have found out there are dueling marches, and nasty weather and a number of street closures could cause a few more minutes of travel time.
Here’s what you should know before attending the third Women’s March on Philadelphia or the Women’s March Pennsylvania event.
Where and when
Both events start at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Women’s March on Philadelphia, organized by Philly Women Rally, is set to start at Logan Square and end at Eakins Oval, where there will be speakers. This year’s theme is “We Shall Be Heard!”
The event from Women’s March Pennsylvania will be at LOVE Park, and is more of a rally.
Driving in? You’ll likely want to avoid the area around the Philadelphia Museum of Art — which itself will be open. The following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the Mayor’s Office:
Arch Street from 15th to 16th Streets
16th from JFK Boulevard to Cherry Street
Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th and 17th Street
Parkway from 22nd Street to Eakins Oval
23rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to the Parkway
Spring Garden Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to the Parkway
Kelly Drive outbound from the Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
Kelly Drive inbound between 25th Street and Fairmount
Martin Luther King Drive between Eakins Oval and Montgomery Drive
Spring Garden Street Bridge at 31st Street
More traffic information can be found on the city’s website.
Bus Routes 2, 7, 27, 32, 38, 43, and 48 will be detoured from 5 a.m. until about 5 p.m. Saturday. If you’re taking the train, know that weekend fare inspection is in effect at Jefferson Station from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shuttle bus service will be in effect if you’re taking the Route 101 or 102 trolleys, too.
Separately, SEPTA is also offering a free ride from NRG Station at the stadium complex Saturday, aimed at those traveling on the Broad Street Line after Saturday’s Sixers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Regular fares apply at other stations.
Information on garage and on-street parking can be found on the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s website. Though, if you’re taking the car, be wary of many “no parking” areas in effect from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, including:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 16th Street to Eakins Oval
20th Street between Race Street and the Parkway, along the east side of the street
22nd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter Street
2100 and 2200 blocks of Spring Garden Street, along the north side of the street
1400 and 1500 blocks of JFK Boulevard
Arch Street, between 15th and 16th Streets
16th between JFK and Cherry Street
15th between Arch and JFK
Pack layers and keep your umbrella handy. While the morning’s forecast remains mostly clear for the march, the region is expected to see some snow Saturday evening before turning into possibly heavy rain later at night that will continue into Sunday. Temperatures will linger in the 30s throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.
The Women’s March on Philadelphia, organized by an independent group called Philly Women Rally, which is not associated with the national Women’s March, has held the event in Philly for the last two years. There is also an additional Women’s March led by Women’s March Pennsylvania, a group that is affiliated with the national organization.
There’s a good chance that the two events will merge.
“If they choose to do a secondary event, that’s on them. Do it,” Deja Alvarez, a local activist with Philly Women Rally, told the Inquirer and Daily News earlier this week. “We don’t have to work together. But we also don’t need to compete with each other. It’s not about our egos or who created what. It’s about women who go to whatever event they want.”
Philly’s not the only city dealing with confusion — there will also be two marches in Manhattan on Saturday following questions concerning inclusivity.