Cyclists, walkers, children and dogs were happy to take over the four-lane expanse of North Broad Street during Philly Free Streets on Saturday. The event, in its third year, is a “people-powered initiative of the City of Philadelphia” to temporarily close city streets to cars and give people on foot and, typically, fewer than four wheels full access.
Inspired by the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015, this year’s event closed down Broad Street from City Hall to Germantown Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tyrone Davis, a Broad Street resident, was making the most of the the closure. “I’ve been out here since 7 a.m.,” he said. “I think I’ll stay here until 1 p.m. It’s so calm out here.”
Families dug in at “The Beach on North Broad,” a four-day pop-up feature at Broad and Master Streets offering 50 tons of sand.
Philadelphia resident Lynne Silverstein took it all in. “When you live in the city,” she said, “you always have to compete with traffic. This is a nicer atmosphere.”
The sentiment was echoed by cyclist Eric Neuhaus. “We’re going to see everything we wouldn’t normally see in a car. It’s a great opportunity to see the city, and it’s a great day!”