National Football League Draft Main Topic of Conversation at Recent Fairmount Civic Association Meeting
The details of plans for local traffic closures during next month’s National Football League Draft was the main topic of March’s monthly meeting of the Fairmount Civic Association. The NFL Draft will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from April 27-29.
Aside from the draft itself, which will be held on the front apron of the Art Museum on the 29th, football-related events for the public will stretch from 21st Street to the Art Museum on the two days prior to the draft from noon until 11PM. Attractions will include games, celebrity appearances and a food court.
Traffic closures will begin during the event’s set-up. The first of three phases will start on April 10th, when several lanes around Eakins Oval will be closed. On Wednesday, April 19th, the center lanes of the Parkway will be closed and on Monday, April 24th, the entire Parkway will close. The following day, the closure of traffic on cross streets aside from 21st Street will go into effect. The Spring Garden Tunnel will remain open except during event times.
Because Von Colln Field will be used for the public events, the Fairmount Sports Association will not hold activities there. The city will allocate space in Fairmount Park for the organization.
Parking on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue will also be restricted during the event, but the city will try to soften the effect of the influx of people coming into the neighborhood. Parking for draft attendees will be made available at the sports stadium complex in South Philadelphia and they will be directed to take the Broad Street subway to the Parkway.
The main stage for the draft itself will be ticketed for 3,000 people being seated directly in front of it, but there will also be open areas with a clear sightline for public viewing from afar. Police will be on hand throughout the event and the Fire Department will be on highest alert. The extra expense of their presence will paid for by the NFL. The cost to stage the entire event is estimated to be $25 million.
Officer Clifford Mobley was introduced to the FCA as the new Community Relations Officer for the 9th Police District. He urged FCA members to call police when they see anything amiss. He said to give the dispatcher their name and a description of the person in question. The descriptions of perpetrators is what gives the police the confirmation they need to stop potential suspects on the street, he said.
Mobley also reminded people to call 311 to report abandoned cars. Callers will be given a ticket number they can use to track progress of the case, he said.
John Loonstyn of Loonstyn Roofing and Contracting said he is building a four-story house on an empty lot at 724 Taylor Street and needs variances for a roof deck, garage-front parking and an undersized lot.
The FCA will sponsor a neighborhood clean-up this coming Saturday from 10AM to 1PM. Cleaning supplies will be available in the yard north of Eastern State Penitentiary at the corner of 22nd and Brown Streets.
Bache-Martin Elementary School (2201 Brown St) will be holding a fundraising clothing drive and electronic recycling collection event Sunday, April 23 at the school. Drop-offs will be collected from 10AM to 1PM and a truck will load and accept material from 12PM to 2PM. •