By Alex Lloyd Gross
Traffic will be jammed in center city Philadelphia all next week for the 2016 Democratic Convention. It’s not just in town but all roads leading into town as well. All vehicles that weigh more than five tons will be detoured from I-95 to center city. State Troopers have the left lanes blocked southbound and right lanes blocked on 676 to catch any truck traffic and divert the vehicles off the interstate . That means the approaching traffic will be funneled down from four lanes into two or one. Expect horror stories for the morning rush. What is a 15 minute commute from Northeast Philly or Delco will take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.
Protesters will be out. In fact Sunday, July 24, 2016 had two major protests and the convention was not even started yet. One large rally that started at city hall and made it’s way east on Market Street to Independence Hall had about 10,000 people. They were protesting against fracking , for an increase in the minimum wage and others demonstrated for Bernie Sanders and against Hillary. With Wikileaks dropping more emails showing that the DNC head Deborah Wasserman Schultz was removed as Convention Chair over emails from the Hillary Clinton’s campaign aids that sought to smear Sanders due to his Jewish heritage. Another pro Sanders rally was held at the Municipal Services Building .
The protests on Sunday were peaceful. The people wanted to march and be heard and they were. There were no skirmishes between police. Some protesters were observed giving the cops fish bumps and high fives. It’s hoped that all protests will be this way. Cops will temporarily close a cross street and they will escort the protest march to insure they are safe. People are tolerant of that. What people are not tolerant of is when streets are blocked for the sake of blocking them. Blocking streets is the best way to piss people off and turn them away from your cause. If you are for $15.00 an hour and prevent someone on a bus from getting to work for their $7.25 an hour job that person is not going to be sympathetic to your protest.
Trucks over 5 tons include motor homes and commercial tow trucks. To compound problems on Interstate 95, the Broad Street exit is closed. Detours are best over 76 or even into New Jersey and over the Commodore Barry or Delaware Memorial Bridges.