MLK Drive Closures Start This Weekend

By Karen Araiza
|  Saturday, Apr 5, 2014  |  Updated 6:58 AM EDT
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MLK Drive Closures Start This Weekend

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Martin Luther Kind Drive along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

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One of Philly's spring traditions kicks off today-- the closure of Martin Luther King Drive.

The city closes the road to traffic from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October to give weekend warriors the right of way.

The tradition began twenty years ago as an initiative by the Fairmount Park Commission.

"We wanted to increase the recreational use of the roadway on the weekends," said Barry Bessler, Chief of Staff for the Parks and Facilities division of the city's Parks and Recreation department.

Each Saturday and Sunday, starting today, Martin Luther King Drive closes from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The only caveat is that the stretch from the Art Museum to the Sweetbriar cutoff reopens at noon.

"We've won awards for the program," Bessler said, talking about the success of closing down the road. Along with the regular cyclist, walkers, skaters, organization now schedule a lot of fundraising events.

Here's the city's list of upcoming events for the spring and summer:

April 6 -- Hot Chocolate 5 and 15K -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

April 12 -- Walk Against Hunger -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

April 13 -- Dash for Organ Donor Awareness -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

April 19 -- Run for Clean Air -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

April 27 -- March for Babies -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

May 3 -- MS Walk -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

May 11 -- Race for the Cure -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

May 17 -- RAPCS Bike & Hike @ Black Road -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

May 18 -- ADL Walk -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

June 1 -- US Pro Bike Race -- 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 8 -- Strides for Stroke Walk-a-Thon -- 6 a.m. to Noon

June 8 -- Oddyssey Half Marathon -- 6 a.m. to Noon

June 21 -- Philadelphia Triathlon Sprint -- 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 22 -- Philadelphia Triathlon -- 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

July 4 -- July 4th Celebration -- 6 a.m. to MIDNIGHT

July 19 -- Back on My Feet 24 hour -- 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.

July 20 -- Back on My Feet 24 hour -- Until 10 a.m.

August 9 -- fun Run -- 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

August 17 -- National Veterans Wheelchair Games -- 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

August 30 -- MIA Concert -- 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

August 31 -- MIA Concert -- 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

September 13 -- Undy 5000 -- 6 a.m. to Noon

September 21 -- Rock n Roll Half Marathon -- 6 a.m. to Noon

September 28 -- The Parkway Run -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 4 -- Step out for Diabetes -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 5 -- Suicide Prevention Walk -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 11 -- Walk for Parkinsons -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 19 -- AIDS Walk -- 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

October 25 -- Domestic Violence Awareness Walk -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 26 -- JDF Walk to Cure Diabetes -- 6 a.m. to Noon

October 26 -- MLK DRIVE SEASON WEEKEND CLOSURE ENDS AT 5 P.M.

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