With the 2014-15 school year starting to wrap up, thousands of local college students will be taking the last step in their journey in the next couple weeks, and the traffic implications are not to be taken lightly.
An already traffic-filled city will see a huge influx of joyous friends and family, here to celebrate graduation and partake in commencement ceremonies. However, many of these ceremonies will be held in the city, potentially causing major traffic delays and parking issues.
The graduation season begins on Friday morning with Temple University. Multiple ceremonies will be held in the Liacouras Center on Broad Street throughout the day, while other commencements will be taking place at McGonigle Hall, at Broad and Montgomery Avenue, and at the Temple Performing Arts Center, also located on Broad Street. With designated parking lots located at surrounding blocks in every direction, the area should be avoided for both midday and evening travel.
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While Temple is by far the largest university in the city, it is the only large school with ceremonies this upcoming weekend. In just over a week, St. Joseph’s, La Salle, University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia University will all be hosting graduation services within Philadelphia.
St. Joe’s graduate students will be having their commencement on Saturday May 15, at 9 a.m. on the Maguire campus at City Ave. Undergraduate students will be walking that afternoon at the same location. Parking will be mostly on campus, but traffic will likely be heavy on both sides of Route 1 and in the surrounding Bala Cynwyd/Wynnefield area for most of the day.
Also graduating on Saturday are students from Philadelphia University. The school, whose campus is in East Falls, will be using the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Arch Street in Center City. Certain parking lots will be reserved for those attending the ceremony, but traffic around City Hall and Reading Terminal Market may be more congested than usual.
On Sunday, La Salle students will head to McCarthy Stadium on campus for commencement. Parking on campus is limited, so the Ogontz and Olney sections of the city near Broad Street will be backed up most of the afternoon.
Festivities at the University of Pennsylvania will occur on Monday, May 18, at historic Franklin Field, located at the corner of 33rd and South Streets. Parking is sparsely available in various areas between 31st and 40th Streets east to west and Market and Walnut Streets north to south. The school explicitly recommended taking public transportation due to the naturally high level of traffic and the school’s proximity to 30th Street Station.
The schools have generally spread out their ceremonies over many days, so the entire city will not be bogged down with traffic at the same time. But these adjustments should be kept in mind when planning travel in or around Philadelphia in the coming weeks.