No cars allowed on South Street Saturday morning

SOUTH STREET (WPVI) -- Protecting open spaces flowing with lots of people will be a challenge for Philadelphia police this upcoming weekend.

South Street can be curb to curb cars, but Saturday morning it should be car-less.

From river to river, a car ban will go in effect from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Instead of automobiles, there will be a pedestrian and cycling friendly route connecting to the Schuylkill River trail to Martin Luther King Drive up to a loop in Fairmount Park.

Large numbers of people are expected to come out and enjoy the 7-mile plus stretch.

But in a world where pressure cooker bombs are a fact, those whose job it is to protect say there will be stepped up security.

"It is unfortunate every fun event or event that's supposed to be fun and where you can enjoy yourself has become more or less a security operation," Philadelphia Police Lt. John Stanford said.

Authorities are not giving specifics. They are not saying if extra surveillance cameras will be used or if trash cans removed. But they are calling on everyone having fun to keep an eye out.

"We will ask for eyes and ears of the public as we do each and every day, but particularly during these types of events," Stanford said.

Point Breeze resident Trina Finney says she may take in the Philly Free Streets rollout Saturday. She says last weekend's incidents in New York and New Jersey will not change her thinking about being in crowds.

"Life has to go on," Finney said.

Owner Haryas Vadasa says he plans to be in front of his South Street vegetarian restaurant Saturday encouraging folks to meditate.

As for security concerns and crowds, he says he is secure in his faith.

"I am aware of the fact that these are dangerous times and some people are acting a little unscrupulous, but at the same time, we live our lives and we are going to continue to live," Vadasa said.

There will be north-south traffic on a limited number of streets that have bus routes.
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