Martin Luther King Drive Is Not Going To Reopen Any Time Soon. Here’s Why.

Kelly Drive is closed for a race. The Schuylkill Expressway is a clogged madhouse — both ways. And there is no such thing as zipping down Broad Street with all those lights.

Why can’t Martin Luther King Drive be an option when this is the traffic reality?

A reader wrote into Curious Philly — The Inquirer’splat form that lets people send in questions for our reporters to answer— to ask just that.

“Why is Martin Luther King Drive closed ... even when Kelly Drive is closed for activity or flooding and the expressway is jammed? Can’t the city open it up when needed for traffic? Who controls this decision?” asks a reader. Just because both Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill Expressway are having slow traffic days, doesn’t mean the city’s office of transportation can flip a switch and open up Martin Luther King Drive, says Michael Carroll, the city’s deputy managing director of transportation, infrastructure and sustainability. “There are operations involved in opening MLK Drive back up on any given day” Carroll said. “It takes a few hours to get all of the people off the road so we can open it up to traffic.” Read more here>>>

In other words, if the city tries to reopen MLK Drive every time there is a traffic jam, by the time it gets the drive open, the snarly traffic situation would likely be over.


Photo: Getty

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