PHILADELPHIA – Beginning on Saturday, March 30, the City of Philadelphia will close MLK Drive to motor vehicle traffic between the East Falls Bridge and Sweetbriar Drive on weekends to increase recreational access for the public. Closures will begin this weekend – March 30-31, 2024 – and will be in place starting on Saturdays at 7 a.m. through Mondays at 7 a.m.

Seasonally since 1995, MLK Drive has been closed to vehicular traffic on weekends creating a safer experience for walkers, joggers, and cyclists to enjoy the warmer months. The Department of Streets, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and Office of Transportation and Infrastructure work together to oversee the program. The closure offers expanded recreational space to residents between April and November when there is significant pedestrian and bicycle traffic using the trails and parks along the Schuylkill River.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MLK Drive was completely closed to vehicular traffic between Spring 2020 through August 2021. In August 2021, MLK Drive reopened to vehicles, but weekend closures remained in place during spring, summer, and fall months. The 2023 seasonal closure coincided with the start of the MLK Drive Bridge rehabilitation project and ran from April 1 through November 26.

Trail users can still access MLK Drive between the East Falls Bridge and the construction zone south of Sweetbriar Drive. The City has updated a detour route map on the MLK Drive Bridge project page. The detour route map shows the official trail detour route and an alternative route. The detour routes are for both directions from the MLK Drive Trail to the Art Museum.

MLK Drive is closed to traffic through gates that monitored by City staff during the day and locked overnight. The Philadelphia Police Department supports this program as Traffic Police District Teams are responsible for closing and reopening the roadway.

If trail users notice any issues with gates and closures during the weekend, please contact the City by emailing