Penn Relays Traffic Advisory

2018 Penn Relays Traffic Advisory for April 24th – 28th affecting South 33rd Street and surrounding areas

Due to the Penn Relays, expect heavy traffic volume and delays around Franklin Field (233 South 33rd Street) and the immediate surrounding area from Tuesday, April 24 through and Saturday, April 28, 2018.

The following information is being provided to prepare staff and patients for potential parking shortages and/or transportation difficulties during the 2018 Penn Relays (Relays). Please note that the following represents information that is available at the present time. Changes, especially to events that are ancillary to the Relays, may occur.

The main Relays events are scheduled to take place at Franklin Field and will occur from Tuesday, April 24, 2018, through Saturday, April 28, 2018. Times are as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 24th (4 to 10 pm, CYO events)
  • Wednesday, April 25th (8 am to 6 pm)
  • Thursday, April 26th (7 am to 11 pm)
  • Friday, April 27th (7 am to 8 pm)
  • Saturday, April 28th (7 am to 8 pm)

Based on past traffic volume experience, it is anticipated that late afternoon/early evening will present the most challenges for travel in and around the University City area on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, April 24th
  • Thursday, April 26th
  • Friday, April 27th
  • Saturday, April 28th

In addition to the Relays, traffic congestion is highly probable around these special events:

  • Stomp the Yard - Friday April 27th (8 pm to 12 am)
    Penn Commons, 3417 Spruce Street
  • Big-C Step Show Dance Party - Saturday, April 28th (3 to 7 pm)
    Penn Commons, 3417 Spruce Street
  • Step Show - Saturday, April 28th (7 to 11:30 pm)
    Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags, 34th and Spruce Streets

In an effort to assist staff and patients in navigating through the traffic congestion incidental to the Relays and its associated events, the following important information is being provided as recommended by the Philadelphia and Penn Police Departments:

  1. Valet parking at HUP's Ravdin Entrance and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, as well as the Perelman Center and 3600 Civic Center Blvd. Garages, will be restricted to patients and families and will be screened by security staff to ensure that sufficient parking exists for patients and families. It is requested that patients be provided with appointment cards to show that they have medical appointments. Relays attendees will be directed to alternative off-site parking as determined by the organizers of the Relays.
  2. Bus parking for participating teams will be relocated off-campus to several locations. Even with the best efforts of organizers, buses parked on area streets can present obstacles that will cause traffic congestion.
  3. Please advise patients with scheduled appointments at HUP and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine that they may experience some inconvenience as traffic could potentially be restricted and/or redirected by police to help reduce traffic volume during the last three days (4/26, 4/27, 4/28) of the Relays. While the last three days will draw the heaviest attendance, congested/gridlocked traffic conditions may exist at various times throughout the Relays.
  4. As in past years, officials from the Penn Relays are working with SEPTA to arrange special transportation services. Public mass transit is strongly recommended during the Relays. All advanced ticket sales, TV, radio, and newspaper advertising for the Relays will stress the lack of public parking and urge people to use public transportation. It is estimated that between 75,000 and 90,000 people will visit the Relays this year (weather dependent), with the majority coming over the last three days. Officials believe that in excess of 6,000 plus daily attendees will be walk-ups that will not receive any information prior to attending the event, and will in turn drive.
  5. All UPHS staff are reminded to have their ID cards readily available to show police if stopped at barricaded street locations.
  6. UPHS staff who drive and/or use shuttle transportation/LUCY to commute between their assigned parking locations and HUP, should allow extra time insofar as personal vehicles and shuttle vehicles/LUCY will all have to negotiate through the expected traffic congestion.
  7. If at all possible, staff should use public transportation, including the regional rail system, during the Relays. Please ensure that sufficient time is provided to counter any and all traffic congestion and/or lack of parking when arriving for the start of work shifts.

Directions and Alternate Routes

For driving directions and alternative routes — including public transportation — call 800-789-PENN (7366) or visit: