Navigating the Schuylkill River for Drivers

Dropping off Rowers before the race. The best way to get your rower to the boat house is by way of the Girard Avenue Bridge. Best take Belmont into the city to Girard Avenue. Make a left onto Girard. Pass the Zoo on the right and cross the Schuykill River. Bear right after the bridge at the traffic light onto Poplar drive. Follow this down to Kelly drive. Drop your athlete off at the corner by Lloyd's hall. If you intend to go park for the racing then: If you have a pass, make a left to go to the Schuykill Expressway, following it back to City Avenue and recross the river to come down the Kelly drive, OR if you do not have a pass, you can take a right onto Kelly, and drive up to the parking area having made a right again at the Grant Statue.

PSRA Parking Regulation for Parking at the Schuylkill for Regattas

hallu-motion.euCars are allowed to Park on Kelly Drive with a PSRA pass only. Enter the parking area at the Strawberry Mansion Bridge area coming from the north/west (upriver). There is no access from the south/east near the Grant Statue (down river). Diagonal Parking is permitted on the river side of the drive only. Do not park on the grass. Do not park on the opposite side of the drive. Do not parallel park. Do not leave your car parked on Kelly Drive beyond 6 p.m. All of these actions will result in a ticket.

The parking ticket is good for entry on one date, for one time only. You will be giving up the ticket as you enter. Once you leave the parking area, there will be no returning that day.

Alternative parking is available up the hill in Fairmount Park. Simply follow the detour  through the park and you will find the parking. Shuttle buses from the lot  to the race course will run the loop continuously, which means every 15 to  25 minutes depending on traffic and will cost $8. Please allow yourself enough time to get  to your child’s race. Plan to arrive at least an hour before the race. The best way to get to the park would be to drive across the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Access to this bridge reached from Belmont avenue. Take a left onto Ford Road (first left after crossing City Line). Follow this straight through the 5 points intersection. Pass the Belmont Center on the right, the nursing home and rehab on the left entering Fairmount Park. Cross Chamounix Drive and then bear right onto Greenland to cross the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Follow the road up around to the right, making a right at the top to remain in the park. Right again at the stop sign puts you into the parking areas.

There have been some reports of reckless driving on Kelly Drive. When  the drive is closed, the four lanes become one way. Over one of the lanes is taken up with parked cars, leaving two lanes to travel in. Be aware that occasionally a police car will come down the non-river side of the  drive. Drive slowly and do not race or cut off other cars. Also be aware of people, especially young children, running through parked cars in lots and on the Drive.

Kelly Drive is closed to thru traffic for regattas between the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and the Grant Statue.

Lower Merion Crew Association’s tent is in the vicinity of the parking lot upstream from the grandstands.

Try this MAP if you want extra help!

Landmarks and Bridges of the Schuylkill River

From Manayunk towards Boathouse Row:

US Rt 1 Bridge/Train Bridge – Boats accumulate for start just downstream from this bridge
StrawberryMansionBridge – Just after the start for 1500m races
Temple Boat House/Canoe ClubParking Lot/Boat Ramp
St. Joe’s Boat House Parking Lot
ColumbiaBridge (freight train bridge
) – at Montgomery Drive on West River Drive – Just after the grandstands and the finish for the regattas
Grant Statue

The Tunnel

Boat House Row

Driving Around

Getting around the river to pickup and drop rowers, food etc is tricky. Keep in mind that West River Drive closes to traffic from the Art Museum to Falls Bridge starting in April. If you are coming from Boathouse Row to the regatta you will have to work your way back onto Kelly Drive from above where it is blocked off since it is one-way into the City at the point where it is blocked. Best is to take the Expressway to cross the City Avenue Bridge and on to Kelly Drive.


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