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Secret Service Rules Are Causing Traffic Jams in Philadelphia

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It's a highway commuter's morning nightmare—lines of gridlocked vehicles, with no end in sight. Travelers on Philadelphia's chunk of Interstate 95 have been facing this for days, stuck in stop-and-go traffic while the Democratic National Convention clamors on nearby.

But this particular snarl isn't due to pileups, protests, or even straight-up closed roads (though there are all of those, too.) "Basically, it's because tons of truck drivers violated a Secret Service weight restriction," writes Anna Orso at Billy Penn. As she explains, because of the DNC, the top brass has banned trucks over 5 tons from a particular nine-exit stretch of I-95. The ban includes everything from delivery trucks to cement mixers.

A bunch of drivers didn't get the memo, though, and so the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has set up a couple of weighing stations along the highway. And to make sure all the big guys get filtered through the weighing stations, they've turned an entire lane into a crawling line of trucks. "Let’s reiterate that point," writes Orso: "every single truck on I-95 is being weighed."

This has clogged things up pretty well for everyone else, now squeezed into three lanes instead of four. Those trucks that fail the inspection are rerouted through a maze of smaller roads, while those who pass are let loose on I-95 once again—back into all that traffic.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that's only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.


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