Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024.   

The City of Erie, PA is the only major city in Pennsylvania that is directly in the path of totality for the total solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. This is very exciting for our city and for the tens of thousands of visitors that are expected to join us. Since Erie is in the path of totality, we expect to have anywhere from 56,000 to 200,000 visitors. While we wholeheartedly welcome visitors to our amazing city, we want everyone to be aware of what to do to make the day as enjoyable and safe as possible. 

Be Prepared 

We know that gridlock and traffic jams will be a major concern, so please, be prepared and plan ahead. Other cities that have been in a total solar eclipse have said it took 12 hours for their highways and interstates to clear from major traffic after the eclipse. We are encouraging visitors to arrive early and, most importantly, stay in Erie later, rather than hit the road immediately after the eclipse.  


We know that the area’s hotel occupancy for that weekend is already at 97%.  

Plan on Heavy Traffic 

Local residents should consider limiting unnecessary travel in downtown Erie and on the State Routes and Interstates on April 8th.  For real-time traffic information visit the website or download the mobile app. This will help you understand where you can travel safely and what traffic areas you should avoid. 

PennDOT will also be putting up message boards on highways that lead to Erie in advance and during the eclipse. These message boards will inform motorists of the eclipse date and warn about possible heavy traffic. They will also include safety messages such as ‘remember to use your headlights during the Eclipse’ and ‘do not stop on shoulders or in the middle of the road to watch the Eclipse’. 

On April 8, 2024:

Lower State Street north of the Bayfront Parkway will be closed to traffic (like it is during the Tall Ships festival). This will allow visitors to walk down to the waterfront and watch the eclipse. Sheraton Bayfront Hotel and Hampton Inn Bayfront guests driving vehicles to their accommodations will be directed to their respective destinations by Erie Police officers.

To ensure emergency vehicles have safe routes, the following no parking areas will be posted:

West 2nd Street from State Street to Cascade Street will be posted ‘no parking’ along the north side of the road.  This corresponds with the normal no parking Mondays.

Route 20 (East and West 26th Street) will be posted ‘no parking’ either side of the street from Elm Street to Elmwood.  This will provide space for drivers to pull over upon the approach of any emergency vehicles. 

Lincoln Ave from the Bayfront Parkway north to 8th Street will be posted ‘no parking’.

Greengarden Blvd. from West 12th Street to West 8th Street will be posted ‘no parking’.  

Bus Transportation 

The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority will be running all bus routes as normal on April 8 but will adjust if necessary due to traffic congestion. Riders can use the MyStop mobile app for real-time bus information and trip planning.

The LIFT will be providing medical only trips and ADA rides on April 8th and we encourage riders to consider scheduling non-essential rides for another day.

EMTA will be offering a complimentary shuttle that will service the Intermodal Transportation Center at 208 E, Bayfront Parkway, travel across East Front Street, turning south on State Street, travel along east Perry Square, service the bus shelters at 7th & French and 10th & Holland and back to the Intermodal Center. The shuttle will begin at 9AM April 8 and continue until traffic clears.

EMTA and Paratransit LIFT services will return to normal on Tuesday, April 9th.

For more information on EMTA routes, mobile apps and more, visit

City Hall 

On Monday, April 8, City Hall will be closed to the public to reduce traffic downtown so that many employees can work remotely to reduce traffic congestion. However, City of Erie personnel, who are essential to assisting with the eclipse, will be working on-site.  In fact, every available City of Erie police Officer will be working during the Eclipse.  

City of Erie Police and Fire Departments will open an Emergency Operations Center on April 8 to coordinate any problems, or fire and traffic safety issues, and maintain communication with Erie County.  

Public Works will help coordinate street closures, placement of portable toilets and trash cans, and clean-up of parks and public spaces after the eclipse.   


Erie’s Public Schools are closed on April 8th because the Eclipse will start around the time school gets out. 

Watching the Eclipse 

At 2:02 PM April 8, the moon will start to block the sun. The Total Eclipse lasts from 3:16 PM to 3:20 PM. During those 4 minutes, Erie will be totally dark and the temperature will drop about 10 degrees. The sky returns to normal at about 4:30 PM.  

Please consider where the sun will be at 3:16 PM to decide good viewing locations.  The sun will be toward the West, not over Presque Isle Bay.  You may find that the best spot to view the eclipse is from your yard or somewhere within walking distance of your home. Remember, to not injure your eyes, you cannot look directly at the sun during the eclipse without special ISO protective glasses or shields.  

Except for a specific and brief period during a total solar eclipse, you must never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection, such as safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses). Eclipse glasses are NOT the same as regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the Sun. During a total solar eclipse, you must wear your eclipse glasses (or use other solar filters) to view the Sun directly during the partial eclipse phase. You can only take your glasses off during the short time when the Moon completely obscures the Sun – known as the period of totality. If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can use an indirect viewing method, such as a pinhole projector, which projects an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface. 

Do NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury. 

For more information, visit 

Be Prepared and Plan Ahead 

Residents should also ensure they have adequate groceries or prescriptions, so they don’t have to fight traffic to get to a store on the Eclipse day.  If you have an appointment on April 8th, it is best to reschedule it.  

Please ensure that your caregivers can arrive or depart safely.  

Make sure you know where your children are at the time of the eclipse and are equipped to view the eclipse safely.   

You can visit for tips on the safest ways to view an eclipse. 


Businesses should consider their staffing plans for the day of the eclipse and contact vendors in advance to ensure any deliveries of supplies are not interrupted by the expected traffic.  Because it will be totally dark during the eclipse, also consider if you have any outdoor lights that are on timers and adjust them to give you light at least from 2:30 to 4:00 PM. For more helpful Eclipse information for businesses visit 

Vendor Permits

Click here for information on vendor permits: Eclipse Vending Permit Application


For more information about the total Solar Eclipse, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), where to get Eclipse glasses to safely watch the Eclipse safely, Eclipse events, hotel and camping options for visitor, business resources, and more, please visit the VisitErie web site at 

Other resources: 

Eclipse information 

PennDOT real-time travel information – 

The best way to safely view and eclipse – 

Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority – 

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