Pope Francis’ visit to the city, the first since Benedict XVI toured New York for three days in 2008, will have wide-ranging implications in major and expected ways -- like traffic -- while making some surprising impacts -- including to mail delivery.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the region's largest transportation agency, has gone so far as to recommend that people who work in Manhattan telecommute on Friday.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect:
Dozens of streets will be closed at times through Saturday for the pontiff’s visit. And, as the United Nations’ General Assembly meets the same week, there could be major gridlock at times throughout the city.See All the Traffic Changes Here
Officials are urging drivers to stay off the roads Thursday and Friday. They say that workers should try to take mass transit or, if possible, telecommute on those days.
The MTA announced plans to reroute portions of as many as 25 bus routes. All of the affected routes are in Manhattan. Manhattan portions of the Q32 bus will also be affected. See All Bus Changes Here
No major subway changes are expected for the visit, but the MTA has said it would make adjustments as needed to accommodate for events. Some entrances to Penn Station will be closed during the Pope's Madison Square Garden Mass.
The Long Island Railroad and Metro-North both announced they will run extra trains on Friday to accommodate for extra riders coming to see the Pope’s procession through Central Park and Mass at Madison Square Garden. Lauren Scala has your guide to Penn Station during the visit.
The Port Authority says that there will be extra PATH service will be offered Friday for the papal events. The World Trade Center PATH station is expected to be open during the visit.
NJ Transit said that it will offer additional bus and train service for the pope’s visit on Friday. Over the weekend, the Atlantic City Rail Line, which runs between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, will not operate on a normal schedule, and commuters will not be able to board trains without a special event ticket. The River LINE, a light rail line that runs between Camden and Trenton, will also only accept special event passes. More Info Here.
No changes or delays have been announced at the region's major airports.
A large swath of Central Park will be closed from 5 a.m. to 7 pm. Friday for Pope Francis’ pre-Mass procession. The park will be closed from Central Park West to Fifth Avenue between 59th and 81st streets. Visitors with tickets to see the procession will be able to get into the park, however.
A small portion of the lower park east of Center Drive and south of East 66th Street will remain open, along with the rest of the park above 81st Street. Park officials say crowds should be expected and that additional closures are possible.
As with other major events, wireless service will be taxed by the sheer crush of data beamed to and from cell phones and mobile devices during the Pope’s visit. All four major wireless carriers -- Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint -- have announced plans to make temporary and permanent upgrades ahead of the visit.
Still, as with other major events, you should expect slower than usual internet service, dropped calls and slow-to-send text messages if you’re near one of the big events.
If you're going to one of the Pope's events, or if you work or live nearby, expect to see extra police, checkpoints and screenings throughout the city. About 6,000 additional officers and 1,200 more patrol cars will be deployed for the visit.
If you're going to one of the papal events, leave the selfie stick and drones at home: they're among the laundry list of items that won't be allowed anywhere Francis goes.