Pope Philly Visit: What Drivers Need To Know

Pope Francis Philly Visit: Street Closures, Pope Schedule,

In case you haven’t heard, the pope is coming to the U.S. next week. Pope Francis will be the fourth pope to visit America. First, he is going to D.C. 9/22 – 9/24. Then he will spend a day in New York on 9/25. Lastly, he will be in Philadelphia 9/26 – 9/27. The city is expecting 135,000 to 150,000 vehicles downtown. Here’s everything drivers need to know.

Parking Restrictions Start 9/20

If your car is parked in pope security zones, you will need to move it starting on Sept. 20, depending on the location. Temporary no parking signs will be posted indicating parking restrictions beginning at the following dates and times:

  • At 6:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, areas around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the Art Museum extending East to 12th Street.
  • At 9:00 a.m. Monday, September 21, areas North and South of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
  • At 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, areas East of 12th Street to 3rd Street.
  • At 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 23, designated emergency routes will be cleared of parked cars.

According to NBC Philadelphia, “residents in the affected neighborhoods have the option of purchasing a $20 parking placard that will allow their cars to legally stay parked on the street until Thursday, Sept. 24, and also give them access to a parking garage for when their cars do have to move.”

Downtown “Traffic Box” Starts 9/25

It’s not every day that the pope visits Philadelphia. So, it’s no surprise that getting around the city won’t be easy during his visit. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced what’s being called a ‘traffic box’ for parts of Center City and West Philadelphia. You can drive inside the, you can leave the box, but you cannot re-enter. Here are the details.

  • The traffic box for Center City will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 25th, while the traffic box for West Philadelphia will begin at 10 p.m.
  • Vehicles will be allowed out of the traffic box, but will not be able to re-enter. However, drivers will be able to travel inside the traffic box.
  • There will be authorized vehicle access roads for emergency vehicles only.
  • There will be no SEPTA bus service or trolley service within the traffic box.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian traffic WILL be allowed inside the traffic box.
  • It’s not yet known if taxis will be allowed to operate inside the traffic box.

Pope Philly visit city center traffic box

The city center traffic box boundaries are:

*North Boundary: Spring Garden to Ridge, Ridge to Girard, Girard to the Schuylkill River

*South Boundary: South Street, from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River

*East Boundary: Delaware Avenue from South Street to Spring Garden Street.

*West Boundary: Along the edge of the Schuylkill River, up Kelly Drive, stopping just below the Girard Avenue Bridge.

The Pope’s Philly Schedule 9/26 – 9/27

Check out the pope’s schedule while he visits the City of Brotherly Love.
Saturday, September 26, 2015

8:40 a.m Departure for Philadelphia from John F. Kennedy International Airport
9:30 a.m Arrival in Atlantic Aviation hangar at Philadelphia International Airport Philadelphia
10:30 a.m Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
4:45 p.m Visit to Independence Mall
7:30 p.m Visit to Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Prayer Vigil with World Meeting of Families

Sunday, September 27, 2015

9:15 a.m Papal meeting with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
11 a.m Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
4 p.m Papal Mass for World Meeting of Families
7 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families at Atlantic Aviation
8 p.m Departure for return to Rome

Links about the Pope Philly Visit

NY Times Interactive Map of Pope Francis’ Schedule

Pope Francis Visit 2015: Philadelphia

Philly.com Papal Visit FAQ

Philly.com Complete Guide to Pope Francis’ Visit

World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Papal visit

City of Philadelphia Papal Visit Center

Have anything else to share? Let us know in the comments.