The Pope in Philly

Crowds, Midtown traffic and a wax stand-in: How things went for Pope Francis in NYC


The Pope’s second leg of his historic trip to the United States took place in New York where either the traffic and logistics was worse than in Washington, D.C... or people in New York just complain more.

Pope Francis is on his way to Philadelphia this morning for his weekend trip to our city and the World Meeting of Families, the longest time he’ll spend in one place in the United States. But the Pontiff also took time in New York yesterday to address the United Nations and onlookers at Madison Square Garden. Huge crowds also gathered at Central Park West:

Here’s how everything went in New York from a logistics standpoint:


It doesn’t take the Pope for traffic to be terrible in New York. But with a huge lineup of street closures so the Pontiff could roll down the streets, traffic in Midtown was much worse than usual. Ssome pilgrims and residents reporting it took hours to travel just a few blocks, especially as lines to see the Pope rivaled how long New Yorkers would wait for a cronut.

But outside roads were ghostly on Friday morning, include the Lincoln Tunnel which is historically gridlocked. As in Washington, D.C., residents were singing the Pope’s praises for causing traffic to be lighter and quieter than usual.

Public transportation

New York subways and commuter rails had set up a number of extra trains on Friday in order to handle the crowds of people making their way into the city and people getting to midtown for the public events the Pontiff was appearing at. Reports indicate the trains were still packed, unlike the empty Metro rail trains we saw earlier this week in DC. Trains faced delays and New Yorkers were… complain-y.

Also, this happened:


It’s a good sign when the biggest security issue has to do with a fake Pope. Sure, security in New York was very tight, as it usually is when dignitaries make their way to the United Nations. They even had their own versions of Pope fences!

But one of the biggest things that threw off security and police was a big wax version of Pope Francis that prompted confusion from Papal pilgrims and a response from police.


Want some more? Explore other The Pope in Philly stories.

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