The Pope has landed for his American tour. The leader of the Catholic Church has a rigorous touring schedule that takes him through 18 stops in 3 cities in less than a week, attracting both Catholics and members of other faiths. The visit starts in Washington DC, then heads to New York and Philadelphia. The Papal convoy is already causing gridlock throughout DC, so we thought we’d put together some tips that will help both visitors and residents
1. Take Public Transit- Public transportation is going to be crowded, but with street closings and added security measures, driving will get you no where. In order to keep up with the increased demand, DC is adding significantly more trains and busses. To get the new schedules, information on road closings and other updates from the city, visit papal visit DC website. With over 70 bus routes interrupted by the Popes events, the city is hiring extra staff to help travelers figure out where they need to go. They are also offering some free transfers for routes that are interrupted.
2.Pay Attention to Twitter- Twitter is usually the fastest and most up to date news source available, especially in tweet happy DC. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has even gotten in on the Papal action, creating the twitter handle @511NJ_Papal to monitor traffic issues and let drivers know how to navigate them. The twitter isn’t confined only to NJ, and can be useful for drivers all over DC. Following hashtags like #papalvisit and #PopeinDC will greatly ease travel experiences this week. Paying attention to twitter will be a major help this weekend.
3. Find a list of the road closures– If you decide that you have to drive, do yourself a favor and make sure you know which streets are closed and that you have parking pre-booked with parkwhiz. With huge swaths of the city center out of commission, and different parking ordinances in effect, having the right information is key. Ddot has assembled some of the best maps, and their info on road closures into one master resource.
The Pope’s visit should help spread peace and bring people together. Hopefully road rage doesn’t tear them apart.