Pope's NYC visit brings street closures, mass transit changes

Traffic Reporter Ines Rosales has what you need to know about street closures during the Pope's visit on Friday.

- The visit of Pope Francis to New York City will create massive gridlock which will impact pedestrian traffic, too. Expect street closures, bus diversions along with train and subway schedule changes and cancelations beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23.  If you are not attending a papal event, you are advised not to travel into New York City from Thursday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 26. For those who must travel into and out of New York City, be patient and be prepared with a travel plan. New York City and New Jersey officials are anticipating two million extra visitors while Pope Francis is in the region. 50 percent of people traveling to see the pope will be doing so by car.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Pope Francis arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport shortly after 5 p.m. He will be attending a Vespers service at St. Patrick's Cathedral at 6:45 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 25, His Holiness will formally address the United Nations General Assembly at 8:30 a.m.

He will then travel to the 9/11 Memorial site where he will pray and take part in a multi-religious meeting for peace at Foundation Hall in the 9/11 Memorial Museum at 11:30 a.m.

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At 4 p.m., the pontiff is expected to arrive at Our Lady Queen of Angels school in East Harlem.

The papal motorcade will travel through Central Park at 5 p.m.

His Holiness will celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden at 6 p.m.

***SCROLL DOWN FOR STREET CLOSURE AND MASS TRANSIT INFORMATION***

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Pope Francis will depart for Philadelphia from JFK Airport.

While the pope is in NYC, traffic delays are anticipated in the areas of Central Park West, East Harlem, Financial District, Midtown, Madison Square Garden, and the Upper East Side.

Local and state police and mass transit agencies have shared the following important information for travelers.

STREET CLOSURES IN NYC:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2015

Beginning at approximately midnight, the following streets in the vicinity of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 9 p.m.:
•           50th Street from Madison Ave. to 5th Avenue
•           51st Street from Madison Ave. to 5th Avenue

Beginning at approximately 3 a.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed to vehicular traffic until 6 a.m.:
•             5th Avenue from 47th Street to 55th Street.
•           48th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           49th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           50th Street from 5th Ave. to 6th Avenue (will remained closed until approx. 9 p.m.)
•           51st Street from 5th Ave. to 6th Avenue (will remained closed until approx. 9 p.m.)
•           52nd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           53rd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           54th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           55th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue

Beginning at approximately 6 a.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be re-opened to vehicular traffic until 10 a.m.:
•             5th Avenue from 47th Street to 55th Street.
•           48th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           49th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           52nd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           53rd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           54th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           55th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
Please note: Crosstown traffic will be reduced to one lane of traffic

Beginning at approximately 10 a.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 9 p.m.:
•            5th Avenue from 47th Street to 55th Street
•           48th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           49th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           50th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           51st Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           52nd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           53rd Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           54th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue
•           55th Street from Madison Ave. to 6th Avenue

Beginning at approximately 2 p.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 9 p.m.:
•             Madison Avenue from 47th Street to 57th Street

On Thursday, the FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures:
•           Southbound at 63rd Street
•           Northbound at South Ferry

Beginning at approximately 8 a.m., the following street in the vicinity of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence will be closed to vehicular traffic until Saturday, September 26th at approximately
10 a.m.:
•           72nd Street from Madison Ave. to 5th Avenue

Beginning at approximately 3 p.m. the following street in the vicinity of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence will be closed to vehicular traffic until Saturday, September 26th at approximately
10 a.m.:
•           71st Street from Madison Ave. to 5th Avenue

Please note: Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
•           Madison Ave. from 69th Street to 74th Street while Pope Francis is in residence

Additional intermittent closures/managed access to vehicular traffic in the vicinity of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence include:
•             5th Avenue to from 74th Street to 71st Street
•           70th Street from Park Avenue to 5th Avenue
•           71st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
•           72nd Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
•           73rd Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
•           Madison Ave. from 69th Street to 73rd Street -two western lanes closed

Beginning at approximately 10 p.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 6 a.m.:
•           71st Street from Park Ave. to 5th Avenue
•           72nd Street from Park Ave. to 5th Avenue
•           73rd Street from Park Ave. to 5th Avenue
•           Madison Ave. from 70th Street to 73rd Street

Please note: Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
•           5th Ave. from 74th Street to 71st Street
•           Madison Ave. from 69th Street to 74th Street


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to vehicular traffic:
•           1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of the day’s session.
•           43rd Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
•           44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
•           45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
•           46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:
•           42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
•           42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

Beginning at approximately midnight, the following streets in the vicinity of the 9-11 Memorial will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 1 p.m.:
•           Liberty Street from Trinity Place to Greenwich Street
•           Cedar Street from Trinity Place to Greenwich Street

Beginning at approximately 11 a.m., the following streets in the vicinity of the 9-11 Memorial will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 1 p.m.:
•           North bound on West Street from Battery Place to Murray Street

Additional intermittent closures/managed access to vehicular traffic in the vicinity of the 9-11 Memorial includes:
•           South bound on West Street from Chambers Street to Albany Street

Please note: Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
•           South bound on West Street from Chambers Street to Albany Street

Beginning at approximately midnight, the following streets in the vicinity of the Our Lady Queen of Angels School will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 6 p.m.:
•           112th Street from 2nd Avenue to 3rd Avenue
•           113th Street Cul-de-sac

Please note: Starting at approximately 3 p.m. trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
•           2nd Avenue between 106th Street to 116th Street
•           3rd Avenue between 106th Street to 116th Street

Beginning at approximately midnight, the following streets in the vicinity of Central Park will be closed to vehicular traffic until approximately 7 p.m.:
•           Central Park West between Columbus Circle and West 81st Street
•           W 61st Street between Central Park West and Broadway            
•           W 62nd Street between Central Park West and Broadway
•           W 63rd Street between Central Park West and Broadway
•           W 64th Street between Central Park West and Broadway
•           W 65th Street between Central Park West and Broadway
•           W 66th Street between Central Park West and Broadway
•           W 67th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 68th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 69th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 70th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 72nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 73rd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 74th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 75th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 76th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
•           W 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue

Beginning at approximately midnight, the following streets in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden will be closed to vehicular traffic ntil approximately midnight:
•           31st Street from 7th Avenue to 9th Avenue
•           33rd Street from 7th Avenue to 9th Avenue

Beginning at approximately Noon, the following streets in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden will have intermittent closures/managed access to vehicular traffic
•           31st Street from 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue - managed access
•           32nd Street from 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue- managed access
•           33rd Street from 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue- managed access
•           7th Avenue from 30th   Street to 34th Street - two western lanes closed
•           8th Avenue from 31st   Street to 33rd Street – one lane only/intermittent closures

Please note: Starting at approximately Noon, trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access:
•           7th Avenue from 30th   Street to 34th Street
•           8th Avenue from 30th   Street to 34th Street

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015

The FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures:
•           Southbound at 63rd Street
•           Northbound at South Ferry


Please note:      For all days additional closings may occur at the discretion of the police department.

MASS TRANSIT (SUBWAY, BUS, METRO-NORTH, LIRR) CHANGES:

The MTA has created a page with additional transit services for the pope's visit. Click HERE.

Anyone using the NYC subway system, MTA buses, Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road is advised to buy round-trip MetroCards or train tickets in advance. Commuters should expect over-crowding on subways, buses and trains.

SUBWAY ADVISORY:

The MTA says it will be able to accommodate additional customers attending papal events. Subway managers will be prepared to adjust train operations as necessary based on conditions in stations near those events. Additional customer service personnel will be on duty in subway stations near papal events to assist customers as they enter and leave the system.

BUS CHANGES:

The MTA New York City Bus system is planning significant service changes to bus routes that operate near the locations of papal events, in order to accommodate street closures and pedestrian restrictions. 

The MTA has announced express and local detours from 3 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Saturday.

PLEASE USE SUBWAY WHERE POSSIBLE.

Buses traveling the following routes will be impacted:

Thursday, Sept. 24:

• E 72 St between Madison Av and 5 Av

• Wall St Heliport

• 55 St to 49 St

• Midtown

Friday, Sept. 25:

• Central Park West

• E 72 St between Madison Av and 5 Av

• United Nations

• 9/11 Memorial

• East Harlem

• Madison Square Garden – Midtown West

Saturday, Sept. 26:

• E 72 St between Madison Av and 5 Av

• Wall St Heliport

Fifth – Madison Avenues:
Pope Francis will travel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue for Evening Prayer (Vespers) in the evening of Thursday, September 24. He will later stay at a residence on the Upper East Side until his departure on the morning of Saturday, September 26. When Fifth Avenue is closed during those times, the M1, M2, M3, M4 and Q32 buses that usually travel on Fifth and Madison avenues will instead use major cross streets to travel to Lexington and Third avenues. The M5 will travel south on Seventh Avenue, then take 42nd Street to Fifth Avenue.

These diversions may take effect before papal events begin to accommodate preparations, but those routes are scheduled to run normally during the Thursday morning rush hour. Intermittent road closures could occur at any time.

Throughout the papal visit, the M72 will be diverted to the 79th Street Transverse across Central Park. Eastbound buses will use Amsterdam and Lexington avenues to reach this diversion, and westbound buses will use Third and Columbus avenues.

United Nations:
At all times during the General Assembly, northbound M15 and M15 SBS buses will bypass stops on First Avenue between 39th Street and 50th Street. During certain United Nations events, northbound M15 and M15 SBS buses will be diverted from First Avenue to Third Avenue between 34th Street and 57th Street.
The eastbound M42 will turn short to avoid the United Nations during the entire General Assembly. The bus will turn at Second Avenue if possible, and if not, at Lexington Avenue, before returning on Third Avenue to westbound 42nd Street.

Throughout the papal visit, the M50 will be diverted between Sixth and Lexington avenues. Westbound buses will travel on 42nd Street and eastbound buses will travel on 57th Street. This is in addition to other diversions in place between Madison and Lexington avenues during the General Assembly, when westbound buses will travel on 47th Street and eastbound buses will travel on 52nd Street when possible.

Lower Manhattan:
The M9, M20 and M22 bus routes will curtail service short of Battery Park City during the multi-religious service late Friday morning at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. The M9 and M22 will terminate near City Hall, while the M20 will travel southbound on Broadway and northbound on Church Street.
East Harlem: 

Several bus routes will be diverted during Pope Francis’ visit to the Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem on Friday afternoon. The M96 eastbound will be diverted to 106th Street between Madison and Lexington avenues. If 106th Street is closed, the M96 and M106 eastbound will be diverted to 116th Street between Madison and Lexington avenues.

If Second or Third avenues are closed through East Harlem, additional diversions will take effect. The M15 and M15 SBS southbound would divert to Lexington Avenue between 116th and 86th streets. The M98 and M103 northbound would divert to First Avenue between 96th and 116th streets. The M101 and M102 northbound would divert to Madison Avenue at 96th Street.

Central Park:
Buses along Central Park West will diverted throughout Friday during preparations for Pope Francis’ procession through Central Park. The M5, M7, M10, M20 and M104 will be rerouted along 57th Street to Columbus and Amsterdam avenues; the M10 will return to Central Park West at 81st Street.
The M66 will be diverted eastbound to 57th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue, and westbound between Lexington and Amsterdam avenues. The M72 will be diverted eastbound to 81st Street and then via the 79th Street Transverse between Amsterdam and Lexington avenues, and westbound to the 79th Street Transverse and then 81st Street between Third and Columbus avenues.

Madison Square Garden:
Several routes will be diverted from streets near Madison Square Garden from late morning through late evening Friday to avoid the Papal Mass being celebrated there Friday evening.
The southbound M4 and Q32 routes will turn in a loop using 23rd St. and Sixth Avenue to reach 32nd Street and their normal northbound route. The southbound M7 and M20 will be diverted from Seventh to Ninth avenues between 41st and 24th streets, and the northbound M20 will be diverted from Eighth to Tenth avenues between 23rd and 40th streets.
The M34 SBS and M34A SBS routes will be diverted to 23rd Street between First and Tenth avenues.

Waterside Plaza customers can reach the buses at the FDR Drive and Avenue C.

The MTA is encouraging travelers to sign up for text and email alerts about changing transit and traffic conditions. Visit MTAALERTS.COM

METRO-NORTH ADVISORY:

Metro-North will operate on a normal schedule Sept. 24-Sept. 25.

On Sept. 25, the railroad will operate three additional inbound trains, leaving Poughkeepsie on the Hudson Line at 10:37 a.m.; leaving Southeast on the Harlem Line at 10:08 a.m.; and leaving Fairfield Metro on the New Haven Line at 11:00 a.m. Some earlier trains will be combined and canceled to provide crews and equipment for those trains; details on those service changes will be available at www.mta.info/mnr.

LIRR ADVISORY:

Long Island Rail Road will operate eight extra westbound trains into Penn Station on Friday, including three on the Babylon Branch leaving Babylon at 12:20 p.m., 12:43 p.m. and 1:20 p.m.; two on the Port Jefferson Branch leaving Huntington at 12:19 p.m. and 1:19 p.m.; one on the Port Jefferson Branch leaving Hicksville at 1:07 p.m.; and two on the Ronkonkoma Branch leaving Ronkonkoma at 12:40 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.

PENN STATION ADVISORY:

Penn Station will remain open during the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden, which is directly above the station, but some individual staircases may be closed at times for security reasons or to manage crowd conditions. Extra eastbound trains will be on standby at Penn Station to carry people back to Long Island at the conclusion of the Papal Mass.

NJ STREET AND ROAD CLOSURES:

On Saturday, Sept. 26, anyone within a 25-mile radius of Philadelphia will be impacted by the pontiff's visit to the 'City of Brotherly Love.'

Expect street, road and bridge closures.

Portions of I-676 and Route 30 will be closed approaching the Ben Franklin Bridge. Other impacted roads include I-295, Routes 38, 42, 45, 47, 55, 70, 73, 76, 90, 130, 168 and 322. Roadways such as I-95, I-195 and Route 1 also will see significant traffic impacts.

Parking restrictions will be in place at the PATCO Woodcrest station. It is the only PATCO station in South Jersey that will operate Sept. 26 and 27.

NJ State Officials recommend travelers visit 511NJ's website for the most up-to-the-minute traffic information.

NJ TRANSIT BUS AND TRAIN ADVISORY:

NJTransit.com Papal Service Information

On Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25, NJ TRANSIT will have service in place to accommodate customers heading to New York, particularly during the evening hours and continuing through the end of the Papal event at Madison Square Garden.

We are adding additional bus service on New York-bound routes and adjusting some of our rail service to provide more seats during hours when customers will need them the most. Service to Hoboken also is an option and allows convenient connections with PATH and NY Waterway services to and from New York.

NJ TRANSIT will offer limited special service on its Atlantic City Rail Line and River LINE for people attending the World Meeting of Families and Papal visit on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, 2015. The service is limited in order to keep crowd numbers consistent with the maximum capacity that will be available.

During the weekend of September 26 and 27, 2015, NJ TRANSIT regular tickets will NOT be accepted and we will NOT be operating regular weekend service on either the Atlantic City Rail Line or the River LINE. Special tickets are available for people planning to ride the Atlantic City Rail Line and River LINE as the lines will operate on a limited schedule only on both days. Customers need to purchase their tickets in advance of this weekend.

No one will be allowed to ride without a SPECIAL EVENT ticket and no tickets will be sold on Saturday, September 26 or Sunday, September 27. No other fares, including monthly passes, Family SuperSaver or cash, will be accepted on the Atlantic City Rail Line or River LINE.

• NJ TRANSIT will operate some additional bus service to Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York on Friday, 9/25.
• The Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from Friday night through noon Monday; this closure may be extended.
• All NJ TRANSIT buses to/from Philadelphia will begin/end their trips at Walter Rand Transportation Center (WRTC) while the Ben Franklin Bridge is closed.
• Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) trains will operate express service ONLY on Saturday and Sunday between Atlantic City and Philadelphia - no stops will be made at all stations from Absecon to Pennsauken. You must present a SPECIAL EVENT ticket to ride the train (tickets must be purchased in advance at www.njtransit.com/papal). Supplemental bus service will operate for all other ACRL customers from Atlantic City to Pennsauken.
• River LINE trains will only serve customers with SPECIAL EVENT tickets on Saturday and Sunday, with limited stops at Trenton, Bordentown, Florence, Burlington South, Pennsauken Route 73, Pennsauken Transit Center and WRTC (tickets must be purchased in advance at www.njtransit.com/papal). All other River LINE customers will be served with supplemental bus service.
• River LINE and bus customers traveling to Papal events in Philadelphia must walk several miles from WRTC in Camden to Philadelphia event venues.
• There will be no connecting SEPTA rail service at Trenton Transit Center. New York and northern New Jersey residents are encouraged to take Amtrak to Philadelphia.
• Access Link to/from Philadelphia will be suspended from 3 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Access Link service to/from Camden County will be suspended Saturday and Sunday.
• NJ TRANSIT will have ambassadors around our system during the four days to assist you in your travels.

PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YOK AND NEW JERSEY

PATH & THE PAPAL VISIT

For those who will be taking PATH, using one of the bus terminals or Hudson River crossings, you are encouraged to sign up for alerts to receive timely updates on delays and service changes. 

Friday, September 25

Additional PATH service will be offered between Journal Square and 33rd St; and Hobken and 33rd St.

NOTE FOR BOATERS: East River security zone restrictions

The United States Coast Guard will be enforcing security zones on the East River near the United Nations Headquarters from Sept. 25 through Oct. 4, 2015. The security zone includes all waters of the East River between East 35th Street and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

Zone 1: This zone is always in effect. No vessels within 175 yards of Manhattan between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge in the west channel of the East River. Commercial vessels must check in with the VTS New York (VTSNY) on VHF-FM Channel 12 prior to entering the west channel.

Zone 2: West Channel closure: Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 (7 a.m.- 7 p.m.). No commercial or recreational traffic in the west channel of the East River between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge. NYC DEP sludge vessels will not be allowed to transit without 24-hour advance coordination with the Sector New York Enforcement Division.

Zone 3: Full river closure: Sept. 25 and Sept. 28 (Times vary, see restriction/ closure times below) No commercial or recreational traffic in the East River between Eat 35th Street and the Queensboro/ 59th Street Bridge, except commercial passenger vessels on the east channel with the United States Coast Guard Patrol Commander (PATCOM) approval.

Roosevelt Island Bridge openings

1. Vessels that require opening of the Roosevelt Island Bridge must contact the bridge tender at least 15 minutes in advance by phone at, (718) 545-2092 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., or via VHF-FM Channel 13.

2. Planning for this event is ongoing and specific times of the various security zone closures may change. Every effort will be made to keep mariners informed of all changes. Contact VTSNY on VHF-FM channel 12 or at (718) 354-4088 for updates.

3. The Coast Guard PATCOM will be monitoring VHF-FM channel 16.

4. Violations of this security zone are punishable by a $50,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both.

East River restrictions/closure times

Date                            Time                            Zone

Sep 25 (Fri.)                8 a.m. to 12 p.m.            3

Sep 28 (Mon)             7 a.m. to 7 p.m.               2&3 (Zone 3: Times to be determined)

Sep 29 (Tues)             7 a.m. to 7 p.m.               2

Sep 30 (Wed)              7 a.m. to 7 p.m.              2

Oct 1 (Thur)               7 a.m. to 7 p.m.               2

Oct 2 (Fri)                   7 a.m. to 7 p.m.              2

Oct 3 (Sat)                  24 / 7                              1

Oct 4 (Sun)                 24 / 7                              1

NOTE: Mariners can expect full closure of the East River on Sept. 25, and Sept. 28, 2015.

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