The United States Secret Service has just released a detailed map outlining security zones, screening points and pedestrian routes for Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia later this month.
They’re calling the document a “pedestrian walking map,” and it outlines pedestrian routes to all papal visit events for the weekend of September 26-27.
What’s new here? Plenty, really.
The security perimeter — er, make that the Francis Festival zone — will itself be split into two areas. The northwestern quadrant of the zone, where Francis will speak from, will be open only to ticket holders. The Secret Service’s announcement does not include information on how to obtain a ticket, or how many tickets will be made available.
The map also identifies 16 individual security entry and exit points for the Francis Festival Zone, as well as another four controlled access points for Francis’s visit on Saturday the 26th to Independence Mall (that perimeter goes away after that event concludes).
Conspicuously absent? Any screening point whatsoever along the Ben Franklin Bridge, or on the approach to the bridge in New Jersey.
A number of “public viewing screens” show up on this map, but not anywhere near the 40 Jumbotrons that the World Meeting of Families has said will be placed throughout Center City.
The walking guide also includes a long list of prohibited items, including obvious stuff like firearms, drones and pepper spray, but also balloons, coolers, large backpacks and — sorry, Instagram nation — selfie-sticks.
There’s also one other bit of information here that some might latch onto: “Pennsylvania National Guardsman will be stationed throughout center city Philadelphia.” This was announced before. Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement early last month that the National Guard “will primarily assist with traffic management” and “play an important supportive role in making sure people can get to, through and from the event.”
See the map and a long list of official papal visit do’s and don’ts below.