Part of Philadelphia is going to get fenced in come September, when Pope Francis pays the city a visit as part of the 2015 World Meeting of Families.
After some speculation that Center City could be entirely fenced in for the Pope’s appearances, Mayor Michael Nutter refuted that notion on Thursday and gave some detail into the plans, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported this afternoon.
“Whoever is saying that somehow all of Center City is going to be shut down, has no idea what they’re talking about,” Nutter reportedly said at a press conference. “There’s never been any discussion with me where the idea of all of Center City being enclosed, encapsulated, shut down, has ever been discussed.”
Mayor Nutter did, however, confirm to The Inquirer that there will be fencing in the various parts of the city where Pope Francis intends to go. The nature of the fencing — height, type, etc. — is still to be determined. Fencing is a usual measure of security for large cities, The Inquirer said, as it helps secure a certain area and funnel the public through screening devices like metal detectors in order to see an important person speak.
“There was fencing out at the July 4 show just the other day … fencing is not a new concept in this city,” Nutter said at the presser.
Despite all the necessary security measures and street closings forecast for the late September event, Mayor Nutter said there is no reason for Philadelphians to escape the city. “The overwhelming majority of the city will be fairly unaffected by what’s going on in Center City. Again, there will be road closures, places that you can’t go and you’ll know all that over the course of the next couple months.”.