Finally, a One-Stop Shop for All Your Questions About the Pope’s Visit
There will soon be a one-stop shop for all of your #PopeinPhilly needs.
Mayor Michael Nutter announced Thursday that the World Meeting of Families is publishing a comprehensive guide for residents about Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia. It will include information on the event itself, road closures, security measures, transportation options and more.
The “Papal Visit Playbook” will be available here on August 24th at noon. Residents can register at that website to receive an alert when it is posted online.
Donna Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families, described it as a “central access point, one place to go” for all your pope questions.
The is a big deal: Up until now, Nutter and other officials have released information about the World Meeting of Families in dribs and drabs. There have been a total of five press conferences on the event, and Philadelphians have had to play close attention to the news media to keep track of all the different information.
So hopefully this guide is as thorough as officials are saying it will be.
Nutter also made a few other announcements about the city’s plans for the World Meeting of Families:
- Philly 311, the city’s non-emergency call center, will be open 24-7 from Thursday, September 24th to Monday, September 28th.
- Last week, Nutter said that trash and recycling pickup will be suspended Thursday, September 24th, Friday, September 25th and Monday, September 28th. He said Thursday that the city has decided to pick up trash and recycling as usual on that Thursday. The city is asking those who normally set out their trash on Friday or Monday to hold it until the following week.
- If you can’t wait, though, you can drop off your trash at one of the city’s five “Sanitation Convenience Centers.” Locations are listed here. From Thursday, September 24th to Sunday, October 4th, the city is extending hours at the centers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Each vehicle will be able to dispose of a maximum of 24 bags of trash and an unlimited amount of recycling.
- The city is going to release a map soon at phila.gov of grocery stores, hospitals and places of worship within the so-called “traffic box,” an area where cars are not allowed to enter. It’s aimed at residents who live within that zone.
- Nutter said the city is “working with railroads” to determine whether oil train shipments should be suspended in Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families. Between 45 and 80 oil trains usually travel through the city each week, and normally more than 700,000 people reside within a half-mile of the rail lines. Obviously, that number will be much higher when the pope is in town.
- Nutter said the city will soon post information, likely on phila.gov, about where residents should park if they live within the “secure vehicle perimeter” and have to move their cars.
- Between 10 p.m. Thursday, September 24th and the end of the day Friday, September 25th, SEPTA will run as follows: All Regional Rail lines will be on an “enhanced Saturday” schedule, except they won’t stop at Suburban Station. Subways and West Philly trolleys will run normally, except they won’t stop at 15th Street or City Hall stations. On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, Regional Rail and subways will run in a limited capacity as has been previously announced. Trolleys will run like normal, except they’ll only operate to 30th Street.