Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Papal Visit Expected to Impact DC-Area Traffic 9/22-9/24

AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning residents that Pope Francis' visit to the United States is expected to impact traffic in the Washington, DC area next week (Tuesday, September 22 through Thursday, September 24).

Pope Francis arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday at 4 PM and will visit the White House on Wednesday, followed by a parade down Constitution Avenue in the Popemobile to St. Matthew's Cathedral. On Thursday, the Pope will be on Capitol Hill.

The effects of the visit are expected largely to be due to some security closures in DC and New York City.

However, Philadelphia is expecting 2 million visitors from across North America during the Papal Visit on Saturday and Sunday (September 26-27, 2015) with major disruptions to traffic.

An excerpt from an email sent to AAA Mid-Atlantic members on 9/16/15:

In the coming week, nearly two million people are expected to travel from around the country and throughout the world to take part in Pope Francis' first visit to the United States.

Whether you plan to take part in the Papal Visit events or need to adjust work and/or leisure travel accordingly, as a AAA Member, you can count on us to help.

Know Before You Go - Papal Visit Cities/Dates 

Washington, DC – Tuesday through Thursday, September 22–24
New York City – Thursday through Saturday, September 24–26
Philadelphia  Saturday and Sunday, September 26, 27

Travelers in and around these areas should expect extensive delays, road closures and security measures, as well as last-minute changes.

Plan, Prepare and Be Patient 

If you're attending a Papal Visit event(s), make a travel plan – know travel and security restrictions at your destination; plan accordingly; do not wait until the last minute.
If you're NOT attending a Papal Visit event, make a Papal Visit travel plan – know travel and security restrictions in your area; plan alternative route(s); do not wait until the last minute.
Avoid the Traffic – plan as you would for a snow storm; allow extra travel time, work remotely, or stay home and off the roads during the height of the events. 
Plan Alternate Routes – if your daily work or leisure travel will be affected, plan an alternate route(s); delays could impact travel up to 50 miles away.
Safety First - if traveling to a Papal event, know what items are allowed and which are prohibited in Washington, DC and Philadelphia; pack only necessities; carry ID, money and valuables safely; wear comfortable shoes—many event sites require extensive walking.

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