When The Pope Comes To Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s blogs are chattering about security measures and road closures slated for when Pope Francis visits at the end of September.

As far as the city is concerned, no-vehicle boundaries will likely fall as such: Girard to Ridge to Spring Garden to the north, South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east and 38th Street to the west. Basically, “no vehicles in greater center city/ucity,” the source said. “That’s why we’ve been calling it the traffic box. No traffic.” West Philly boundaries remain a bit hazy for city planners, but they do know a Pope fence will go up around the Parkway, probably from the Art Museum to City Hall, about two blocks wide on either side. “Pretend it’s a blizzard,” the source said. “Nothing functions normally during a blizzard.” Here’s what that would look like, with the red area representing the fence that will be put up and the black area representing the full security boundaries. It’s still being worked out what those boundaries might mean for residents. Papal event consultants confirmed to PlanPhilly that the Ben Franklin Bridge between Philadelphia and New Jersey will be shut down, and they’ve even made suggestions that the city should, for some period of time, shut down I-95.

City planners are bracing for crowds of up to 1.5 million over the weekend. Residents of the affected areas have reportedly been told they should “plan to walk miles” to reach their usual destinations. The majority of the city’s rail system will be dedicated to express shuttles for papal worshipers and most regular stops will be bypassed. Craigslist is already seeing home rental listings for as much as $25,000 for the three-day papal visit. One optimistic fellow is asking $10K for his one bedroom apartment.

  • ZhyKitty

    Ugh! Things like this make me very grateful to live in a place where no one would visit on purpose. lol

    • bkmn

      We must be neighbors!

      • ZhyKitty

        Cousinfuckerville, Teabagistan

        A lovely place to drive through….just be sure to lock your doors and roll up your windows! lol

        • David Walker

          Happily, the state took care of that for us by building a 4-lane that skirts our town. Hershey is the next town, and what with the park, the arena, the stadium, and all the other tourist traps, even the 4-lane gets clogged. However, there is now no reason for tourists to go through our town.

          • LonelyLiberal

            So the government built the Hershey Highway for you.

          • David Walker

            One might say that, yes.

          • Well, if you build that someone is bound to come.

          • LonelyLiberal

            The problem is that they replace the normal tar with santorum.

          • Don_K

            You must be from Palmyra! That’s where my mom grew up, for what it’s worth.

          • David Walker

            Good town (except for the ongoing sink hole problem), but I’m to the west, Hummelstown.

    • Gustav2

      When Columbus OH didn’t get the Democratic convention there was a sigh of relief by the regular folks.

      • ZhyKitty

        Bet the sex workers were pissed, though. lol

        • Gustav2

          At most political conventions the sex workers come from out of the area. The hometown guys and gals often get pushed out.

          • ZhyKitty

            Yeah, that’s not uncommon.
            I know a lot of sex workers follow the golf circuits as well as traveling for political conventions, and Features (the more famous sex workers who do porn) also travel the strip club circuit, as well.
            All of that takes business from the locals except for the 8 – 10’s. If you’re an 8 – 10 and put yourself out there, you’ll get work. It’s the average workers that have to rely more heavily on their regulars.

          • zhera

            8-10? PLEASE tell me that’s not about age!

          • ZhyKitty

            Ew, no.
            It references how attractive someone is on a scale of 1 to 10. 8 and above never have any trouble getting work….at least the first time around. To get repeat customers, you need to be skilled as well…and Courtesans, of course, must also be skilled in conversation and well read on top of being skilled in their art form.
            Also, people who specialize..especially if it’s a hard to come by specialty.
            There are places on the internet where people who are connoisseurs, if you will, go to rate sex workers so that when anyone comes to town, they know who does what, how to find them, and their general score in performance and looks (if looks matter – for some kinks, they don’t, and the number rating is then applied towards how skilled they are in their area of specialty,)

          • rusty57

            “The more you know…”

            Love you ZhyKitty.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            I’m envisioning such a site tailored for our clerical visitors, where all the pics are 10-12 year old boys. I’m also envisioning prison.

    • Gustav2
    • clemsonaj

      Godlessville is great too. The pope never pays us a visit.

      • ZhyKitty

        LOL Nor would he come here…
        Aren’t we both so fortunate? lol

        I think I would have liked to visit Godlessville…especially in younger years…

  • bkmn

    Dear Philly residents,
    Please accept our apologies for all the tightwad Xtains that will be urinating in your yard because the businesses will be closed since no one will be able to get to work.
    Love, Frank.

    • Irish856

      LOL… few if any front yards in the closed area… will be a lot of smelly alleys

    • Gene

      this is a CATHOLIC specific event….no Protestant I know, sane gay friendly mainliner or fundy trash, would touch this event with a 10 foot pole.

    • bambinoitaliano

      Back in 2002 we had a world youth day. what’s left was 32000 litre of raw sewage got dump in the backyard of retail furniture complex (Ikea like store). It took the business 6 months to clean up. This religion shit is real!

      • Lumpy Gaga


  • BearEyes

    what a friggin’ nightmare for those who live and work there.

  • Irish856

    I think that Homeland Security has gone a bit overboard… no subways running near the event
    Only 350,000 train tickets will be sold for all of the commuter trains and they will not stop at the station closest to the event

    Closing the streets to traffic is not a bad idea… Philly Sidewalks ore narrow… so the streets will be where all will walk

    The Gayborhood will be quiet… we are all leaving town

    • clay

      and I wonder about Amtrak between Trenton and Wilmington.

      • Irish856

        Amtrak will require advance tickets that weekend… and SEPTA will require the special tickets… if they can get it to work
        PATCO from NJ also has a must by in advance ticket from the NJ Burbs
        NJ Transit has yet to announce their plans for buses and the Atlantic City rail

        It will be crazy

        • Mark_in_MN

          I understand that there are special and specific transportation needs for the papal event that need to be accommodated, but this just sounds ridiculous. I can’t easily imagine that if I knew these systems and the geography, it would sound any less so.

          • Irish856

            Not sure if if you have been to a US city that is 300 years old… Many streets are barley wide enough to drive a car don without riding both curbs.
            The city had a dry run in dealing with a celebration for the Phillies world Series win… Over a million people showed up crippling transit as well as even the main streets and highways… The goal is to learn from that and not repeat it.
            They expect 5,000 buses from along the east coast… they need to not only park the buses, but get the people to the parkway. will cost $500 to park a bus for the day

    • Irish856
      • Lumpy Gaga

        Of course, the WCoF, size queens that they are, are contradicting Caesar (er, Nutter) and saying it’s going to be even biggerer!

        Yeah,. biggerer than the taste for shutting down marriage, you hope.

        If Budweiser can put Beyonce on the Parkway without the world falling apart, this can surely be handled. Now STFU, do your jobs, welcome to Philadelphia, and leave ASAFP.

      • Mark_in_MN

        The event is two months away and they haven’t finalized the “security parameter” yet, or publicly released the real thing? Goodness gracious!

        • Irish856

          As The Mayor said… Why give every nut on earth the plan so far in advance… give them 2 months to plan an attack

  • Blake Jordan

    A majorly inconvenient waste of money!!!

  • oikos

    Another free ride for a tax free grift. How much money will the RCC reimburse Philly for the costs of this visit by the Don of kiddy diddlers?

  • Octavio

    Gosh. When Frankie was down here a while back the crowds weren’t nearly as big. 1.5 million? Maybe I’m wrong. We were out of town that weekend taking photos of penguins in Chubut. But I never saw any big worries about crowd control in the local papers. And this is a city where at least a third of the passengers on a city bus all make the sign of a cross whenever the bus passes by a church. Hmmmm . . . . ?

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      You should’ve stayed in town — there were thousands of penguins in BA that weekend.

      • Frommer_Gast

        This is unfair! I wanted to make this joke!!!

    • clay

      Philly was already planning a world-scale family and youth conference, so adding the Pope built the crowd that much more.

      • Octavio

        I pass by his the church that was his old haunting grounds practically every day. It’s not become the tourist attraction one would expect it to be.

  • sherman

    Hey, I’m not Catholic. Where is my religious freedom to drive on public roads that my tax money paid for? This is the biggest attack on religious freedom ever.

    Yes, right wingers, it does sound pretty ridiculous, but you should realize how ridiculous you sound when you’re demanding special rights.

    • GarySFBCN

      OK, I’m very anti-religion. But. . .the LGBT pride parades always create havoc. Ditto for other events. Obama comes to SF? Holy shit, it is a mess.

      So, ease up, partner.

      • sherman

        I think most people realized this was a sarcastic criticism of the people always whining about their religious freedom.

        • GarySFBCN


  • Bill_Perdue

    “When The Pope Comes To Philadelphia” he should be arrested and charged with crimes against humanity for his support for the Argentine junta’s murder campaigns against leftists and youth in Argentina in the 1970’s.

    But the government that is illegally murdering Arab-American citizens in racist drone attacks probably won’t arrest the pope for his crimes abetting the same sort of murders in Argentina.

    Religion is the enemy.

  • friendlynerd

    Center City is going to be a mess for so long. Glad I don’t have to go anywhere near it during this time.

  • LovesIrony

    Parents should plan on having their children spend the time with relatives out of state.

  • David L. Caster

    One optimistic fellow is asking $10K for his one bedroom apartment.


  • Richard

    Joe, Thank You for alerting me to this visit of the CEO of the 7 Billion dollar pedophile ring. As a resident of Center City I need to start planning a day or two out of town.

    • JakiChan

      As any sane person would do. But what pisses me off is why should you have to pay to take a trip just because some whacko nutjob comes to town? Make them pay!

      • Richard

        Well Jaki, I am going to advertize our luxury 2 bed, 2 bath in the heart of Center City so that some devoted catholic family can pay us
        $ 15,000. for the week and that will cover our mini vacation with a little left over LOL. I am the type that considers price gouging to take advantage of a need to be abhorrent….but not in this case…………….

  • Todd20036

    He’s visiting DC. No way am I opening my home to some catholic Pope sucker. Lord knows such people cannot be trusted

  • danolgb

    I’m sure the church is paying for all this. Right? Right?? The city would do the same for other churches like the Satanic Temple. Right?

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Fuck the Pope.

    • LovesIrony

      and his mother….pow

  • shellback

    If they go through all of this for a pedophile-enabling CRIMINAL, what do they do for good, law-abiding people?

  • JoyZeeBoy

    I have a boatload of friends in Philly and most of them are heading out of town for the duration. They’re calling it “Popecation.”

  • Jafafa Hots

    But the church is going to reimburse taxpayers for the cost, right?


    • Randy Ellicott

      Apparently the World Meeting Of Families is picking up the bill, assuming they pay for it: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150726_Ensuring_separation_of_church_and_state.html

      • Lumpy Gaga

        This clown car is not gonna pay its bills as promised. Mark my words.

      • cminca

        Note to the Philly city government. Make them post a bond (get the money up front.)

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Agreed. Concert promoters and Xians: Only to be trusted as far as they can be thrown.

    • JakiChan

      Given that they are shutting the city down and essentially forcing people to leave so they can have their whackjob festival, then are they also paying for the hotel rooms of the people they’re evicting?

  • clay

    They STILL haven’t suggested an end point to this. When can I go back home?

  • Gyeo

    Please never visit L.A., Pope. The 101 is already shitty without your presence.

    • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

      The 101? What about the 10, the 210, the 5,…?

      I saw yesterday they partially re-opened that segment of I-10 near Palm Springs where the bridge collapsed. What a mess.

      • Bob Conti

        The 710, 805, 605, 60, 91 and the ever horrendous 405.

        • David L. Caster

          The 405 and 5 would probably be bad enough by themselves. Even bypassing on the 15 -> 210 would be of little help. So, all the major North-South highways would be 100-mile-plus long parking lots. That’s a nightmare I would have nothing to do with whatsoever even if I had an interest in the Pope, which I do not.

          • Steve Teeter

            Archbishop Mahoney of Los Angeles got so sick of the traffic that he got his wealthy supporters to present him with a helicopter. He learned to fly it himself.

          • David L. Caster

            He learned to fly it himself.

            Alter boys are too young for the required license and type rating to fly one of those.

  • Richard Rush

    I keep thinking that these extreme security measures are so unnecessary because the Catholic Church could simply solve the whole security problem with just a few novenas. By not doing so, isn’t the Church tacitly admitting that novenas and ordinary prayers don’t work?

  • Gene

    most of you are just happy to be agnostic atheist right now
    I and several others are just happy to be Protestant right now


    We ALL would be HAPPIER if we had apartments to rent to Suckers..pardon, Roman Catholic Faithful in Phili for 3,000.00$

    • Gene

      Most of the viewing spots for the sermon on the mount were air conditioned and had Plush Corinthian leather seating, if ya’ didn’t know.

      • clay

        I’d love to see a listing of their planned jumbo-tron viewing stations.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Poo will be flung.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Because idolatry.

  • Mike in Texas

    Thou shalt severely inconvenience as many people as possible.

  • MBear

    Where I’m sure he’ll be applauding those marauding bands of violent, heterosexual, white catholic thugs roaming the streets harrassing and beating innocent LGBT people.

    Fuck the pope’s mother

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Well, the World Congress of Families was gonna be here ANYWAY.

  • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

    San Franciscans are now salivating at the idea of a 1-bedroom for $10,000. Right now, someone in Pacific Heights or Nob Hill is wondering, “maybe we can get the Pope to come here.”

  • James

    Ugh, no. I hope he never comes to where I live. Fuck this and all popes and their church and its idiot followers.

  • Toasterlad

    Why would the Pope need security? Surely God would stop any bullets from hitting him?

    • Hue-Man

      Armed Jesus?

    • Steve Teeter

      God didn’t help John Paul II.

      • matt n

        maybe. unfortunately, he survived. the world would be a better place if he didn’t.

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    I honestly can’t think of anyone I would brave such crowds to see. Maybe the 7th Cleopatra. Maybe.

    For those that live here and can’t get away, stock up on whatever you need to hole up in your home until the craziness is done.

  • Drake

    This area includes thousands of gay residents and many dozens of gay businesses in the Gayborhood. I hope they all fly the Gay Rainbow Flag everyplace and that people put messages of INCLUSION in their windows.

    • Craig Howell

      Excellent suggestion! And put up signs declaring the Gaybarhood a Pope-Free Zone.

    • matt n

      yeah, that’s true.it is gayland.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        There are more dogs than fags in this “gayborhood”. Think of the rainbow-themed street signs as Renaissance Faire decoration.

        Or a vestigial tail, if you will.

  • Okie Doke

    Pope on Rope

  • Hunter M

    And now for the important question. Will I be able to carry my gun with me when I go to see the pope? (just in case someone starts shooting, so I can defend myself)

    • Hue-Man

      Or if someone starts shooting so you can start shooting at them! “America: Land of Gun-Shooting Heroes” (BTW, has it happened or is it just hot air to arm school teachers?)

      • Hot air, thankfully at this point in time.

  • Richard

    So, if I can rent my 2 bed 2 bath luxury condo in center city for a week at
    $ 15,000. then I am cool with the Pope Guy coming to Philly

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I can imagine most locals that can leave are going to leave that weekend. Kind of like how Providence becomes much smaller during the Rhode Island Police Convention.

  • Stubenville

    Yea, I live outside Philly city limits and I’m taking a four day vacation; I made a hotel reservation today. Even getting out of town will be a big deal since flying will be impossible, and it looks like Philly will be shutting off a chunk of I95, forcing traffic west to get around a center city no-go zone.

    And no, I’m not renting out my home.

    • clay

      I-95 and I-76 will shut down, so all traffic redirected to (toll road) I-276 and I-476, or through (toll bridges) New Jersey.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Oh, FFS (to the plans, not to you).

        Why not just close the relevant exits? It’s as if they want a clusterfuck for the evening news.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Oh, and fuck the WCoF, too.

        • clay

          Yeah, it might not just be 30th Street Station for Amtrak, it might be cutting through the NE Corridor between North Philly and Wilmington– no train service connecting NYC and DC.

          • Mark_in_MN

            OK, maybe that’s even stupider than shutting down the interstates.

      • Mark_in_MN

        Shutting down the interstate highways in the center of a major US city for something other than major road construction has to be just about the stupidest idea anyone as ever had.

  • Stubenville

    And here’s a perfect example of the flawed planning; regional transit is selling 10,000 tickets for train travel from Radnor to center city. Even if all the businesses within a one mile radius allow people to park in their lots, I’d estimate that fewer than 2,000 parking spaces would become available. And this will probably screw up traffic on Rt 476 as well (which will be heavily loaded with traffic forced to detour around center city. Can you say gridlock?


  • Hal Watts

    Dear Mr. Poop Francis,

    I’m sending my regrets that I will not be joining you and all of your sweating, judgmental, bigoted, fatuous Christianist fans and pedophile co-workers. In fact, I wouldn’t cross the road in front of my house(fortunately far way from Philly) to see you. Instead, my beautiful, now-husband of over 30 years–whose civil rights and marriage your church fought every step of the way–and I will be on our lovely shaded porch having brunch, and we will be thanking our lucky stars that we left you and your fucking Church in the dust MANY years ago. So count us OUT of your little gathering….

  • matt n

    philly has a real prick for an archbishop, chaput. this is the guy who wouldn’t let the child of those lesbians into a catholic school when he was bishop of denver. benedict and burke elevated him to archbishop of philly. let’s see how francis handles him. chaput is exactly the kind of archbishop that is at loggerheads with francis. he’s very much like burke.

    • Hal Watts

      Chaput is one nasty piece of work. Poop Francis should probably bring his own bottled water to drink…

  • JT

    Pope Francis is cordially invited to show his respect for human rights by laying a wreath at the marker honoring early gay rights demonstrations in Philadelphia.


  • matt n

    well, i think this visit is a good thing. the catholic church in the US probably has the most conservative, mean-spirited set of bishops in the world, thanks to the efforts of cardinal burke who controlled the appointment suggestions to benedict. benedict pretty much rubber stamped all his nominees. francis has appointed few us bishops, but he is not taking advice from the likes of burke when he does and the US bishops know it. he side-stepped all the right-wing naysayers when he appointed bishop cupich of little spokane to replace that prick cardinal george as archbishop of chicago–a big leap, normally a bishop would have to serve in a larger city than spokane before he got a big job like chicago. anyway, francis inherited a bad lot of US bishops from benedict and burke. so, there will be an interesting dynamic playing out during this visit. I think francis will draw big crowds of catholics who were sick and tired of 30+ years of john paul and benedict. and i think the gop congress will be surprised when francis does not say what they expect him to say. he’s not a republican type–very pro labor, pro environment, pro immigration. boehner will be regretting his move, which was intended to hurt obama but will likely end up bolstering a lot of what’s on obama’s agenda. and i think the US bishops will be forced to acknowledge that francis will be way more popular with americans than benedict was and than they are within their own cities–so many catholics in the US despise their bishops but like this pope. so, this will probably be something of a pr contest between francis and the unpopular right-wing bishops. francis will win. anyway, this is all very interesting.

    • Dustin Fibers

      I’m sorry I’m hard of hearing, could you say that again?

  • Rather than the Pope-Mobile tooling around the streets of Philadelphia, I’d much prefer this Mobile jaunting along…

  • Bob M

    Friends of mine were sharing this version of the map…

  • Steven Leahy

    I hope he gets shit on his frilly white frock.

  • Frommer_Gast

    Why can´t they simply pray for a smooth course of the visit as any devout catholic would do and commit the rest into HIS hands?

  • Mark_in_MN

    It sounds like the security trolls (local police and federal agencies amongst them, no doubt) are pulling out all the stops of hysteria, paranoia, and simple stupidity with the intention of causing as many problems and as much inconvenience as possible. (That is, the usual stuff when “security” becomes the focus.) I understand that there will need to be changes in transportation options, parking restrictions, and roads closed or limited just to be able to accommodate the expected crowd, but this looks like an amplified version of the all-too-typical “security” vast overkill.

  • BudClark

    Having the Poop in town is an expensive, bloody nuisance. He’s just a man in a white dress, nothing more.

  • Galvestonian

    The Pope is visiting Philly …oh, hell – there goes the neighborhood, they even shut down traffic in the gay areas – oh, well … more tricks on foot.

  • chrisinphx

    Ugh, what a pain in the ass for the residents. I thought the Superbowl traffic and stuff we had was bad, but this, time for a vacation for the locals.