It has been months in the making, but the Papal visit is finally here. As a resident of the Philadelphia area, this story has dominated the news for months and months. Much of what we have received from the media in terms of preparation has been horror stories – I-76, I-676, the Ben Franklin Bridge, Ben Franklin Parkway and parts of City Ave would be closed, entire train stations have been been shut down, fences would be erected around the city and traffic would be nightmarish. It seems as though the City has gone out of its way to spread as much fear as possible, and in turn, keep as many people away as possible.
SEPTA has released rideship numbers for the first day of the visit, and so far results look pretty low versus the mad rush predicted.
Traffic is looking light. Things are rarely this good on a typical weekend in Philadelphia. Granted, there are closures throughout the area, but the prediction was the roads not closed would be extra stressed due to all the major highway closures. There doesn’t seem to be much of that.
According to the Pope’s itinerary, Papal Mass will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 4:00PM today. This is predicted to have the highest crowd turnout.
As for me, I am more or a less a victim of the fear mongering. I will be observing the situation from my home behind the safety of the BBQ grill.
For those of you brave enough to join the crowds, enjoy what is a very historical day in the City of Philadelphia.
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