How the Pope's NYC Visit Could Affect Your Theatre Plans – What You Need to Know

News   How the Pope's NYC Visit Could Affect Your Theatre Plans – What You Need to Know
 
Pope Francis is visiting New York City Sept. 24-26, and police are planning what they call an "unprecedented level of security"— which includes street closings that could affect theatregoers' access to the playhouses of midtown Manhattan.

The Broadway League issued the following advisory: "Due to the Pope's scheduled visit to New York City...there will be an increased likelihood of traffic congestion and other transportation delays on both days. Although at this time Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Avenues are not expected to close, street closures in other areas of the city may impact traffic and transportation in the Theatre District. Please plan your travel to the theatre accordingly."

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  • The Pope will be visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral the evening of Sept. 24, requiring the closing of stretches of 48th through 55th Streets east of Sixth Avenue.
  • The Pope will be visiting the United Nations on the afternoon of Sept. 25, requiring the closing of 43rd through 46th Streets east of Second Avenue.
  • The Pope also will be visiting Central Park Sept. 25 afternoon, requiring the closing of 61st through 77th Streets between Broadway and Central Park West.
  • The Pope will be visiting Madison Square Garden on the evening of Sept. 25, requiring the closing of 31st through 33rd Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, and parts of Seventh and Eighth Avenues themselves from 30th to 34th Streets.

Other stops are planned, but these are the ones closest to Times Square.   

Our advice: Plan ahead and give yourself extra travel time. The MTA plans to reroute portions of up to 25 bus routes throughout the city. Officials also state that traffic is also subject to unannounced closures, diversions and frozen zones for the United Nations General Assembly.

It's likely that there will be high traffic congestion, so the subways will be your best bet. 

According to the MTA, travelers are encouraged to sign up for text and email alerts to stay immediately informed about changing transit and traffic conditions. MTA alerts are available at mymtaalerts.com. For those traveling into NYC, the MTA states that it will run extra service on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road on Sept. 25 to accommodate travelers to papal events. The New York City Subway can accommodate additional customers and will have additional personnel available to assist customers and adjust service if necessary. MTA Bridges and Tunnels will fully staff its seven bridges and two tunnels with toll collectors and Bridge and Tunnel Officers.

Here are the schedules of the various Broadway shows on those days.

Click here to see the complete citywide advisory from the NYC Mayor's office, and here for the advisory from the city government information office.

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