Mayor Nutter expects that millions of people will be visiting Philadelphia for the Papal Visit. Our city’s population could possibly triple.
What does that mean for us?
Well, traffic is going to be a bitch. Major highways that many Philadelphia residents use every day will be restricted. The Schuylkill Expressway East will be closed from 476 to I-95 and West from I-95 to Route 1. The Vine will be closed in both directions from 76 to I-95. Route 1 will be closed both directions from Route 30. 95 will be open, but selected ramps will be closed. The Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed from 9/25 – 9/28. Good luck getting to work.
Speaking of work, your boss should just stop trying to make you come in now. A lot of people will not be able to get to work. Public transportation fares have to be paid for in advance and SEPTA will not be taking cash. The Trolleys, Broad Street Line and El will not be traveling into Center City. You will have to get off and walk into the city. 19 bus routes have been suspended; 27 are running on modified schedules. Visit SEPTA’s website for more information regarding that: http://www.septa.org/fares/special-papal-visit.html.
Museums and other Institutions in Center City will be closed. I am also hearing that many law firms will close. Courts may be closed as well. Schools are also going to be closed. A local business owner on Broad and Ellsworth was very upset, because he has to close his business also. I think this is so unfair. Local business owners will lose money during this visit.
On the other hand, it’s also a good time to get your hustle on. People can rent out rooms in their homes to visitors if hotels are too crowded. You can also sell souvenirs, food, water and other merchandise to the crowds. To do it the right way you will need a Sidewalk Sales License. However, the police will probably be too busy to check licenses, so really you can just walk your cart through the crowds selling stuff for a good amount of time before getting caught. You might even sell out.
From September 25th to 28th things are going to be a little crazy and completely different from what we’re used to, but this will be another historical moment for our great city.