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What to Expect When Pope Francis Comes to Town

by Sean Meehan September 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

Pope Francis

Have you heard? The pope is coming, and with his visit comes road closures, transit changes and extra security across the District. But will it be the end of the world? Pope-alypse? Pope-mageddon? Probably not.

Residents across the Borderstan coverage area will likely feel the effects of Pope Francis’ visit on Wednesday, when the pope will hold mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Dupont Circle after parading around the White House.

Here’s our big infodump-y list of what to expect from the Pope’s visit:

Where Pope Francis Will Be

  • Pope Francis will meet with President Obama Wednesday morning, which will be followed by a parade around the White House along Constitution Avenue NW and 15th and 17th streets NW
  • The pope’s motorcade will then go from the White House to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle at 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW, where he will hold a midday prayer with U.S. bishops.
  • He will then head to Catholic University to hold mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • LGBT Catholics will gather outside of the Human Rights Campaign offices at 17th Street NW and Rhode Island Avenue NW to greet the pope as his motorcade passes en route to the cathedral

Where Pope Francis Will Not Be

Those looking to avoid the pope and road closures altogether should stay north of O Street NW. Places to avoid include Massachusetts Avenue near the Naval Observatory on Tuesday night, Farragut Square, Dupont, Catholic University and Brookland on Wednesday and the U.S. Capitol and downtown on Thursday.

Road Closures

  • Rhode Island Avenue NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW will be closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday
  • Several roads around the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle will close intermittently between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. including:
    – M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 17th Street NW
    – Connecticut Avenue NW between 18th Street NW and Desales Street NW
    – 17th Street NW between M and N streets NW

Parking Restrictions

  • Parking will be prohibited between midnight and 3 p.m. Wednesday in a one-block radius from the Cathedral including:
    – Rhode Island Avenue NW between 17th Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW
    – M Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and the BB&T bank halfway      down the block
  • Parking will be limited from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. Thursday between 11th and 12th streets NW and between K and O streets NW

Metro Trains

  • Service on all lines will be increased during the midday and evenings. Metro does not have the capacity to increase service during rush hours and expects trains to be very crowded at those times
  • Bicycles and large coolers will not be allowed on Metro trains Wednesday or Thursday
  • Bags, packages and containers may be searched at Metro stations
  • There is no scheduled track work on any lines during the Pope’s visit
  • Updated information will be made available online

Metro Bus

  • 37, D1, D3, H1 and S1 buses will not operate on Wednesday or Thursday

Several bus routes have been shortened from due to road closures along their routes. Those bus lines are:

  • 42 and 43 will only operate between Mt. Pleasant and 9th Street NW and F Street NW from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Thursday
  • N2 and N4 will only operate between Friendship Heights and the National Cathedral at 34th Street NW and Garfield Street NW from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday.
  • N3 and N6 will only operate between Friendship Heights and Dupont Circle from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday
  • S2 and S4 will only operate between Silver Spring and McPherson Square from 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday

Circulator

  • The Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn and Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square lines will run every 15 minutes starting at noon on Wednesday and lasting until Thursday evening

Schools

  • D.C. Public Schools will all be open for the entirety of the Pope’s visit. School officials warn that road closures and crowds may affect transportation to and from school and said parents can contact the Parent Resource Center at 202-576-5000 for transportation-related questions during the Pope’s visit.

Several charter schools will be closed on Wednesday, including:

  • All Carlos Rosario International Charter School locations
  • All Center City Public Charter School locations
  • E.L. Hayned Public Charter School
  • All KIPP D.C. locations

Places to Celebrate

  • Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle will hold a pope-themed rooftop party Tuesday night with foods from Pope Francis’ native Argentina. Tickets are $25
  • Rumors Bar and Grill has a special pope sandwich on their menu this week
  • Posto restaurant on 14th Street NW will offer a tasting menu of Roman dishes in honor of the pope’s visit
  • Here’s a list of pope drink specials popping up across town

If you take any photos His Holiness, be sure to send them our way. We may feature some reader photos in a post. Send your photos to [email protected] or tweet them at us.

Happy Pope-ing.

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