Philly prepares for pope

The city of Philadelphia is preparing for the papal visit Sept. 22 to 27. The preparations that are being made have been extensive and reach the point of being ridiculous.

Due to the expected massive crowds, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will be limiting the number of trains coming in and out of the city during the visit.

In order for people to ride one of the 18 stations available, customers must pre-order a pass for one of the stations and their pass will only be accepted at that station.

This limit on transportation is terrible for commuters who work in the city. The city is making it more difficult for people to get to the city and get to work.

Along with the limit on bus and train transportation, it is going to be more difficult for vehicles to get through the city due to road closures.

Major highways will be closed including I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95, I-76 westbound from I-95 to US Route 1 and I-676 will be closed in both directions from I-76 to I-95.

On Sept. 25 between 10 p.m. and midnight, the Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed, and only emergency vehicles will be permitted on the bridge at that time.

Monique Dickins, a senior here at Clarion, lives in Philadelphia and goes to church at St. Phillips Baptist Church. The road running in front of her church, Girard Avenue, will be closed during the visit, and she said that her family will not be attending church that Sunday.

While I understand the fact that precautions need to be taken for the Pope Francis because he is, by definition, famous, I have to wonder if the same lengths would be taken if someone like the Dalai lama were to come to the city for a visit.

I’m concerned that this visit is going to be more of a problem than the city can handle.

I think that it’s an awful amount of people who are going to either leave the city during the visit or are going to avoid the city entirely. People should not have to leave their city just because a religious figure is coming into town.

If the city of Philadelphia wants to have the pope come to visit, that’s fine, but I think they should take their residents into consideration instead of pushing their needs aside to fit the needs of a visit that will only last a week. The amount of work put into planning this visit is beyond excessive.

I’m not saying precautions shouldn’t be taken, but they should treat his march like a regular parade, meaning the streets should only be shut down during the march.

It feels like they are giving the pope more of a perimeter of safety than we would for the president of the United States.

I will not be watching the march or anything having to do with him during the visit, partly because I am not Catholic, but also because the whole situation just makes me angry.

It is interesting how people are getting excited for the pope, but I think it’s just ridiculous.

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