New York City streets will likely be as packed as the calendar of major events coming within a span of a few days in September, including Pope Francis‘ first visit to the city.
Police will still have to deal with street closures and security risks days even after the pope flies out for Philadelphia.
Immediately after the papal visit comes a massive concert in Central Park and days of dignitaries heading in and out of the United Nations.
Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists alike are also expected to flock to Central Park’s Great Lawn for the Global Citizen Festival, with headliners including Beyonce, Pearl Jam and Coldplay on Sept. 26.
That same weekend, President Barack Obama is expected to join international leaders including Russian President Vladamir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for about three days for the UN’s general assembly starting Sept. 28.
Already bustling streets and subway stations across Manhattan will definitely mean increased mass transit service, said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Specifics routes and times will be released closer to the first day of the pope’s visit on Sept. 24.
The same goes for street closures, which NYPD typically release immediately before major scheduled events for security reasons.
At the very least, New Yorkers can likely expect heavy security around the papal residence on East 72nd between Fifth and Madison.
The same can be said for the immediate vicinity of the United Nations, during which broad swaths of midtown Manhattan are shut down for almost a week.
NYC & Company, the city’s tourism organization, described September as an already typically busy month, which actually kicks off in late August with the U.S. Open in Queens and is soon followed by Fashion Week.
Estimates on just how many people the city expects to flock to the city for the jam-packed weekend in late September were not available.
Still, City Hall officials tell Metro occupancy rates across the boroughs’ about 103,000 hotel rooms have been hitting 90 percent in September without the papal visit. They expect exceeding that number this year.
The de Blasio adminsitration confirmed with Metro that city agencies, including the NYPD, the Department of Transporation and MTA have met multiple times to coordinate efforts.
Last week, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton joked about security preparations ahead of the pope’s visit.
“I’m loading up on the Excedrin already,” Bratton told reporters on Thursday.