How Bad Will the Traffic Get When the Pope Comes to NYC?

The answer appears to be infinity.

Angela DiMarzio / thedrive.com

As we savor the bounty of life, we must remind ourselves not to be quickly provoked in our spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Meanwhile, how the fuck do I get to the Midtown Tunnel from 50th and 6th when the Sanitation Department is using sand-filled dump trucks to block the cross streets?

The answer, you common fool, is this: You’re not.

When the people of New York are treated to a rare Papal visit, whether by the sinister-looking fella who may have been a member of the Hitler Youth, or by the so-called Cool Pope who has a Twitter account that he actually sometimes uses, one’s life as a New Yorker, and especially as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or commuter, becomes a living hell.

CBS

More than 1,100 extra NYPD cruisers will be deployed to clear a path for the Pope, with 6,000 extra cops on hand to police the people. “We’ve been through terrorist attacks, we’ve been through blackouts, we’ve been through pope visits, we’ve been through Super Bowl parades, we’ve been through scenarios that occur on a regular basis,” said New York City Transportation Department director of systems engineering, aka the Traffic Czar, John Tipaldo, to the New York Times. “We try to keep an even keel here.”

Behind that effortful-sounding level-headedness is a thinly veiled warning: I’ve seen Beyonce crowds, Bono crowds, Obama crowds and Simon & Garfunkel crowds. This one is going to be really, really bad.

Some 80,000 of Pope Francis’s pastoral herd are expected to flock to Central Park on Saturday to get a glimpse of Cool Pope. That seems a modest number, but you have to figure that before his jog through the park, the Popemobile will be putting on a lot of miles: Thursday night, untold numbers will have lined the streets of Midtown Manhattan to watch him makes his way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to attend evening services. Then on Friday he’ll meander from the United Nations down to the 9/11 Museum, then back up to Harlem, then back down again to Midtown.

God bless us, everyone.