New York City traffic guide for Pope Francis visit

Hundreds of thousands of drivers in Manhattan will face street closures Friday near the U.N., the September 11 Memorial & Museum, Central Park, and Madison Square Garden as well as East Harlem.

Motorists should particularly try to avoid going on the eastern streets near the U.N., as well as near Madison Square Garden. Affected streets include First Avenue from 42nd to 48th Street, Fifth Avenue from 71st to 74th Street, and Seventh Avenue from 30th to 34th Street.


5:52 p.m. – Due to overcrowding conditions along Central Park West, D subway trains are making local stops between 125 St and 59 St-Columbus Circle in both directions.

2:55 p.m. – M101, M102 and M103 southbound buses are bypassing bus stop on 3 Av and 110 St, due to construction.

1:56 p.m. – Following an earlier incident at 125th Street, 4, 5 and 6 subway train service has resumed with residual delays.

12:05  p.m. – The pope is at the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan. 

MTA buses: M5, M9, M20, M22, X1, X10, X17, X27 and X28 buses are running with delays in both directions, due to heavy traffic on Trinity Place between Battery Place and Vesey Street and Broadway between Vessy and Battery Place.

Due to United Nations General Assembly, expect delays in Midtown Manhattan on local and express buses.


On Thursday, the pope’s visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for an evening prayer will affect about thirty nearby blocks, such as Fifth Avenue from 47th Street to 55th Street. Some streets around the cathedral will be closed at midnight and some at 3 a.m. They include 50th Street from Madison Avenue to Fifth Avenue, and 51st Street from Madison Avenue to Fifth Avenue. There will only be one crosstown lane of traffic.

The FDR Drive will also be closed on and off, southbound at the 63rd Street exit and northbound at the South Ferry exit. Many Upper East Side Streets near the Papal Nuncio’s Residence on East 72nd Street will also have closures. 71st and 72nd Street will be closed from Madison to Fifth Avenue from 8 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Eight nearby blocks will have closures on and off, such as Fifth Avenue from 71st to 74th Street.

A slew of streets near the U.N. will shut down Tuesday evening at 10 p.m., including First Avenue from 42nd to 48th streets. Other nearby blocks between First and Second Avenue will be shut down as well, such as 44th, 45th, and 46th streets.

Many midtown streets will just have one traffic lane open for emergency vehicles for the General Assembly — 42nd Street from First Avenue to Fifth Avenue, 57th Street from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue, and Second Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street.

The pope will also visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum late Friday morning. Liberty and Cedar Streets will be closed from Trinity Place to Greenwich Street from midnight to 1 p.m. that day. Northbound West Street will also be closed from Battery Place to Murray Street for 2 hours.

When the pope visits a Catholic school in East Harlem, one block will be affected on East 112th Street, as well as a nearby cul-de-sac from midnight to 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Upper West Side will have many street closures from midnight to 7 p.m. on Friday, including 18 blocks of Central Park West from Columbus Circle to West 81st Street.

Drivers should also avoid the streets near Madison Square Garden on Friday, which will be closed on and off beginning at noon.

On Saturday, there will still be some closures on the FDR drive. They will be southbound at 63rd Street, and northbound at South Ferry.

Taxi driver Karim Mamache, 47, of Brooklyn was bracing for jams on Thursday, and didn’t think he would get more fares. “Tomorrow we will have very bad traffic,” he said. ” I think I’m going to get less people. Just now I was on Park Avenue, and you can’t go right towards the east side. It’s going to be difficult.”

Delivery truck driver Juan  Alcántara, 35, also feared the congestion would hurt his bottom line. “There will probably be worse traffic soon, though, and that’s bad for business.”


Commuters will get extra Metro-North and LIRR trains on Friday to handle the crowds on the rails.

Metro-North will run three extra trains in the morning on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines between 10:37 and 11 a.m. on Friday. It will cancel and combine some trains to do this, and will release that information on the MTA website.

The LIRR will have eight additional trains to Penn Station on Friday between 12:19 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.

The MTA would not say how much extra subway service it will have while the pope is in town.

“Subway managers will be prepared to adjust train operations as necessary based on conditions in stations near those events,” it said in a statement.


Cabbies will be hit with major delays, and passengers will likely face surge pricing on apps like Uber, according to an analysis by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management.

Drivers will also face street closures, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, but cabbies may welcome the influx of people coming into the city.


As many as 25 bus routes may be snarled in Manhattan between Thursday and Saturday by Pope Francis’ trip to New York City, the MTA said yesterday.

It is urging transit riders to take the subway instead of the bus whenever possible.

Express buses to Staten Island will have a normal schedule, but the MTA suggests riders avoid traffic jams by taking the Staten Island Ferry.

“Local and express buses in Manhattan will experience delays, detours, and closures near papal events across the borough, and some bus stops may temporarily relocated,” the MTA said in a statement.

Access-a-Ride will have full service, but riders are also expected to see significant delays. The MTA is asking passengers to postpone any travel if it’s possible.

“Access to areas and roadways near papal events will be uncertain, limited and in some cases blocked,” the statement also said.

When Fifth Avenue is closed for the pope’s visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, five bus routes that go down Fifth and Madison will take cross streets to reach Lexington and Third Avenue. This includes the M1, M2, M3, and M4, as well as the Q32. The M5 will go downtown on Seventh Avenue, and then 42nd Street to Fifth Avenue.

The M72 will be diverted to the 79th Street Transverse when traveling across Central Park. It will travel on Amsterdam and Lexington when heading to the Upper East Side, and Third and Columbus Avenue while heading west.

Bus traffic will also be impacted as well as by the United Nation’s General Assembly this week.

Uptown M15 buses, including select bus service, will skip all stops on First Avenue between 39th Street and 50th Street.

The M50 will be diverted between Sixth and Lexington Avenues as well.

During the interfaith religious service on Friday morning at the 9/11 Memorial, three bus routes will stop service before Battery Park City: the M9, M20, and M22. The M9 and M22 will stop near City Hall.

In East Harlem, when the pope visits a school on Friday afternoon, the eastbound M96 will be diverted to 106th Street between Madison and Lexington Avenue.

As the city prepares for Pope Francis’ procession in Central Park on Friday, five nearby bus routes will be rerouted along 57th Street to Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues — the M5, M7, M10, M20, and M104.

The eastbound M66 will be diverted to 57th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue, and westbound between Lexington and Amsterdam Avenues. The M72 will be diverted eastbound to 81st Street, and westbound on the 79th Street Transverse and 81st Street between Third and Columbus Avenue.

Seven bus routes will also be affected by the Pope’s visit to Madison Square Garden: the M4, Q32, M7, M20, M34 SBS, and M34A SBS.

The M34 bus routes will be diverted to 23rd Street from First to Tenth Avenue.

The southbound M7 and M20 will be diverted from Seventh Avenue to Ninth Avenue between 24th and 41st Street. The northbound M20 will be diverted from Eighth to Tneth Avenue between 23rd and 40th Street.

The MTA says are encouraging riders to take the subway instead, and commuters who rely on the Staten island Express Buses may want to consider using the ferry instead. Crowded conditions are expected throughout the system, especially in Manhattan. 

The Port Authority said that PATH will have extra service from Journal Square and Hoboken to 33rd Street on Sept. 25, and that its bus terminals will be able to handle the traffic. 


Citi Bikers will be affected by the pope’s visit and the U.N. General Assembly — but much less than cars. Eight stations will or have been deactivated at different times between of the two events, such as near Central Park and the U.N.

Cyclists will also not be able to access any street closure with a bike lane.