Anticipation is high for the Pope Francis’s arrival in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, but worries over traffic may be running higher. With a three-day schedule that includes visits with the President and Congressional leaders, a Papal Parade along Constitution Avenue, a mass at the Shrine of Immaculate Conception, and more, the Pope’s visit will bring large segments of the city to a literal stand still on parts of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The pope arrives Tuesday at 4 p.m., and while the Secret Service warns of road closures starting Tuesday, Pope Francis does not have any events scheduled until Wednesday morning, when he will be welcomed at the White House by President Barack Obama at 9:15 a.m.
Then, at 11 a.m., the Papal Parade will begin, travelling along Constitution Avenue and 15th and 17th streets NW, shutting down all roads surrounding the White House.
At 11:30 a.m., the pope is scheduled for a midday prayer with a gathering of U.S. Bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue, south of Dupont Circle. This event will shut down segments of Rhode Island Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, M Street and N Street from 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Next up, Pope Francis heads to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University for the Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at 4:15 p.m. Mass is expected to shut down all major roadways near Catholic University. Avoid this area, as if your soul depends on it.
On Thursday, the Pope is set to address a joint session of Congress around 9:20 a.m. In addition, Pope Francis may make an appearance at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, according to House Speaker John Boehner. Expect road closures – and gridlock – all around Capitol Hill on Thursday.
For a more comprehensive guide to road closures during the Pope’s visit, check out this joint press release from Secret Service, the Mayor’s office and a number of other relevant government agencies.