Prefiguring The Papal Transit Debacle


Pope Francis | Photo: Giulio Napolitano /

Don’t fence me in. The city prepares for a partial lock down during the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis | Photo: Giulio Napolitano,

  • Reviewing SEPTA’s preliminary service plan for September’s World Meeting of Families, Sic Transit Philadelphia believes that the Secret Service-directed scheme makes very little sense all things considered. While selective use of Regional Rail stations “makes some sense in light of the lessons learned in 2005 and 2008” during the Live 8 concert and the Phillies’ World Series parade, the choice of those stations reveals the transit agency’s ignorance to where Catholics actually live in this region, and the “Popefence,” no matter how extensive it will end up being, trades urban movement for disproportionate paranoia. Any revision to the plan would require “a complete rethink of how we plan for secure spaces, and also the priorities we give to keeping people safe from the most common and present dangers as opposed to the most lurid fears of our imaginations.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment

  1. I suppose the parking structure is better than another surface lot, but i remember the brief thrill i had when it was being built and i saw it was named “Centennial District Transportation Center”, because i naively thought it would actually incorporate light rail, instead of just being a parking place for cars.

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