NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tens of thousands of people are expected to see Pope Francis during his visit to New York City next week, and with that comes traffic congestion.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, there were already signs Friday warning of expected delays.READ MORE: Gov. Kathy Hochul: Number Of Positive COVID Cases Statewide Drops 75% In 2 Weeks
Norman Rose knows Friday, Sept. 25 will be a very trying day to deliver his baked goods. Trucks will be banned on Third Avenue in East Harlem.
WEB EXTRA: Guide To Pope Francis’ Visit To NYC
The ban will start 16 hours before Pope Francis visits Our Lady Queen of Angels around the corner.
“We welcome the pope and we’ll do anything to facilitate him,” Rose said, adding that if he has to schlep his English muffins a few extra blocks, “It doesn’t bother me at all.”
And they may run out of fresh milk at S&N Discount in East Harlem next Friday because the delivery truck ban. But owner Roger Wahid was not fazed in the slightest.
“We’re not worried about deliveries or anything,” Wahid said. “We’re excited, and we welcome him in New York City. Ad this is a lifetime experience.”
The NYPD plan for street closures and restrictions is among the most extensive it ever prepared.
With the pope moving around the city for appearances at five different locations – Uptown, Midtown and Downtown; East Side, West Side, all around the town.
Already on the East Side, 19th Precinct officers were putting up “no parking” signs. Sidewalks will also be impacted.
Midtown business leaders have been told to expect a security fence right down the Fifth Avenue sidewalk, with one side of the fence for people who are coming and going into the buildings, and the other for people who have gone through security screenings and are willing to wait hours to see Pope Francis drive by.
And on top of all that, the UN General Assembly is bringing leaders from 170 of the world’s nations to the city at the same time.
“Going to be very difficult getting around! Going to be chaos!” one resident said.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton warned that getting around will not be easy.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 5 Police Officers Among 8 Injured In Suspected Gas Explosion At Bronx Home
“Traffic in Manhattan is going to be very difficult. It’s always difficult, but it’s going to be even more so,” Bratton said. “And we are strongly encouraging people not to come into Manhattan by vehicle.”
Bratton said your best options will be mass transit, or a shoe-leather commute.
“Get out the sneakers, prepare to do a little walking,” he said. “And try to avoid bringing a car into Manhattan.”
But that is not an option for John Neri, who drives VIPs for a living. He will have no choice but to spend a lot of time navigating frozen zones near the UN.
“Living around the city, at this time of year, you’ve got to have patience no matter what,” Neri said.
The list of road closures planned during the papal visit and UN General Assembly is four pages long. It also ends with a warning that other streets not now on the list may close without notice at the discretion of the NYPD.
Penn Station will remain open, but CBS2 is told some entrances may be closed for security reasons.
But the biggest impact of all will be on 72nd Street, as the pope will be staying at No. 20 East – the home of the papal nuncio to the United Nations.
Neighbors such as Eileen McStay will need a police escort to enter or leave their homes.
“It’s hard,” she said. “I have four kids, so every time, you can’t leave the block without a police officer,” she said, “and when he’s in residence, you can’t have your windows open or anything.”
Still, her family was so excited that her son asked her to mail a letter inviting the pope to stop by.
During his brief stay, Francis will address world leaders at the U.N., preside over a service at the 9/11 memorial, participate in the procession through Central Park, visit the East Harlem school and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.
To see a complete schedule of the pope’s upcoming visit, click here.MORE NEWS: Ready To Restart The Race: Phil Keoghan Talks About The Return Of 'The Amazing Race' After A 19-Month "Pit Stop"
And keep it right here for coverage of all the pontiff’s events on Sept. 24-26. You can watch live coverage on CBS2 and on CBSNewYork.com.