NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some street closures and “no parking” zones are in effect on the Upper West Side as security begins to tighten for Pope Francis’ arrival in New York City on Thursday.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, around-the-clock construction has begun where 80,000 spectators are expected to gather for the pope’s procession in Central Park.
On Tuesday night, workers were installing specially-made eight-by-eight mesh panels that will make up a massive wall along the park perimeter on Central Park West.
“The mesh itself is non-climbable so no one can try to climb over it,” said John Gerchia of Triton Construction.
Police have also set up security cameras along the route. Tow trucks have hauled away cars on neighboring side streets that are violating the papal parking ban that went into effect Tuesday.
“You can’t be too careful in this day and age, so I think being over-prepared is probably the right way to go,” said Greg Thompson of the Upper West Side.
Indeed, the NYPD is getting ready to carry out one of the biggest security challenges they’ve ever faced. Pope Francis is in town at the same time 170 world leaders are in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
“It’s a celebratory event for everybody else,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” “For us, this is a security event of the highest level.”
Police spent Tuesday setting up security cameras along Central Park West as tow trucks made the rounds enforcing the papal parking ban, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
Cars can no longer be parked along Central Park West and its side streets from the 60s to the 80s to Columbus Avenue, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.