If you’ve got tickets to see Pope Francis during his visit to New York City, don’t plan on bringing your selfie stick.
Law enforcement officials have released the list of prohibited items for this month’s Papal events, and the ubiquitous sticks are on there.
Preparing for the pope’s three-day visit to the city, which begins on Sept. 24, has posed a huge security challenge for officials as they figure out how to deal with the crush of visitors to a pope who likes to get close to people, and yes, take selfies with fans.
Thousands of people at any time could be trying to catch a glimpse of the pope, and the visit in late September comes as the city braces for gridlock with world leaders in town for the annual U.N. conference. On top of that, President Obama will be coming into town for the U.N. General Assembly just as the pope is leaving town.
Other items prohibited at Papal events include:
- Animals other than service/guide dogs
- Backpacks exceeding size restrictions
- Signs exceeding size restrictions
- Signs cannot be made of anything except cardboard, poster board or cloth
- Hard sided coolers (soft side thermal coolers are allowed)
- Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
- Glass, thermal, or metal containers
- Laser pointers
- Mace/pepper spray
- Selfie sticks
- Supports for signs and placards
- Toy guns
- Weapons of any kind
- Any other item deemed to be a potential hazard
Officials say surrendered items will not be returned or available for pick-up. Attendees to papal events will be subject to security screenings.
Thousands of extra officers will be assigned for the pope's visit, joining the Secret Service and other federal agencies in helping provide security.
New Yorkers can expect extraordinary gridlock on the streets. There will be extra trains put into service on the subway but access to some stations could be limited or even closed.
To view Thursday’s Papal motorcade on 5th Avenue, those with tickets can enter through the following locations:
- 54th Street: West side entering from 6th Avenue and East side entering from Madison Avenue
- 52nd Street: West side entering from 6th Avenue and East side entering from Madison Avenue (ADA specific lane on East and West side.)
- 50th Street: West side entering from 6th Avenue only.
- 49th Street: West side entering from 6th Avenue and East side entering from Madison Avenue (ADA specific lane on West Side.)
To view Friday’s Papal motorcade at Central Park, those with tickets can enter through the following locations:
- 72nd Street at Columbus Avenue moving toward Central Park West
- 69th Street at Columbus Avenue moving toward Central Park West
- 66th Street at Columbus Avenue moving toward Central Park West (ADA use only)
- 61st, 62nd and 63rd Streets from Broadway moving toward Central Park West
With the general terror threat environment a concern, there will be more vehicle checkpoints, more uniformed officers deployed across the city and additional security measures that won't necessarily be visible, including an increased security presence in the skies and nearby waterways.
Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. will also include stops in Washington and Philadelphia.