De Blasio Warns of Heavy Traffic, Delays During Pope Francis' Visit

Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning New Yorkers that Pope Francis' visit will snarl traffic and cause travel delays — and he did not rule out brief closures of parts of the subway system.

The mayor said Monday that the U.S. Secret Service and the NYPD will make decisions on any closures.

The pope is slated to celebrate Mass Friday night in Madison Square Garden. The arena sits above Pennsylvania Station, which houses Amtrak, two commuter rail lines and several subway lines.

The MTA is already prepared to reroute up to 25 bus routes before, during and after the pope's visit, an official tells NBC 4 New York. Buses that normally run near the sites where the pope is visiting or staying will be rerouted along major streets to parallel alternate streets. For example, when Pope Francis goes to St. Patrick's, a bus that normally runs along Fifth and Madison avenues would run on Third and Lexington avenues. Further details are expected to be released Tuesday. 

De Blasio did not reveal what gift the city will present to Pope Francis, but noted that the pope largely eschews glitzy material objects.

He also presented tickets to see the pope in Central Park to students from three Staten Island Catholic schools.

Dozens of traffic changes and street closures are being implemented for Pope Francis' visit. Authorities encourage all New Yorkers and visitors to rely on public transportation.

For a breakdown of some of the key traffic changes and street closures, click here.

-- Andrew Siff contributed to this report 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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