UPPER DARBY, Pa. (September 22, 2015) – In preparation for Pope Francis’ visit, Upper Darby Mayor Thomas N. Micozzie announced that the township will implement a transportation plan that will include road closures and designated drop-off/pick-up locations for vehicular traffic in the vicinity of 69th Street Terminal and the SEPTA regional rail station in Primos on Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27. Local merchants will be open for business but patrons are advised to plan accordingly as traffic may be heavy at times and parking will be extremely limited.
“We are expecting the 69th Street Terminal to serve as one of the major suburban gateways into Philadelphia for individuals using public transportation,” said Mayor Tom Micozzie. “The public needs to understand that parking will be extremely limited in the vicinity of 69th Street, so if individuals are planning to use the facility, they should arrange for family members or friends to drop them off and pick them up.”
Over the past several weeks, Mayor Micozzie has worked with Township staff, police and fire departments and emergency responders to develop a strategic plan to help mitigate the impact of the Papal visit in Upper Darby. One of the goals of the plan was to alleviate the effects as much as possible on local businesses and residents while still maintaining the necessary and important balance with public safety.
“Due to the influx of vehicles and riders that SEPTA is expecting, we went to great lengths to put in place a plan that will mitigate the impacts and allow for the orderly drop off and pick up of riders,” said Micozzie. “Even so, we still expect that there will be congestion and the potential for travel delays for people travelling through the vicinity of 69th Street and we urge the public to plan accordingly.”
The Mayor also indicated today that the Township will pursue reimbursement for costs associated with the Papal visit from the World Meeting of Families. He estimated the township’s costs could exceed $200,000 for police, fire, EMS, and township staff overtime, as well as expenses for message boards, lighting, and other costs. It was reported today that the World Meeting of Families signed a contract with the City of Philadelphia to reimburse it for $12 million in costs associated with the Papal visit.
“Philadelphia is not the only entity that will incur additional expenses as a result of the Papal visit,” said Mayor Tom Micozzie. “As a gateway to Philadelphia for much of the suburbs and home of SEPTA’s 69th Street transportation hub, the Township is being asked to expend significant resources to allow for the orderly flow of riders seeking to attend the Papal events this weekend. This has been a regional effort that is not limited to the City of Philadelphia, and our view is that Upper Darby and the regional partners should receive a share of the reimbursement.”
The Township has prepared detailed maps of the areas around the 69th Street Terminal and the Primos train station that outline the road closures, drop-off/pick-up locations, parking restrictions and cell phone waiting zones. The maps are available on the Township’s website (www.upperdarby.org), Facebook and the Delaware County government website (http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/papalvisit15/index.html)
Residents are also encouraged, if they have not already done so, to sign up for the Delco Alert, a community alert notification system that provides real-time information and public safety updates via text. Anyone interested in signing up for Delco Alert can do so by going to http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/delcoready/delcoalert.html.
Upper Darby residents and business owners are free to contact the Mayor’s informational line at (610) 734-7625 should they have any questions.
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