In Center City, Pennsylvania, a special guest is creating parking havoc. Pope Francis will be making a stop in the city later in September, and some residents, the less devout, obviously, are quite unhappy with the sacrifices they’re going to have to make to accommodate him. According to 6abc.com, residents have to keep their cars off the street for more than a week before the visit.
“We think it’s a terrible inconvenience. It’s not fair,” said Diana Staukus of Spring Garden. The cars parked in her neighborhood have to be off the street or they’ll be towed starting Monday the 21st at 9 a.m.
“I mean we have trouble parking here when the roads aren’t closed, so anything will be better than driving around for an hour, getting closed off somewhere,” said Laura Cover of Spring Garden.
Residents face towing and fines if they do not move their cars out of the security zone.
To help out, the city is making 2,000 parking spaces available in six parking authority garages and lots. They’ll cost $20 for the entire weekend. However, the garage fee will be waived for those with a current, valid residential parking permit inside the papal visit secure zone.
Garage parking isn’t going to help Vince Thompson, a Center City resident who runs a plumbing business from his home.
“I thought that I could maintain my business until Thursday by parking on the street, but now I have to move out Sunday, so I’ll miss a week of work,” he said.
I’m not Catholic, so it’s hard to say how excited or uninterested I’d be if the Pope visited my town. It seems a lighter touch might be needed if city leaders and authorities want the less interested groups to be supportive. Then again, this is a man that 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide consider the “Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God,” so maybe he needs the protection.
Read the article here.