59 Comment

  • Selfie Sticks are banned. I can get on board with these security restrictions.

  • My office doesn’t seem to grasp what a huge mess this is going to be. Metro will be a disaster (more than usual).

    • I’m walking to work. I cannot even think about dealing with that mess!

    • Mine either. And I guarantee you that every exec in my company that made this decision will be ‘working from home’ but I can’t do that. So annoying.

      • Dude, the people in my office who told me I have to be at work while the Pope is in town even though I’m telework approved are actually going to *see* the Pope and will not be at work because of it. I don’t understand.

        • I’m in the same boat, we only permit telework in the instance of the office being closed due to inclement weather, but a coworker who lives ins Brookland is making a point of telling everyone that he is leaving his house at 6am that day to make it in and everyone else should too. Some people…

  • Linc Park SE

    Can POTUS or OPM declare a Fed Holiday closure, like a snow day – so everyone can avoid the hassles created by the Popemobile tour?

    • I really wish they would do that. They are already encouraging workers to stay home so why not make it official, at least put it in “unscheduled telework” status.

      • justinbc

        Probably because they don’t want foreign officials dictating their government being open / closed, or at least the appearance of that.

        • Linc Park SE

          Hmmm – more of a common sense move. I dont think any sane person would interpret this as a nod to a religious leader.

      • Some federal offices that lie directly on the parade route/within the security barrier are closed on the 23rd. Exactly like a snow day (telework ready works or takes annual leave, others get admin leave, only emergency staff report), and, from what I understand, OPM approved.

  • Can have a map? Maybe it’s just me, but a list of roads is fairly useless to my brain.

  • Are your offices instituting work from home policies for those three days? My office has not yet decided, but I think its going to be an enormous mess…

    • No, in fact they’ve scheduled a couple of important meetings during the week. The Fed is suggesting that people be allowed to work from home, but we don’t work for the government. I just know Wednesday morning they’re going to be shocked that everyone is having a hard time getting in to the office.

      • I can’t believe so many offices are trying to stay open in lieu of telework. Ours is encouraging telework Tues-Thurs, and my wife’s will be completely closed Wed-Thurs. I’m coming in because I walk, but downtown streets will be a disaster. If a single street is closed during rush hour because of an emergency or an Obama dinner out, the traffic is a mess throughout town. Oof, this is going to get ugly.

        • I would hope all the downtown offices would be closed. But it seems like everyone else could manage okay. Guess we’ll see!

    • Happily, my boss has okayed me to WFH on Wednesday, as she is aware of Metro’s general shitshow-ness.

    • I work in Arlington and my company will be teleworking for all three days of the Pope’s visit. I think what people aren’t taking into account when deciding not to offer telework during a situation like this is where everyone in the office commutes from and how they commute. We have people that live in Maryland and DC. Even though our office is no where near the Pope action, most people’s commutes would be hell. I am so glad I work for such a pragmatic boss who purchased laptops for everyone so we could always have the option to telework. That being said I realize not all industries have that option, but for those who do, offering telework seems like a no-brainer.
      Also, I’m sorry if this comes off as bragging. It’s not meant to. I really feel for you. Hopefully some of you reading can use this as ammo to push your employers for the option to telework. If they don’t do it for the first day of the visit, hopefully they will implement it for the remainder of his visit, after they witness the total holy cluster fuck that will ensue.

      • Despite warnings not to, I’m sure thousands of folks headed to Pope events will still attempt to drive in. Even for those who work in places like Arlington or Bethesda, I predict any and all road approaches to anything inside the Beltway will be awful on the 23rd and 24th.

      • We’re doing telework for our DC office but didn’t think it was necessarily for the Arlington one where most of us work. I don’t think it will impact me too much, since it’s a reverse commute and I have a few different options for getting there, but I could seeing it being bad for the people that drive in from further out.

    • My office is closed on the 23rd because all the roads around our building will be shut down. Yay snow day in September!

    • justinbc

      Yes, from the very top of the organization on town everyone is encouraging telework. We pretty much all telework all the time anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal for us though.

    • I approved WFH for my staff. Some have meetings downtown, though, which I’m sure they will regret not rescheduling. Oh well, they’re grown-ups. I expect that some will WFH on Wednesday, and others, those that live near the Hill, will WFH on Thursday. But it’s up to them.

  • Office sent the email out last night that we will be closed Wednesday. We’re 2 blocks from the White House, so we’re pretty much in that area where Secret Service (supposedly) doesn’t want anyone here.

    • We’re 1 block away but as of now they’re only allowing flexible arrival and departure times from the office for those three days. They didn’t say so, but many are getting permission from supervisors to telework depending on where they live. Its stupid, I could spend the excessive time it will take to commute on my laptop working. Bravo to your office!

    • We’re one black away, and our office is remaining open despite all streets surrounding the building being closed. They said some people can telework, but are requiring at least one person from each department be physically present. Considering that we have a large faction of our workforce that drives in and parks in the garage that no one will be able to access since the streets are closed, I’m not sure what they are expecting.

  • This is going to be such a nightmare… Sigh. Work has been mum on whether they’re doing anything about this. I hope they’ll at least be flexible if people are running late due to the insanity.

  • Can anyone shed any light on the parking restrictions on O, 11th, 12th NW (around the PEPCO substation there) listed under the US Capitol section? That seems a bit out of place.

    My only thought is that they are going to stage a motorcade or mobile command center there, but still, seems like a weird spot to do it.

    • good catch, I’d like to know as well!

    • They actually have parking restrictions (for all three days) around a number of the PEPCO substations. And the one at O and 11th is definitely not a place to stage a motorcade. This looks more like PEPCO wanting to make sure they can get their equipment in if the electric grid starts going down from being overloaded.

      • I had the same “huh?” to the 12th/Jackson/Irving parking restriction in NE. While that’s *near* the Pepco substation, it’s a block up from its actual location. I joked with some friends that the pope is going to drop into Brookland’s Finest to kick a few back after mass. If other locations around Pepco substations are restricting parking, I wonder if that wasn’t a mis-fire and they actually meant 12th/Irving/Hamlin. I guess we’ll see when the signs go up.

        • ^D’oh…rescinded. That building is so big I thought it took up the entirety of the block on 12th. Turns out those are the right cross streets. Goes to show how much I operate on auto-pilot while walking down the street. That seems to provide some more evidence that Pepco is clearing the way to its most important facilities.

  • I Dont Get It

    I remember the last time the Pope was here, everyone at the office walked a few blocks to see him go by in the Pope Mobile on Pennsylvania Avenue—none of this crazy security like they have now!

  • justinbc

    So did anyone actually AirBNB out their place?

    • I considered it, but ultimately decided that it was more work than it was worth. I did have a friend offer me their guest bedroom for those few days if I gave them a portion of what I got renting my place out (close to both the basilica and Metro), but that would mean uprooting a lot to do so (I’d have to empty my fridge and freezer, pantry, some closets, etc…). During the 2008 inauguration, I did “split the profits” with a nearby friend on the Hill who lived pretty lean and was happy to sleep on an air mattress in my living room for a week while we both made a little scratch from her renting her place on Craigslist (this worked because she both had little personal stuff and I had a car at the time and could cart that personal stuff and her to and from my house temporarily…it was worth it for the insane price she got for her place for a couple days…we both paid our rent for the month+…didn’t hurt that we’re good friends so it was like a sleepover atmosphere!).

  • Question- Live in VA. Work in Crystal City. Should I take advantage of the telework guidance from OPM and work from home on Wednesday? Or, since I will be on metro just from Eisenhower to Crystal City, do you guys think it will be OK?

    • You don’t even need to come into the District. I don’t see that being an issue. I’m pretty sure the people who are freaking out a little inside (like me) have offices that are surrounded by road closures but still have to come in. If you live in VA and your office is letting you telework, that is VERY nice of them.

      • I will likely go in, but I was just curious if anybody had better insight. I was trying to gauge if anybody though metro would be a problem because of the # of people traveling in the area/into DC from airports, hotels, etc. DC-area Federal offices are being encouraged to telework (especially on Wednesday), but that is a general message to all employees.

        My fiance, on the other hand, has to travel from Alexandria to Foggy Bottom and he does not have the option to telework. It should be VERY interesting for him.

        • Ah, I see. Sorry if my response sounded kind of flabbergasted. I also work in Foggy Bottom (live near U St.) and yes — commutes to foggy bottom from any direction will not be fun.

        • SouthwestDC

          I work in Crystal City too, and my boss didn’t think telework was necessary for us. Metro’s adding trains so hopefully it won’t be too bad. Make sure your SmartTrip is loaded ahead of time so you don’t get held up by people trying to figure out the machines.
          Another option would be to grab a CaBi and shoot up the Mount Vernon Trail. Should be beautiful weather for biking.

      • Agreed. I live in DC and work by the White House, but I feel worse for my coworkers in Maryland fighting to get in. I would not take advantage of it unless I needed to, but that’s just me.

        • Makes sense. Was just trying to see if people thought it would be necessary. I was already leaning toward not necessary. Thanks!

  • my office just announced we’ll be closed next thursday. we are in near st. patricks.

  • I just noticed there’s a map right on the DC government’s website:

  • This is just SO MUCH. I am thrilled that the Pope is coming, but some of these road closures seem excessive. Is it all in the name of security, or just a means of crowd control? I’m looking at all the closures around the Capitol on Thursday…geez! Makes the State of the Union look like child’s play.

  • Advice needed: I have a 10:48 flight from DCA on Wednesday, coming from Bethesda. Normally, I’d jump on the Metro, but that seems like asking for trouble. But what’s a good driving route, and what time do I leave? I’m thinking going over Chain Bridge to the GW Parkway, and leaving my house at 8 (which may get me to the airport 2 hours before my flight, but better safe than sorry.) Opinions?

    • Just watch the traffic. GW Parkway is probably the best. This will be while he’s at the White House. There will be people heading into the city for the parade, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything that crazy. And many people are not going to work. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the hype of transportation hysteria turns out to be nothing.

  • Does anyone know if bicycles count as “vehicular traffic”?

    • I have been assuming that these roads will be closed to ALL traffic and will be blockaded off.

      • Yeah, I’m assuming that too, but only based on pessimism not experience: secret service usually lets me bike around a blockade in cases where they’re allowing foot traffic.

        • That may be the case in some circumstances, but I assume for the parade at least, that there won’t be any foot traffic allowed (unless you’re going to the event) and that you’ll have to go all the way around.

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