The Pope’s visit demonstrated the popularity of closing urban streets
In the mid-1990s, President Clinton’s administration opted to close the portion of Pennsylvania Avenue directly in front of the White House as a security measure following the horrific Oklahoma city bombing of a federal building. While at the time the decision was met with cries about the potential loss of freedom for US citizens, today the pedestrian portion of the street more active than ever as tourists can flock to see the grand White House without being bothered by tour buses and local traffic. Last year, in Philadelphia, the visit by Pope Francis led the city to close numerous streets for security reasons. The resulting popularity of that decision has led to the creation of an annual “street closing” program.
By Fredrick Kunkle
The Washington Post
August 5, 2016