Poll: Working from home preferred option over papal traffic

WASHINGTON — More than half of WTOP listeners say they’ll change their commute when Pope Francis is in town, according to an unscientific poll conducted during the past five days.

More than 1,300 listeners responded to a WTOP Web poll about how the road closures downtown will affect their trek to and from work.

Of those who responded, 36 percent say they plan to work from home Wednesday and Thursday rather than tangle with pope-related road and transit congestion. Another 21 percent say they will give themselves more time to get to the office. Just 9 percent say they’ll take Metro instead of climbing into their car and a hardy 3 percent of respondents say they will bike to work.

An overwhelming majority say they have no plans to go down to the National Mall to catch the papal parade or to stay and watch the canonization Mass on a large video screen the Archdiocese of Washington plans to set up at the Washington Monument grounds.

Twenty-five thousand people are expected to attend the Mass, which will be held outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Wednesday afternoon. Thousands more are expected to attend a ticketed viewing event on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol when Pope Francis addresses Congress the next day.

Road closures downtown and along the mall are expected to create major backups across the Potomac River bridges Wednesday morning. Metro warns riders to expect crowded stations and Metrobus routes will be detoured around road closures.

Both the federal government and D.C. government plus D.C. schools will remain open throughout the pope’s visit.

Here are the final results:

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