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City holds first community meeting for Segundo Barrio neighborhood closures

The City of El Paso is rapidly preparing for Pope Francis’s visit next month.Tuesday, the city announced plans to close city hall, city offices and several streets–including the Segundo Barrio neighborhood. That’s where a community meeting was held Wednesday afternoon.

Residents who live in this area will be affected in one way or another that day. Police say they won’t be “corraling” residents in that day, but they’ll have limited access to their homes.

“People that live in the neighborhood can move around we are we’re not restricting them from their homes, they can’t leave the area in their vehicles, we have one specific area, when they leave they will meet with an officer and they will be given a certain pass that will allow them to get back in as long as its before 2 P.M. After 2 P.M we will completely close down the area to traffic,” El Paso Police Department Chief Maloney said.

People won’t be allowed in the neighborhood until after the pope’s mass, which they say may end at 8 that night. Officers will coordinate with residents for passes in the coming weeks.

If you don’t have one, you won’t be allowed in and out that day. If there is an emergency, police tell Abc-7, they will work with residents on a case by case basis.

Police plan to have barricades, patrol units and fences to block the area and officers will be checking for passes as you leave and arrive.

Besides vehicle traffic, police will not allow outside pedestrians to enter. The same goes for Loop 375. Police will not allow pedestrians or bikes and trains will not be operational from Santa Fe to the Fridge of the Americas.

As for local clinics, they are coordinating with police. Some will still be open and those clinics will work with patients who have appointments that day to get passes. Parking meters will be in effect for patients.

Businesses can operate but will be restricted like residents. Some local residents voiced their concerns, including one woman who says she’s plans on staying home to avoid the mess.

“Our neighborhood only has one exit and one entrance. So if all the cars are there, with the buses, we’re going to have hard time getting in out,” Segundo Barrio resident Mannys Rodriguez said.

Another community meeting will be held Thursday at 10:30 A.M at the Armijo Recreation Center.

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