Parking Bans Now In Effect For NATO Summit
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UPDATED 05/15/12 12:24 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Parking restrictions are now in effect as the clock counts down to the NATO Summit.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, at 6 a.m., no parking signs went up on many streets near McCormick Place. Parking is now banned on both sides of the following streets:
• Calumet Avenue between Cullerton Street and Cermak Road;
• Prairie Avenue between 21st Street and 25th Street;
• Indiana Avenue between 21st Street and 25th Street;
• Cermak Road between Indiana Avenue and King Drive;
• 24th Place between Indiana Avenue and State Street;
• 25th Street between State Street and King Drive;
• King Drive between Cermak Road and 26th Street.
The restrictions will be in effect through 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 22. Those who violate the parking ban will be towed.
As of 11 a.m., the city had already towed five vehicles that had violated the parking ban. A tow will cost a motorist $150, on top of $10 a day for storage.
Parking will also be banned for the summit weekend along stretches of Ohio Steet and Columbus Drive.
Meanwhile, stacks of metal barricades and fences are also piled up near McCormick Place, and will later be set up to cordon off the area.
Security at the Art Institute has also started searching bags of both visitors and employees. The museum will be hosting First Lady Michelle Obama and the spouses of NATO delegates for a dinner on Sunday.
Even local businesses are taking precautions, including a 24-hour Jewel grocery store at Roosevelt Road and Wabash Avenue, which will close at 10 p.m. on the days of the summit weekend.
The Whole Foods on Roosevelt Road is advising its shoppers to come in before or after the summit, as road closures could affect shipments or the ability of store employees to get to work.
Meanwhile, if you are a South Shore Line train commuter from Northwest Indiana, you can expect major delays, several cancellations and restrictions on what you can carry on board.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) is canceling eight westbound trains that arrive into Chicago, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, the final day of the summit at McCormick Place.
“NICTD advises passengers to postpone travel on NATO summit days if possible,” the rail agency said in a statement.
In addition, four trains leaving Chicago on Monday are canceled, including the 5:32 p.m. rush hour train. The McCormick Place and Museum Campus stations will be closed May 19-21 as well.
Commuters can expect significant delays for security sweeps on Sunday and Monday. Each train will be screened by security officials with canine units at the station in Hegewisch. The South Shore trains, along with Metra Electric trains, run underneath McCormick Place.
A handful of schools will also be closed during the NATO Summit. From Friday to Monday, Old St. Mary’s elementary school, 1500 S. Michigan Ave., will be closed.
Also set to close from Friday through Monday are the Francis AXavier Warde School campuses at 751 N. State St. and 120 S. Desplaines St.; the National Louis University Chicago campus at 122 S. Michigan Ave., and St. Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd.
All schools are expected to be open as usual on Tuesday.