Pretty much all Chicagoans are painfully aware that the NATO Summit will be taking over our city in just a few days. Protestors and security concerns have been in the news for weeks – even months. These are broader issues and certainly newsworthy ones… but what about the mundane, workaday issues that we’ll be facing? More specifically – how are we going to get around the city?? Come May 19, as they say in New England, “You just can’t get there from here.”
Much information is available regarding street closures and parking restrictions. The Chicago NATO web site features a traffic alert page , complete with map and a list of closings. Part of that same web site is a detailed press release from the Secret Service that contains an even more specific day-by-day schedule – and the “fun” actually begins with parking restrictions on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.
All of these hindrances are going to affect the average person commuting to work, as well as business along those routes and even our world-class museums. The campus encompassing the Shedd Aquarium , the Field Museum , and the Adler Planetarium is right in the heart of the action. As we’ve heard on the local news, these attractions may be closed throughout the summit because it will be so difficult for people to get there. I mean, we can go any time, but a shame that the international guests and their entourages would miss out on our beloved museums! (And the museums will truly miss the revenue.)
Not to be outdone with maps, routes and schedules, the CTA web site features route changes and travel tips for surviving the NATO Summit. Furthermore, the “Chicagoland” section of the Sunday Trib included a comprehensive map as well.
Tradeshows And Displays has shared just about all the information we have regarding navigating NATO. We just have a couple more pointers.
1. Avoid the area if you can
2. Use public transportation if at all possible
3. Allow extra time if shipping or messengering packages
4. Plan for delays
5. Stay calm – we’re all in this together
6. Order your Displays ahead of time!