U2 crews take up handicapped parking

July 5, 2011 5:29:26 PM PDT
U2 will perform at Soldier Field at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, but people with disabilities have found that some handicapped parking spots near the Field Museum have been taken by equipment for the band.

A dozen buses, two cranes and several vehicles have been occupying the lot since at least Monday. They are part of U2's massive production, which is expected to electrify fans.

"You can't park. There's no handicapped parking, there's no parking in the paid parking lot. I don't understand it," said one handicapped driver.

"I think it's unfortunate, because I think there are a lot of other things going on in the city during the day and people who need accessibility are not going to have it now," said Rose Lukas, U2 concert ticket holder.

Officials at the Field Museum said parking at a lot on the east side of the facility is controlled by the Chicago Park District. The museum says people with disabilities can still park in reserved spots in its west lot, but even U2 fans with tickets to Tuesday night's concert say the band's vehicles should park elsewhere.

"I'd like them to be in another place if that is possible. I'm not really familiar with Chicago and where they could put them, but it would be nice to get them out of the lot, so it could be used for what it's intended," said Scott Ketterling, U2 concert ticket holder.

"I think it is a little inconvenient and it probably is a hassle for some people, but I don't know, they could have found some other spot to park for sure," said Ryan Singh, U2 concert ticket holder.

Still, some give U2 and the park district a pass.

The much-anticipated concert, which was originally scheduled for last year but postponed after lead singer Bono had emergency back surgery, is perhaps the biggest concert in Chicago this year. Fans have come from all over the world.

"Of course it's going to inconvenience someone, but hopefully they'll have the ability to understand. Overall, it's just a very beautiful, big city right now, and there's a lot going on, so parking spaces are obviously at a premium," said Jim Naughton, U2 concert ticket holder.

"I certainly don't feel that Bono, knowing the type of person he is, at least from his image, I don't think he would be really favorable towards that," said Lukas.

The Chicago Park District has not returned ABC7's phone calls.

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