Road closures, restrictions going into effect

May 18, 2012 8:50:43 PM PDT
The security zone in Chicago is tightening. So is the inconvenience.

Many of Metra's trains carried lighter than usual passenger loads for a Friday.

On this the eve of the summit, the transit agency has posted signs at the stations warning commuters of the restrictions they will face starting Saturday, including limits on carry-on bags, food and drink and being subject to search. It's an inconvenience for many commuters.

"It will be an inconvenience," said David Washington. "But it is what it is. You just deal with it."

And on the Metra Electric Line which runs under McCormick Place, a number of stations will be closed and the trains will stop running entirely for several hours Monday afternoon. But many regular commuters will be staying home that day anyway.

"Fortunately, I'm not going downtown this weekend," said Jessica Williams. "I'm avoiding it."

Those who drive will want to avoid the Kennedy this weekend if possible. It will be subject to rolling closures to allow for motorcades heading downtown from O'Hare International Airport.

And the Stevenson east of the Dan Ryan along with Lake Shore Drive from Balbo south to 39th will be closed completely through the end of the summit.

But even if you do find a way to navigate your car to your destination, parking will be another challenge as there are parking restrictions all over downtown from near McCormick Place to around the Willis Tower.

Even in River North along Illinois, where there are several large residential buildings, residents are taking it in stride.

"Definitely going to stay clear of the roads this weekend," said River North resident Bobby Kapella.

Security will also be tight on the water as the coast guard is patrolling to keep boats out of a restricted space on the lake near McCormick Place. It's all designed to insure the safety of visiting world leaders.

"If anyone is looking at danger or fear ,eliminate those thoughts," said ABC7 security expert Jody Weiss. "The only big problem i think is going to be traffic it's going to be more than an inconvenience "


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