Chicago Marathon: A Driving, Parking Challenge
45,000 runners will take to Chicago’s streets Sunday for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, in turn displacing and inconveniencing thousands of city drivers.
The entire 26 mile length of the Chicago marathon race course will be closed to vehicle traffic for the race. This means no parking will be allowed on these streets starting at 7 AM Sunday morning. OEMC warns that police and Streets and Sanitation tow trucks will be removing cars parked in violation of the parking ban–a ban which begins as early as Saturday night depending on the location along the route. Streets closures along the route will extend until 3 PM, but may open earlier as the last of the runners finish the course.
“Most parking restrictions go into effect the night before,” says OEMC’s Roderick Drew. “Signs are going in as we speak or are already in place.”
Cars that are towed will be brought to one of the city’s auto pounds, which will cost drivers $165 and possibly the cost of a parking ticket too. If your vehicle does get towed, call 311 to find where it has been relocated. Historically, with a race course this long, hundreds of vehicles will end up at the auto pound Sunday morning.
“Unfortunately, if a car isn’t moved the city will tow,” says Drew. “We’re really hoping it’s not a significant number (of towed vehicles).”
Drivers should be vigilant about reading temporary signs restricting parking and make sure you move your vehicle before restrictions go into effect. It may be smarter to find a safe parking spot the night before.
Also, additional parking restrictions are in effect along the course beginning early Sunday morning. The race route extends north to Addison Street, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street.
But OEMC also warns that there will be large traffic impacts Sunday morning and early afternoon as street closures along the route and surrounding the route will cause detours and backups.
If you’re going to the marathon, public transportation is probably your best bet.