NATO Summit Will Make Monday’s Commute A Challenge
While the City of Chicago has done a respectable job of handling the challenge of the NATO Summit over the past few days, the major road closures which will still be in effect through 6 PM Monday will have an impact on both morning and evening commutes.
With Lake Shore Drive closed from 39th St. all the way to Balbo, I-55 closed from LSD to I-90/94, and many major streets east of Michigan Ave. shut down as well, the morning commute for drivers who normally use these thoroughfares is going to be a challenge.
Even though some downtown employers have told many of their employees to stay home Monday, this decrease in bodies won’t completely offset the increased vehicle volume from those commuting by car displaced by the LSD closures.
Some of that displacement will manifest itself on 90/94 while some drivers will take their chances on surface streets to get to work.
If you drive to work downtown or near downtown, expect a longer than normal commute and plan accordingly. Consider public transportation if possible.
Evening Rush Hour
While the morning commute for drivers will be bad, the evening commute will be much worse.
While Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication originally said closed streets due to NATO would re-open before rush hour began, reports now are that many of these will be in place until 6 PM.
In addition, VIP motorcades whisking NATO attendees back to O’Hare will force intermittent closures of I-90/94 during the afternoon and evening according to reports.
These two factors could make Monday’s commute for drivers hellish.
Again, the best advice may be to avoid driving near or on expressways around downtown Chicago on Monday.
Protests Could Snarl Local Traffic
While protests around the city over the weekend have complicated local traffic on streets surrounding these events, more protests are scheduled for Monday.
The most significant may be a march planned on Boeing’s corporate headquarters on Monday morning. Protesters will convene west of the downtown reportedly at Union Park at 9 AM and then most likely march down either Washington or Randolph to Boeing’s building at 100 N. Riverside which is right off Washington St. at the Chicago River.
Based on the chaotic nature of protests over the weekend, drivers should be mindful that more such public actions may erupt at unexpected times and locations which could also cause driving delays.