Parts of Chicago to be on Lockdown During Summit

May 07, 2012

With the NATO Summit less than two weeks away, state and federal officials have released more details on the security measures that will be put in place for Chicago, some which will begin a week before the actual summit occurs from May 20-21 at McCormick Place.

Among them are parking restrictions, street and highway closures, attraction closings, boat restrictions, even air restrictions.

While we aren’t worried about Chicago residents taking to the sky during the Summit — there’s an order to shoot down anyone violating the restricted air space zone above the city — the more locals know about the next couple weeks, the easier navigating through this event it will be.

Here is a short rundown on some of the security measures and when they will be activated around the city:

*Parking restrictions: Street parking will be prohibited on certain downtown streets and around McCormick Place starting as early as Sunday, May 13.

*Highway closures: Portions of Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson Expressway will be closed to traffic during the weekend of the summit, and there will be periodic closures on the Kennedy Expressway for motorcades coming from O’Hare Airport.

*Road closures: Some downtown streets will be closed off to motorists and pedestrians, including several around Willis Tower.

*McCormick Place: The Department of Homeland Security will make a perimeter around McCormick Place off-limits to the public from midnight on Saturday, May 19 through Tuesday, May 22.

*Museum Campus: The campus will be closed starting the night of Saturday, May 19, and any car left after 5:30 p.m. will be towed. The Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium will be closed to the public on Sunday, May 20.

*Public transportation: Buses and trains will run throughout the NATO Summit, but passengers should plan for delays and increased security measures. There also could be route and time changes. Visit for more details as they emerge.

*Mail: Mail delivery could be affected in certain downtown areas during the week of the summit, and some mail collection boxes will be removed as an extra security precaution. Click here to find out where.

To see the full list of street and highway closures, check out

Want to really be on top of the happenings around the NATO Summit? Sign up for Notify Chicago through the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications and you will get alerts on major incidents via text message or voicemail.

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