Low impact of NATO expected on River North but building managers vigilant
4-May-12 It will just be a two-day event, but the NATO summit later this month has Chicago hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
Security and transportation plans offered to the public today include road closures, parking restrictions, airspace restrictions, and other changes and River North is not entirely immune.
Despite most of the activity happening further south near McCormick Place, dignitaries will have to be driven back and forth to OHare International Airport. On Friday, the U.S. Secret Service warned residents to expect intermittent closures of Ohio Street and Ontario Street between Columbus Drive and I-90/94.
Although you will probably see more of the U.S. Coast Guard on the Chicago River, marina and waterway restrictions on the main branch are not expected to be severe unless necessary. The main branch will be in Security Zone C, from the lock near Navy Pier west to where the main branch splits into the north and south branches.
From 8 a.m. on May 18 to 8 a.m. on May 22, according to a news release, commercial and recreational traffic will be allowed access to these areas unless security measures need to be temporarily implemented.
However, there will be no bridge lifts during that time.
(Above) Security Zone C will stretch from the red marker at left to the green arrow at right.
Advice to residents: Leave town
10,000 visitors are expected, including delegates, staff, and journalists from around the world. At least another 10,000 protestors and activists are also expected. President Obama will be staying at Sheraton Hotel and Towers near the Chicago River just east of Columbus Drive.
Building owners and managers in River North have been planning for the summit for weeks. On Friday, Marina Citys residential property manager sent a memo to residents outlining special security measures and all but suggesting residents leave town during the NATO summit.
Gantt expressed concern that protestors will be outside nearby Trump International Hotel & Tower, where it is believed at least one NATO delegation will be staying. A likely gathering place for impromptu protestors might be the IBM Plaza across the street from Marina Towers.
A manager at Trump Chicago confirmed that NATO delegates will be staying at the hotel but declined to identify which countries the delegates represented.
||If you can vacation outside of Chicago during the Summit, wrote David Gantt (left) in the May 4 memo, please consider doing so.
Extra security measures include guards at plaza level entrances 24 hours a day, locking the State and Dearborn Street entrances to all but residents, and stepped up patrols of the marina level. Residents will not be allowed to move in, move out, or have furniture delivered from May 15 through May 22, and Gantt asked residents to consider not having guests at Marina City from May 18 to May 22.
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 4-May-12 9:00 PM