Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NATO Summit comes to the South Loop

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the NATO Summit (May 20-21) is coming to Chicago. What you probably don’t know is how this event will impact the neighborhood. NATO security team members took questions from an anxious audience at a recent meeting at Second Presbyterian Church on Monday, but many questions remain.

Perimeter leaked
Chicago will be the first American city other than
Washington to host a NATO Summit.
Tuesday the ACLU leaked information on the perimeter surrounding McCormick Place to be “locked down” as reported on ABC 7 News, although the perimeter details as reported have not been confirmed by the Secret Service. Based on what was said at Monday’s meeting, the perimeter could be somewhat fluid according to how events, including the planned marches and protests, play out.

2,000 journalists to cover Summit
According to the NATO website, besides the foreign dignitaries and protesters, there will be 2,000 journalists descending on the South Loop. With all the motorcades and the corresponding security details, periodic street closures will bring inconvenience for sure.

Expect to be inconvenienced
If you live in the South Loop and are planning to stay in the neighborhood, you’ll have to expect some disruption to your normal routine. Additionally, as pointed out at Monday’s meeting by the security consultants, you may want to make sure you have proper identification on hand, just in case you are asked to identify yourself. If you have to travel in and out of the South Loop, walking and public transportation is your best bet.

Keep current
To stay on top of news related to the Summit, keep checking the NATO Web site regularly for updates. You can also follow the Summit on Twitter @ChicagoNATO.

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