Residents and travelers to the Chicago area are advised to expect heavy traffic congestion and heightened security from Monday, May 14th through Tuesday, May 22nd due to the NATO Summit. Public and private transportation will experience widespread changes and delays. Numerous major roadways will be closed beginning on Saturday, May 19th. Closures will also occur periodically on major highways, particularly to and from the airports, to accommodate the motorcades of attending dignitaries. The best way to keep track of these numerous road closures is to check www.chicagonato.com.
Travelers should also be aware of schedule and security changes in place for public transportation. Authorities believe delays and train cancellations will be prevalent throughout the summit. If you are traveling on public transportation over the next week, be aware that all passengers are subject to random bag checks on trains and station platforms. Also, the Secret Service has put in place airport-style restrictions for all Metra passengers. This includes one carry-on bag, no food or beverages, and all liquids must be 3 ounces or less in size. Items such as boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles have been banned from all trains. Metra advises all passengers to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled departure.
Officials believe the L trains will be largely unaffected by the new measures, but delays may still occur. Bus lines expect to experience significant delays and cancellations. Travelers are encouraged to avoid all protests and demonstrations, and dress in casual clothing so they will not be harassed. Also, carry proper identification and leave unnecessary belongings in your hotel. Monitor local news for major disruptions and check www.transitchicago.com/nato and www.metrarail.com for the transportation updates.