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NATO travel tips (good luck)

 Kennedy Expressway near GrAvenue. FILE PHOTO   - JOHN J. KIM ~ SUN-TIMES

Kennedy Expressway near Grand Avenue. FILE PHOTO - JOHN J. KIM ~ SUN-TIMES

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Updated: July 1, 2012 11:44AM


The NATO Summit weekend has arrived. And no matter where you’re planning to go in Chicago between now and Monday night, here’s some advice:

Stay home.


Many trains will be delayed, or canceled altogether, or packed with people trying not to drive.

Speaking of driving, some roads will be shut down while the 60-some heads of state are out and about. Others will be closed for the whole weekend. And you can bet the ones that are open are going to be congested because of it all.

But if you’re one of those poor souls who has to work or come downtown for some other reason, here are some tips:

◆ Bring some cash for lunch — and coffee — if you plan to take a Metra or South Shore train into the city. Because no foods or liquids of any kind will be allowed on those trains Saturday, Sunday or Monday. And leave the tuba at home, too: Only one bag, 15 inches by 15 inches by 4 inches (or smaller) will be allowed.

◆ Don’t be bashful. If you’re riding Metra or the South Shore, you’re subject to patdowns, searches and other screenings. As a result, allow some more time, because you’ll probably be delayed.

◆ Avoid the Metra Electric Line. Those trains won’t stop at 47th Street/Kenwood; 27th Street; McCormick Place; 18th Street, and 11th Street/Museum Campus on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, trains won’t stop at 111th Street; 107th Street; 91st Street; 87th Street; 83rd Street; 79th Street; 75th Street, and 63rd Street. On Monday, the South Chicago branch won’t stop at 87th Street; Cheltenham; Windsor Park, and Bryn Mawr, and no trains will run on the Blue Island branch.

◆ Forget about the museums, Hoosiers. The museums will be closed for most of the weekend, and the South Shore’s stations at McCormick Place and Museum Campus/11th Street will be closed.

◆ Metra Electric and South Shore’s inbound trains won’t run at all Monday afternoon.

◆ Avoid the North Side. There will be “rolling closures” on the Kennedy Expy. as the big shots drive into town from O’Hare on Saturday and Sunday (and then back to the airport on Monday).

◆ Avoid the South Side while you’re at it. Lake Shore Drive will be closed from 39th to Balbo until Monday night. The Stevenson Expy. will be closed from the Dan Ryan to Lake Shore Drive, and parts of the Ryan from the Stevenson to the circle.

◆ Keeping off the expressways won’t always work, either: Some side streets from Streeterville and River North to Grant Park and the South Loop also will be fouled up at various points over the weekend for motorcades, roving protest marches, etc.

◆ Buses will be no sure bet. These lines will be rerouted for a portion of the weekend for street closures for public gatherings: No. 3 King Drive; No. 4 Cottage Grove; No. 6 Jackson Park Express; No. 10 Museum of Science & Industry; No. 12 Roosevelt, No. 18 16th/18th; No. 14 Jeffery Express; No. 21 Cermak; No. 35 35th, and No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express.

◆ L yes! The CTA isn’t planning any schedule changes on its trains. Of course, they probably will be packed, in no small part because of the Cubs-Sox series at Wrigley Field from Friday through Sunday.

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