Chicago Officials and Race Organizers Provide Traffic and Safety Updates for Race Day

CHICAGO – City of Chicago officials and race organizers reminded the public of the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 12, which brings approximately 45,000 runners through 29 neighborhoods for the 26.2-mile race, and expected impacts.

„Race organizers and city personnel work diligently every year to plan and coordinate this world-class event in Chicago to ensure a safe and positive experience for all – participants, spectators, residents, visitors and volunteers,” said Executive Director Gary Schenkel of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). „Preparation is key to a successful race. With each new challenge, the City of Chicago continues to respond and implement safety measures and traffic plans in order to lessen the impact on our residents and all involved as much as possible. We ask the public to assist in that effort by adhering to the restrictions and policies in place on race day.”

“We are looking forward to another safe and memorable race day experience for our runners,” said Carey Pinkowski, Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “We couldn’t transform 26.2 miles of roadway into the city-wide event it is without their full participation. Last year, we introduced new safety enhancements that helped runners enter Grant Park in a secure and timely fashion, which will be in place, again, this year. We are also encouraging our participants to take advantage of all communication touch points with the race, including participant emails, additional resources on our website, the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and our social media channels.”

Traffic Impacts
With thousands of participants and spectators along the route, as well as street closures prior and during the race, those traveling throughout downtown and the various neighborhoods should allow extra time, expect delays or consider alternate routes – such as the expressway system – to avoid the impacts of the race.

Motorists should be aware that some street and lane closures are already in place in the Grant Park area, including Balbo from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive. Additional street closures in the race day start/finish line area can be expected thereafter, beginning on Wednesday when Jackson will be closed from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive. Columbus closures begin Thursday, with a full closure implemented from Roosevelt Road to Monroe By Friday. By Saturday, expect additional Grant Park street closures on Columbus, Balbo, Congress, Jackson and Monroe, with most streets in Grant Park reopening byMonday morning. Street closures along the route will begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sunday and are anticipated to be reopened by 4:30 p.m. or when it is deemed safe to do so.

Beginning early Sunday morning, parking restrictions will be in effect along the course. For public safety and traffic flow, the towing of vehicles along the route and other posted “No Parking Zones” will be strictly enforced. Motorists are encouraged to read signage before parking and call 3-1-1 to locate a towed vehicle.

As always, public transportation is encouraged if heading to the Marathon or other destinations in the impacted areas. For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit www.transitchicago.com or call 836-7000/1-888-YOUR-CTA.

Security Measures
Safety is always a primary concern and several security measures and restrictions that have been place for several years will be strictly enforced. As was the case last year, participants will be required to show an ID to obtain race packets and must use race-issued clear bags to store their personal belongings during the race. Runners must enter the race staging area at designated gateways in Grant Park through security checkpoints at Jackson Drive, Van Buren Street, Congress Boulevard, and Harrison Street.

„As always, we have been working with organizers, businesses along the route, race participants and volunteers to ensure the Chicago Marathon is once again a fun, safe event for all involved,” said Acting Chief of Special Functions Steve Georgas.

Race organizers expect more than one million spectators to line city streets along the Marathon route. Chicago Police will be deploying uniformed and plainclothes officers as well implementing other safety measures to ensure a safe event. Officers will also conduct random bag checks of spectators carrying backpacks or large bags. As in the previous year, runners will not be allowed to leave unattended bags or clothing items within Grant Park or along the route. If officers or race officials see an unattended bag along the route, it will be collected and discarded.

Only participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, credentialed event staff and ticketed guests (where applicable) will have access to the race start and finish areas within Grant Park. Spectators should be aware that they will not have access to these areas. Only registered runners are allowed to participate in the Marathon – non-registered runners joining the race at any point throughout the route or finish line is prohibited and will be strictly enforced. For more race-day restrictions and policies and for a listing of prohibited items, the public is encouraged to visit the Marathon website at www.chicagomarathon.com .

As with any large event in Chicago, OEMC will continue to monitor weather conditions and the Chicago Police Department will enforce race day restrictions along the route, as well as facilitate traffic. The public is encouraged to register for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicago, which include severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago atwww.notifychicago.org.

Race Day
As race day approaches, it is recommended to stay informed and be familiar with weather conditions and the color-coded Event Alert System (EAS), which will communicate the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day. The race on Sunday, October 12, begins in two waves – one wave begins at 7:30 a.m. (CST), followed by the next group at 8:00 a.m. The race starts and finishes in Grant Park, with the route extending as far north to Addison Street, with the farthest west point at Damen Avenue and southern point at 35th Street. For a complete map, see the Chicago Marathon website.

The Chicago Marathon is an iconic event in the city, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the Chicago economy and helps to raise millions of dollars for various charitable causes. Visitors from every state and more than 100 countries come to Chicago for the Marathon and the city of Chicago anticipates a safe and successful event.

For more information on the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, visit www.chicagomarathon.com. Be prepared – for emergency preparedness information, visit www.AlertChicago.com or www.gearupgetready.org.