Chicago's upcoming NASCAR race raising new concerns over traffic, logistics
CHICAGO - There are new concerns Thursday over Chicago's upcoming NASCAR race.
Less than four months away and there are still a lot of unanswered questions ahead of the first-of-its-kind street race, including what street closures will take place, when, and for how long.
The course layout will take over Columbus Drive between Jackson and Roosevelt, a portion of Lake Shore Drive and a section of Michigan Avenue.
While Grant Park sees its share of festivals and events each summer, park representatives say this is on an entirely different scale.
While the race itself is only a two-day event, setup and tear-down could take up to two weeks.
SUBSCRIBE TO FOX 32 ON YOUTUBE
This will impact access to the park and opportunities for summer camp.
The Shedd Aquarium projects it could lose two to three million dollars during the event if access to its campus is cut off.
While their chief marketing and experience officer says they welcome tourists to the city, they want more transparency when it comes to logistics.
"We’ve only ever seen one road closed at a time, Columbus, or Roosevelt, getting Columbus, Roosevelt and Lake Shore at the same time, is something that is unprecedented and something that we’d like to talk about minimizing the amount of time that might happen,"said Shedd Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Meghan Curran. "Each day at that time of year, we see about 10,000 guests, that’s a lot of people, and a fraction of the amount of people that would be trying to access campus those days. We also are looking at a projected impact of one less week of summer camp that we just don’t think we can get the kids here easily."
NASCAR provided the following statement to FOX 32 about the upcoming race:
"NASCAR has been involved in detailed meetings with city departments to plan a comprehensive traffic and event management plan over many months. The museum campus will be open and available throughout the street race to pedestrians and to cars, shared rides and public transportation. The exact details of these routes and access points will be released in the coming weeks as we work with the city to finalize those plans.
Chicago Street Race President Julie Giese has personally attended more than 100 community meetings since last summer and is committed to meeting with any groups with questions or concerns about the logistics of the race weekend. Of the 100,000 attendees to the Chicago Street Race, NASCAR anticipates more than 60,000 will be from out of town and staying in Chicago hotels at what the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association says are higher than average occupancy rates. We hope those visitors will extend their stay and visit the museums and other area attractions throughout the Fourth of July holiday week."
FOX 32 Chicago reached out to Chicago Mayor Lori Light's office, but has not yet heard back.