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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and community leaders from across Chicago to announce new precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of residents, businesses and protestors this weekend throughout the city’s neighborhoods. As part of these efforts, the City announced the deployment of additional police and public safety personnel and resources in communities across Chicago, particularly on the South and West Sides. Throughout the weekend and until further notice, the citywide curfew for all residents and visitors, effective from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. will remain in effect.
“Our highest priority is ensuring the safety of Chicago’s residents and visitors during the multiple protests planned for this upcoming weekend, which is why we’ve worked in close collaboration with the organizers to enact several systems to maintain the peace and put safety at the forefront,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I commend and stand with those peacefully protesting this weekend, as I too feel outraged and indignant over the unjust death of George Floyd, but I encourage those attending to do so thoughtfully and respectfully.”
To ensure the safety of residents in Chicago’s neighborhoods, Department patrols will be strategically positioned with high visibility throughout key commercial and retail corridors, with a focus on Chicago’s South and West Sides. As part of this effort to protect Chicago’s communities, all 22 police districts will have their designated Business Liaison Officers deployed to work closely with local businesses in their neighborhoods and ensure they have the latest public safety information throughout the weekend.
“This plan stresses the safety and security of our communities throughout the city by focusing our resources on our commercial corridors while maintaining a highly visible presence in residential areas,” said Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown. “CPD has been working around the clock and we continue to work with our federal, state and local public safety partners and the private sector to help secure our South and West Sides.”
Building on the all-hands-on-deck effort to secure and protect our neighborhoods, the City is deploying more than 300 trucks from the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Water Management (DWM) to provide strategic traffic supports at more than 175 commercial corridors in communities across Chicago, particularly on the South and West Sides. To support businesses that lack security in these communities, the City is partnering with more than 100 providers who will be placed strategically alongside the corridors to provide additional security.
These latest efforts will build on the new emergency alert program announced earlier today to support Chicago’s businesses. Local business owners and managers should text “CHIBIZ” to 67283 or visit www.chicago.gov/chibizalerts to opt-in to receive targeted emergency alerts for the business community via CHIBIZ Emergency Alerts. Businesses that opt-in will also be directed to submit a few business-specific details so that BACP and OEMC can send targeted alerts to specific areas of the city as needed.
In addition to these public safety efforts for Chicago’s neighborhoods, the City is announcing its latest effort to ensure planned demonstrations downtown this weekend remain peaceful and safe. With thousands of marchers expected in the downtown area this Saturday and Sunday, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) have provided select routes and new supports for residents participating in protests, rallies and marches.
To provide additional space for safe and peaceful marches and rallies, the City is opening Grant Park and Union Park for residents looking to participate in this weekend’s planned demonstrations. To further ensure the safety of protests and rallies taking place this weekend, residents will be able to access the Central Business District and Loop area by foot through the following street bridges beginning tonight at midnight: Lake Street, Wells Street, Washington Street and LaSalle Street.
To reduce needed manpower in the Loop and allow CPD to focus on protecting the neighborhoods, the City will re-establish the Central Business District perimeter to reduce vehicle traffic into the downtown area amid planned protests. All residents can access the area by public transportation, bike and foot, however, vehicle traffic will be limited. Every street in the downtown perimeter will be manned by law enforcement with the Illinois State Police and the National Guard along with City departments, freeing up CPD units for neighborhood coverage. Individuals with vehicles who reside within the designated area, essential workers and all healthcare workers with vehicles will be able to gain access in the perimeter after providing identification or proof of residence or employment as an essential worker or healthcare worker. To ensure that all essential workers with vehicles have access to the Central Business District and Loop area, the City has communicated directly with essential industries, organizations and businesses that workers with vehicles can gain access at multiple established checkpoints across the city.
Central Business District and Loop Area Boundaries (Non-essential vehicle traffic prohibited)
● Division from Halsted to LSD
● Halsted from Division to Milwaukee
● Milwaukee from Division to Kinzie
● Kinzie from Milwaukee to Canal
● Canal from Kinzie to Cermak
● Cermak from Canal to MLK JR. Drive
In addition to these routes, residents and motorists should be aware of the following traffic impacts:
Central Business District Bridge Closures
● Michigan Avenue, Wabash Street, State Street, Franklin Street, Monroe Street, Adams Street, Jackson Street, Madison Ave, Randolph Street, Van Buren Street and Kinzie Street
● Lake Shore Drive will be closed from Fullerton to 31st Street for vehicles
● I-90/94 will be closed on all exit ramps from Fullerton to 18th Street.
● I-290 will be closed at Ida B. Wells.
● All traffic from I-55 will be diverted onto I-90/94.
● CTA train and bus service will be available, however, some train stops located within the Central Business District and Loop area will remain closed. Service be updated regularly throughout the day at www.transitchicago.com to ensure residents and employees have access to the latest transit information.