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The Geek's Weekend Traffic & Parking Hot Spot Guide - 4th of July Edition

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The Parking Ticket Geek

The Geek is an idiot, who gets a lot of parking tickets, and knows how to fight back.

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It's another busy weekend of street festivals, which of course means street closures, traffic backups and parking headaches.

The Parking Ticket Geek has the lowdown on weekend events, street closures and parking advice.

This weekend, it's the big 4th of July weekend, that actually starts July 3rd here in Chicago.

EVENT: Taste of Chicago

WHERE: Grant Park

CLOSURES: Columbus Drive, from Balbo on the south to Randolph on the north, and Congress from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive.

Another 9 days to go of Chicago's annual celebration of over eating on Lake Michigan.

If you're going to the Taste, don't park at meters. Since you only get a max of two hours at a meter, unless you're a bi-athlete (speed walking and gluttony), two hours is not enough time.

Pry open the wallet for a parking garage or lot, if you can afford it, or park near an El stop and take the train in, or some sort of public transportation.

EVENT: 3rd of July Fireworks

WHERE: Grant Park

CLOSURES: Same as Taste of Chicago, except...Lake Shore Drive will be closed from Roosevelt to Wacker Drive, beginning at 6 PM. It re-opens after midnight.

Look. 1 million people come into Grant Park for this event. 1 f@#king million people crammed into Grant Park to hear the symphony and see fireworks on the lakefront.

What do you think the driving and parking is going to be like?!?

CHAOS!

Every Chicagoan should attend this great event at least once in their lifetime. Chicago does a great job with this annual event. With the beautiful skyline behind you, the fireworks over the lake  in front of you, friends and family and other Americans beside you, and listening to great patriotic music--it makes you feel proud to be an American and Chicagoan.

But, it's exhausting. Tons of people, not enough room, sweaty, inebriated attendees. Even with a healthy consumption of alcohol, it can tax the patience of the best of us.

Unless you drive down very early to get a spot in a parking garage or lot, you won't get one as they fill up very quickly. Parking meters are really not a viable option as most meters in this area must be paid 24 hours and there's usually just a two hour maximum stay. Enforcement is usually pretty lax, but who wants to take a chance on a $50 ticket?

So, as much as I dislike public transportation, this is probably the best way to go.

Take the bus or El. Take Metra or a cab.

Driving is probably just not your best option.

Post fireworks, the mass exodus is the worst.

While trains and buses will be packed and wait times will be long. But even so, vehicular traffic is even worse and will be a mess for hours afterward.

EVENT: 4th of July Weekend Traffic

WHERE: All Chicago expressways

Because of all the people trying to escape the city to celebrate Independence Day, traffic will be bad all day on the 3rd and the early part of the 4th. Traffic coming back from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and the western suburbs will also be bad on Sunday evening.

Leave as early as possible. That's my advice.

GEEK's 4th of July Tip: If you are one of those goofs who has an alarm on your car, disable it over the weekend if you park on the street. Most likely, the large caliber fireworks going off in your neighborhood will set your alarm off. So shut it off. It doesn't do anything anyways.

As much as I love fireworks, the M-80's going off at midnight waking up my kids is bad enough. We don't need your damn car alarm going off too.

Please, everyone, have a very happy and safe, Independence Day!

God Bless America!

The greatest nation in the history of mankind.

Photo courtesy of [MorphoMir]]'s Flckr page.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/morphomir/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

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1 Comment

Alicia Eler said:

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As someone who doesn't own a car, my real question here is why the heck would anyone think driving on the 4th of July is a good idea? My mom could hardly drive from the burbs to the city to meet me for a coffee today, and this was today, during pre-4th of July madness.

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