The Chicago Bears have been stopping traffic in the South Loop for years but Christmas Eve was the first time I heard about it

The Chicago Bears have been stopping traffic in the South Loop for years but Christmas Eve was the first time I heard about it

So Christmas Eve, in the midst of making the dinner above, I realized I was out of garlic.  And I was about to put some beef tenderloin in the oven.

No problem, I threw on my coat and went to Trader Joe's.

I walked east on Roosevelt from State to Wabash and waited at the light to cross north to get to TJ's.

I'm daydreaming and suddenly I realize I've been waiting for the light to change for at least 10 minutes; the lights going east and west say "walk." They never stop saying "walk."

I know that to drain Soldier Field of spectators, the lights in all four directions along Roosevelt for a few blocks are set slightly longer during Bears' games.  But more than 10 minutes?  Never.

So I decide to venture a little ways into the street and ask a cop why the light is taking so long to change.  I need to get a move on--and the traffic coming from the Bears game is speeding west a mile a minute.

He tells me they always keep the traffic on Roosevelt going until the team buses are through all the intersections.  Really?  Everyone going north and south has to wait for the Bears to go west?

Sure enough, after another few minutes, the Bears' buses, of which there are many, all accompanied by numerous cop cars, come through the green light.  And the second they clear the intersection at Wabash, the "don't walk" countdown starts for those waking east and west.

And that was that.

I have been watching Bears buses, with their accompanying law enforcement contingent come west past my house at Roosevelt and State for years and years and years.  But I never knew they kept the lights on Roosevelt indefinitely green for them until they deigned to come through.

What I wonder is how, just one moment after they were through the intersection, the "don't walk" signal started?  Who gave the signal and how was it changed from continual green to normal?

A mystery that I should have asked the cop to explain.

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