Abels & Annes

Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade May Pose Threat to Motorists

photo%202.JPGDowntown Chicago will celebrate the recent Blackhawks victory with a celebratory parade on Friday morning. The parade will begin near the United Center on Washington Street and Des Plaines Avenue and will travel east along Washington until it reaches Michigan Avenue, where the route will briefly jog north to Randolph and then south along Congress. The parade is set to being at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude near Grant Park with a rally scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Hutchinson Field.

The parade will remind many in the city of the same celebration that took place after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. But there will be some differences as police and city officials learned from that celebration and will make changes to make the 2013 parade even better. There will be barricades along the parade route and neither alcohol nor backpacks will be allowed in Grant Park. Access to Grant Park will be controlled and police will be searching bags of those who intend to participate in the rally. All of this is designed to keep the city safe, but there is only so much that the police can do to prevent incidents from occurring.

One thing to keep in mind is the possibility of vehicle-related accidents. With an expected 1.2 to 1.3 million participating in Friday’s events, the city will be bustling with activity. Blockades on the streets will force drivers to take alternative routes that may be confusing or less familiar to them. These drivers may also be looking for elusive parking spaces so they can enjoy the parade and once these cars are parked, their occupants will become pedestrians traveling the streets and sidewalks of the city. With a large number of vehicles and a large number of pedestrians present, chances are good that an incident between the two groups will occur. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, injuries almost always result and often the pedestrian is killed.

City officials are encouraging the use of public transportation on Friday to reduce vehicular traffic as much as possible. In addition to the CTA buses and trains within the city, Metra trains are offering a special $5 pass for travel on Friday to encourage suburban commuters to use the train. Pedestrians and parade-watchers are being strongly encouraged to heed the directions of police officers and to mind all barriers along the streets. The City of Chicago has warned that those who cross over parade barriers will risk arrest by doing so.

In addition to the pedestrian and vehicular congestion that is expected in Chicago, history suggests that there may be a lot of alcohol consumed, adding to some of the dangers that are already present. While the risk of drinking and driving is often publicized, it is important to realize that drinking in public while walking downtown has risks of its own. Alcohol makes pedestrians less aware of their surroundings and less cautious when crossing a street which can lead to collisions.

If you plan to celebrate in Chicago on Friday, keep in mind that nothing ruins a good time like an accident. You should remain aware of your surroundings and watch out for any dangers, including drivers or others who have been drinking. Always follow the instructions of the Chicago Police Department and other officials and leave plenty of time for travel.

If you have been injured in an accident, call the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation. We can be reached 24 hours a day at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and there is never an obligation when you call us. If you have been hurt, you may have a right to financial compensation. Call us today and let us help you.

Prior Blog Entries:

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Settle Left Turn Case for $118,000, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 25, 2013.

Abels & Annes, P.C. Settles Car Accident Case for $100,000, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 24, 2013.

Resources:

Parade route and rally, Chicago Tribune, published June 26, 2013.

2010 offered security lessons for Friday’s Blackhawks rally, by David Heinzmann, Chicago Tribune, published June 27, 2013.