Incase you haven’t heard, NASCAR is bringing street racing to Chicago, Illinois for the two-day Chicago Street Race and music festival, slated for the 4th of July weekend.
When the news broke, it definitely raised some eyebrows for racing fans, but as you can imagine, this date has been absolutely dreaded by Chicago residents.
Living in big cities, the traffic is already horrific as it is, but throw in the fact that a street race is going to close down some major, heavily-trafficked roadways in the city, this could possibly turn out to be an absolute nightmare for residents.
According to NBC 5 Chicago, street closures include highly trafficked roadways such as Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, and DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
The traffic plan shows that preparation and closures are slated to begin on June 25th, and construction breakdown is expected to last until mid-July, which is close to the dates of Lollapalooza, which is August 3-6.
It goes without saying, but closing streets for a month and a half, in some of the busiest parts of one of the largest cities in the country, can’t be good for people living and commuting in the area.
And along with the closures, they expect around 50,000 spectators to attend the event.
NASCAR officials shared in a statement:
“Additional information, including plans to ensure local access, rerouting information, and specific reopening timelines, will be shared through the NASCAR Chicago Street Race community information website launching later this month.”
Ald. Brian Hopkins told the outlet:
“It’s going to be a difficult summer for Grant Park. No question about it.
Our job is to make sure as many people who are impacted by this as possible find out about it as far in advance as we can, so they can make plans accordingly and try to minimize the disruption to their lives.”
The 2.2 mile course will include 12 turns along Lake Michigan and around the city’s Grant Park.
A virtual community meeting hosted by NASCAR officials is slated for 6 PM tonight, so the public can learn more about the race and ask questions.
Needless to say, I can imagine there are some pretty unhappy Chicago residents that will be attending the virtual meeting, just judging by some tweets I’ve seen so far:
I’m a NASCAR fan and considering that Chicagoland Speedway was built to be a NASCAR staple for the future and then shit-canned, for what I can only assume was lack of attendance, a shutdown of Chicago is a complete waste of time to try to get a fan base that has never been there.
— HowYouDoin? (@63JayCee) April 12, 2023
This is going to be a nightmare. A massive race like this does NOT belong in a dense urban neighborhood.
The people who actually live in Chicago were not consulted, and we ALL hate it.
I know people who are going to be put out of work for weeks because of this fiasco.
— AuntieG (@Saffi_Anne) April 12, 2023