There are few places like Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and this year will be no exception. The city-wide party will begin tomorrow morning and run all day, and even Mother Nature looks like she will be participating. The weather forecast currently calls for temperatures in the low 60s but rain is expected as well, so if you will be downtown, consider an umbrella or be prepared to get a little wet.
St. Patrick’s Day is a time to get outside and mingle with others from Chicago, have a good time and perhaps enjoy a green drink or green food. Most of those celebrating will be safe and will not have any issues, but be advised that a small number of people may be injured in accidents tomorrow. Here are some things to keep in mind if you will be in the city so that you can remain as safe as possible:
- Dyeing the River: The river will be dyed beginning at 9:00 a.m. and authorities state that the best spots to watch the process will be the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Avenue bridge, and along upper and lower Wacker Drives by the river. If you want to check it out, either arrive early to get a good spot or wait until the river is nearly dyed so that you can avoid as much of the crowd as possible.
- Seeing the Parade: The parade will begin at noon and will wind its way through parts of downtown. Check out a map of the parade route ahead of time so that you can plan your ideal location before you arrive there. Also note that many areas will be crowded with spectators, so again, it is a good idea to arrive early and to claim your spot if you want to have a clear view of the action.
- Getting Around: City officials strongly advise people to use a form of public transportation as it is the best way to get into the Loop and surrounding areas. Note that several streets will be closed to vehicular traffic for the parade and that parking will be extremely difficult due to the large influx of people in the area and the closed streets. Uber, the ride share provider, is offering free rides to its uberPOOL customers between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. who use the code GOLDCHI. Once downtown, walking is the best way to move about as pedestrian traffic will make driving challenging.
- Keeping Your Cool: Chicago will be brimming with people, some of whom will be consuming alcohol, and it can be a stressful experience for celebrants. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or if you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a step back, find an area with fewer people, or even try to get inside for a bit to take a break and relax.
The biggest threat tomorrow will be alcohol-related incidents, including drunk driving collisions and pedestrian accidents caused by alcohol. If you plan to drink, do not drive so that you will not injure yourself or others. Similarly, if you are walking, make sure you only cross at designated pedestrian crossings and only when it is safe to do so. There is often a relaxed approach to the rules of the road on St. Patrick’s Day by pedestrians but failing to act reasonably may be the determining factor that causes you to be in a crash. Instead, be on alert and assume that other drivers, other pedestrians, and simply people nearby may make mistakes and may act irresponsibly.
Finally, know that if you are the unfortunate victim of a car accident or pedestrian crash, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer you a case consultation without cost or obligation. You can reach us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 where we keep a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Prior Blog Entry:
Fatalities from Pedestrian Accidents Skyrocketed in 2015, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 10, 2016.