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stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Old Jul 18th 2013, 9:34 pm
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Default stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Ok, kind of a separate question from my other thread. We need to get some suggestions on where we could park a 16' moving truck near the British consulate in Chicago? I'm sure parking in Chicago itself would be a nightmare (esp since we are towing our car behind the truck), so could anyone suggest a place we could park the truck for at least 2-4 hours, while we drive our car into the city? A coworker suggested Midway airport, but I wasn't sure if we could park a truck there.

We're also open to the option of leaving the truck at our hotel, while we drive into the city, but I have no idea which of the surrounding areas/suburbs of Chicago would be suitable. Keep in mind, directly after getting this Travel Document, we need to drive south down to Louisville, KY.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

I'm somewhat familiar with that part of town. You should expect street parking to be impossible, and I would assume that most of the enclosed parking structures wouldn't be able to accommodate you, either.

There are some open lots on Wacker St south of there (Wacker is an enclosed street, sort of like a big tunnel), but whether you could use those, I don't know. The parking won't be cheap, if you can use it.

If you're taking eastbound I-90, then you'll be passing by O'Hare. You might consider staying out there -- rooms tend to be fairly cheap, and they should have more space for the truck. You could also take the El to get into town (take the Blue line, then connect to the Red line) -- it's a bit of a haul, but it would spare you the misery of sitting on the 90/94 parking lot during rush hour.

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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

I'd suggest parking out in the burbs and taking the train in.

Admittedly, I don't know the area well, but when we were there, there didn't look to be that much parking for big trucks. Quite a fair bit of parking other wise and fairly expensive, so on par with Boston, at $20-50 for the few hours you'd want, x2 for the car attached.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

I've not been to Chicago for a few years, but I know enough to say that it is NOT a city that you want to be driving a moving truck towing a car around looking for parking. My general thought would be stay in a hotel at/near the airport and take public transport into the city centre. I however not recommend trying to park AT the airport, because (i) you probably won't be able to get a truck into the parking lot, and (ii) even if you can, you would likely attract the unwelcome attention of airport security who would be wondering who parked a loaded truck at the airport? .... and WHAT it is loaded with?

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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Another option is to find a hotel south of the city near your way out to Kentucky, and near a Metra line. The Metra trains are fast and cheap into the Loop. The prospect of trying to park a moving van trailing a car in the city is a grim one. Even the combination with the city traffic would be, well, off-putting.

Here is the Metra map so you can see where the trains run.

http://metrarail.com/content/metra/e...ystem_map.html
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I've not been to Chicago for a few years, but I know enough to say that it is NOT a city that you want to be driving a moving truck towing a cat around looking for parking.
Indeed not. The ASPCA would be onto them in a flash.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Another option is to find a hotel south of the city near your way out to Kentucky, and near a Metra line. The Metra trains are fast and cheap into the Loop. The prospect of trying to park a moving van trailing a car in the city is a grim one. Even the combination with the city traffic would be, well, off-putting.

Here is the Metra map so you can see where the trains run.

http://metrarail.com/content/metra/e...ystem_map.html
Tell me about it..which is why I'd much rather park it at a hotel and drive in or take the train. I will research the train link above and see if we can find some hotels that will work.

Feeling kinda ticked off right now as this travel doc situation has thrown our entire route into a tailspin. If the HR staff had simply booked a return like we suggested, we wouldn't be going through this..

Is Aurora or Naperville safe & convenient areas for getting into and out of the city? Biggest thing I'm paranoid about is our truck getting broken into

Last edited by Bluegrass Lass; Jul 18th 2013 at 10:43 pm.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Is Aurora or Naperville safe & convenient areas for getting into and out of the city? Biggest thing I'm paranoid about is our truck getting broken into
Naperville is a whitebread bedroom community. Crime shouldn't be an issue. Whether the train is convenient to reach from accommodation or maintains a decent schedule, I don't know -- that's a bit far from town, but the south side and west side of Chicago can be pretty rough, so staying much closer than that probably isn't a good option for you, either.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Indeed not. The ASPCA would be onto them in a flash.
Ooops!
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 12:08 am
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Tell me about it..which is why I'd much rather park it at a hotel and drive in or take the train. I will research the train link above and see if we can find some hotels that will work.

Feeling kinda ticked off right now as this travel doc situation has thrown our entire route into a tailspin. If the HR staff had simply booked a return like we suggested, we wouldn't be going through this..
that
Is Aurora or Naperville safe & convenient areas for getting into and out of the city? Biggest thing I'm paranoid about is our truck getting broken into

The Metra does go out to both those places, but they are a bit of a hike as Road Warrior said. I think the train schedule is pretty good if you are travelling at rush hour.

If you do stay there, do take the train in rather than driving. The traffic on that expressway can grind along at walking pace. The train is much more relaxing and faster if there is any traffic. It's a straight shot, no need to change.

I used to drive one of those big old moving trucks to, around, and back from Mexico. I used to put one of those portable alarms on it, motion sensitive, with a red flashing light to try and put people off breaking in. I will never know if it did any good or not.

Last edited by Lion in Winter; Jul 19th 2013 at 12:19 am.
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 12:11 am
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Ooops!
I liked that version better.
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 2:52 am
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Indeed not. The ASPCA would be onto them in a flash.
Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Ooops!
Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
I liked that version better.
Considering there won't be enough room in the cab of the trucks for our cats, they will be being towed in the car behind the truck!
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 3:15 am
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Considering there won't be enough room in the cab of the trucks for our cats, they will be being towed in the car behind the truck!
Are you sure it won't get too hot in the car for them?

When we last moved our two cats were stacked in carry boxes facing forwards on the bench seat, between Mrs P and me. The younger male was too low down for a view, but the older female stared intently the whole journey as the world rushed towards her at 70mph!
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 3:30 am
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Are you sure it won't get too hot in the car for them?

When we last moved our two cats were stacked in carry boxes facing forwards on the bench seat, between Mrs P and me. The younger male was too low down for a view, but the older female stared intently the whole journey as the world rushed towards her at 70mph!
Yeah, we're going to roll the windows down. It won't be the same as air conditioning but it shouldn't get too warm in there. They will be in their hard-shell vari-kennels that will be used to transport them on the plane. They have 4-sided ventilation and are big enough for them to sit up, stand and stretch in.
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Old Jul 19th 2013, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: stupid question: Parking near chicago consulate

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Another option is to find a hotel south of the city near your way out to Kentucky, and near a Metra line. The Metra trains are fast and cheap into the Loop. The prospect of trying to park a moving van trailing a car in the city is a grim one. Even the combination with the city traffic would be, well, off-putting.

Here is the Metra map so you can see where the trains run.

http://metrarail.com/content/metra/e...ystem_map.html
Do this one - you can examine the map of stations, find hotels nearby then start calling around asking if they can accomodate the truck, then you're set to go.

The problem with finding parking space is that so many lots, even in the burbs, will tow unauthorised vehicles, otherwise I'd suggest bunging it at a Walmart near a station. The hotel's your best bet, IMO. I live on the Milwaukee District North Line (at the end of the line) and I believe that there are a few hotels along that way that are reasonably accessible to Metra stations.

The only thing is though - make sure they will let you leave the cats in your room while you are at the consulate. It's been hot here, I wouldn't want to leave them in your car at the moment. In transit is fine but not when stopped.
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