Chicago prepares for May summits

Jan. 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Cars will be banned from much of downtown Chicago during the NATO and Group of Eight summits in May, officials said.

The exact area to be closed off will not be known until four weeks before the meeting, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Secret Service, which has the responsibility of protecting President Obama, will make the final decision.

The host committee said Wednesday the private company that now operates parking meters under a 75-year lease will receive compensation for lost revenue.

"We are committed, through private and federal resources, to pay for the costs associated with the summit so it's not a burden on taxpayers," said Jennifer Martinez, a spokeswoman for the committee. "This would be a cost associated with the summit. And we are committed to paying for it."

The G-8 summit, drawing heads of state and prime ministers from the world's eight largest economies, also typically bring thousands of protesters.

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