Women’s March on Chicago Logistics
Thank you for your patience on our evolving Logistics Plans. March organizers are responding as fast as possible to a changing dynamic with crowd estimates for passionate women and their allies increasing dramatically every day. The goal of organizers is to provide a safe and reasonable plan in collaboration with the city. We have experts from the city, Chicago Marathon and Lollapalooza planners and others helping guide the plan for the day. We currently expect more than 50,000 marchers and are looking forward to an incredible experience together.
When is the Women’s March on Chicago?
The Women’s March on Chicago is Saturday, January 21, 2017, the day following the presidential inauguration.
Join women and allies of women on January 21, 2017 for a rally and march in support of women’s rights, human rights and social justice. The rally will be staged downtown on Columbus Drive with a march heading from Columbus Drive onto E Jackson Drive west to Federal Plaza.
The rally begins at 10 a.m. on Columbus Drive at Jackson Drive (immediately adjacent to Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park). Entry point to the rally space is via Balbo or Congress onto Columbus Drive. As you enter Columbus from Balbo you will come north toward the stage which backs up to Jackson Drive.
Attendance numbers for the march continue to grow rapidly, now with more than 225 registered supporting organizations sending marchers and more than 50,000 people confirmed to attend via event registrations and on the March’s social media platforms.
The stage will face south at the intersection of Jackson and Columbus, with a Jumbotron setup up further south along Columbus.
Columbus Drive will be closed from E Monroe Street south to E Balbo Avenue. E Jackson Drive, E Congress and Balbo will all be closed from Michigan Ave to Lake Shore Drive. Monroe will be closed from Michigan Ave to Columbus. See route map for visual of street closures.
There will be a disability access point on Columbus via Monroe. Cars for disability drop off come south on Columbus from Randolph towards Monroe for drop off. (Please note: Monroe west of Jackson will be closed.) There is NO drop off permitted on Lake Shore Drive. CAR DROP OFF IS FOR DISABILITY ACCESS ONLY.
Main entry points for the rally area are via Balbo or Congress onto Columbus Drive.
What time should we arrive? How long will I stay?
8:30am Marchers are welcome to arrive onsite.
9:30 Pre-rally musical entertainment begins.
10 a.m. Our Speakers Rally begins, featuring speakers representing issues affecting women.
11:30 a.m. Marchers head west on Jackson to towards Federal Plaza where the march will conclude and disperse. Those unable to march can remain in the rally area.
Until 2 p.m. Jackson Drive and Columbus Drive will remain closed for marchers who remained in the rally space until 2pm.
What is the march route?
The rally and march map is shown at right. Limited seating will be in place at Columbus Drive near the rally stage and start point for persons with disabilities who are not able to march, but still want to be a part of the event. Jackson Drive and Columbus Drive will remain closed for marchers who wish to informally congregate after the march disperses. There will be music playing at the rally site until 2pm
What is the best way to get to the rally?
RTA Trip Planner
The RTA Trip Planner allows travelers to plan trips in the Chicago region using public transit (CTA, Metra, and Pace buses and trains) that include driving, biking, and walking directions. Click here for RTA Trip Planner. Use Balbo and Columbus, Chicago as your destination address which will put you at the entry point for the rally.
Metra has released the following info (click to read) about increased capacity on all their Chicago lines. Additionally here is a map of the downtown Metra stations.
Cabs/Uber/Lyft: We have notified companies and working with them to provide accurate street closure information and drop off for persons with disabilities.
The Millennium Park and Millennium Lakeside Garages offer the most convenient parking to the rally, with entrances on Columbus Drive, north of Monroe or south of Randolph. For more information on discounted rates and directions for Millennium Garages, visit www.millenniumgarages.com/rates/. Please use parking lot entrances from Michigan Avenue. The Columbus Avenue parking entrances will be limited to those with Disabilities.
Other parking can be found at http://chicago.bestparking.com/.
How do I Enter the Rally?
Marchers will enter the rally space on Columbus Drive from Balbo Avenue or from Congress Pkwy. There will NOT be an entry point at to Columbus via Jackson.
A dedicated entrance for people with disabilities – including people who want to utilize ASL Interpretation, Open Captioning, Audio Description and Assistive Listening Devices — is located at the corner of Columbus and Monroe. For more information, please scroll down this page to Accessibility: Getting There.
Persons with disabilities can be dropped off or walk in at Columbus and Monroe. Cars should (1) drive south on Columbus from Randolph towards Monroe and (2) display an accessible placard or identify as delivering a person with a disability. After drop-off, please see below for parking options.
Marchers with children will have access to a desgnated Family Area if desired. Quickest entry to the Family Area is on foot at the Disability Access entry point on Columbus at Monroe. Volunteers will direct you to the Family Area which will be east of the rally stage. The Family Area can also be accessed from the main rally space near the front of the stage and also via an access pathway near Buckingham fountain.
Car drop-off at Columbus and Monroe is reserved ONLY for disability access.
Rally Accessibility for Attendees with Disabilities and Families with children marching
To ensure the most inclusive and diverse movement possible, the Women’s March on Chicago is dedicated to facilitate an accessible, supportive experience for all participants, including people with disabilities.
- All rally accommodations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations can be accepted. We anticipate at least 50,000 people gathering at the Rally – crowds and lines are very likely.
- Please note that these services apply to the Rally only and NOT for the march portion of the event.
- This is an outdoor event, subject to the elements. All attendees will be exposed to the weather; please dress appropriately!
Accessible Viewing Area
- Attendees with disabilities and their companions are invited to participate in the the Rally designated Accessible Viewing Areas near the rally stage. Note that availability of the Accessible Viewing Areas and accessibility equipment is first-come, first-served and cannot be reserved in advance. Both areas are wheelchair accessible.
- Accessible Viewing Area (intersection of Jackson and Columbus): On a level surface, near the accessible vehicle drop-off area and the stage. Ideal for those being dropped off, needing close proximity to the speakers and/or needing access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, and Audio Description. Chairs will be available in this viewing area. To accommodate as many people with disabilities as possible in this area, please try to limit the number of companions who will not be using accessible services.
- Family Area: Marchers with children can join a designated Families Area if they prefer or need to be out of the main crowd in the rally space. For the quickest/most direct entry to the Families Area, walk in via the Disability Access point at Monroe at Columbus and ask volunteers to point you toward the Families Area. You will be directed to a large space along Jackson Drive to the east of the stage dedicated to marchers with children. Families can also of course be part of the main Rally space along Columbus Drive facing the stage. If you are in the main rally space and desire to move to the Families Area head toward the stage or at the NE corner of Jackson and Columbus or look for an access pathway near Buckingham Fountain. Marhsals and volunteers can direct you. Best to decide ahead of time which you are heading to: quickest route into the families space (enter Columbus Drive via Monroe) or via the main rally space (enter Columbus Drive via Balbo or Congress). CAR DROP OFF IS RESERVED FOR DISABILITY ACCESS ONLY.
- Located near Monroe and Columbus.
- Access volunteers will be available to provide information on accessible viewing area and available services.
- The tent will serve as a meeting point for those wanting to connect with volunteer guides.
- American Sign Language interpreters will be stationed at the tent to facilitate communication.
- Accessible portable toilets will be located near the Access area
Accessible Services and Accommodations for Rally
- People requiring physical access may participate in the rally from the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Accessible portable toilets are available near the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Review Accessibility: Getting There (below) to learn more about arrival.
American Sign Language Interpretation
- American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation will be visible from Accessible Viewing Area, near the stage.
- ASL interpreters will also be present at the Access Tents.
- The rally will feature open captioning via two different points.
- From the stage, captions will be presented on a 50” flat-screen mounted on the stage, viewable by the first several rows of seats. These seats will be reserved for guests who identify as wanting to use the captions, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Captions will also be available on a large JumboTron screen located south of Jackson.
Assistive Listening Devices
- Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available in Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the Access Tent next to Accessible Viewing Area.
- Because of potential damage to the equipment, we regret that ALDs will not be available in inclement weather.
- Please bring a photo ID that will be held as collateral.
- Audio Description is available in Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the Access Tent next to Accessible Viewing Area.
- Because of potential damage to the equipment, we regret that Audio Description will not be available in inclement weather.
- Please bring a photo ID that will be held as collateral.
- A limited number of Access Volunteers are available to guide attendees from the Access Tent to either accessible viewing area.
By foot and independent motion
- Please scroll to the top of the page for mass transit information.
- There will be a dedicated accessible entrance at Monroe and Columbus. From the accessible entrance, there will be a protected path to get to the Accessible Viewing Area in front of the stage near Jackson and Columbus – one block south.
- There will be an Access Tent to provide information as you enter the rally area.
- Volunteers will be stationed near the accessible entrance at Monroe and Columbus to assist with directions and assistance to the Accessible Viewing Area.
- The accessible entrance may be used by people needing close proximity to the speakers and/or needing access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, and Audio Description. Companions are also welcome, but to accommodate as many people with disabilities as possible in this area, please try to limit the number of guests who will not be using accessible services.
By Car or Pace
Drop off, or Walk up – Persons with disabilities can be dropped off or walk in at Columbus and Monroe. Cars should (1) drive south on Columbus from Randolph towards Monroe and (2) display an accessible placard or identify as delivering a person with a disability. After drop-off, please see above for parking options.
Parking information, please visit the Logistics Tab. Pace vans will also be using this area as a drop off/pick-up area.
CTA -All buses are ADA accessible. Check here for more information – CTA Accessibility
Metra- We are in contact with the Metra Planning Department and the Metra Police. They have been informed of the details of the march and insuring that every train has at least one ADA car which will allow for three wheel chairs each.
Taxi/Uber/Lyft: We have notified companies and working with them to provide accurate street closure information and drop off for persons with disabilities.
- The march route begins near the accessible viewing area at Jackson and Columbus, and will run approximately a quarter of a mile on Jackson to Federal Plaza. The march route will be cleared and maintained by trained marshals.
- A limited number of volunteers will be available to walk with participants who want assistance along the march route. If you would like to request a march guide, please check in at the Monroe Access Tent at the corner of Monroe and Columbus.
- People with disabilities may remain in the seating area during the march portion of the event.
Contact us at email@example.com with other questions, please.
Details are subject to change. Please check back to receive the most up-to-date information.
What if there is an emergency medical issue?
We are contracting for EMT services onsite, and working with the Chicago Fire Department for city provided services.
I’m a member of the press. How do I acquire press credentials?
Please fill out this google form: Those who have been granted press credentials will be able to check in at the event.