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Printers Row book fair causes congestion and some frustration

Submitted on Sat, 06/09/2007 – 05:45.
Story by Abbey Lechner
The 16,000 residents of Printers Row and the South Loop may find more than books at this weekend’s Printers Row Book Fair; they may also find frustration as they experience difficulty getting around their congested neighborhood.

Founded in 1985, the two-day event now consumes five city blocks of the Printers Row neighborhood. This year, organizers expect more than 190 booksellers and 90,000 visitors from across the country. There will be more than 200 author programs. NEW: Printers Row Book Fair slideshow on

Enrique Perez, community activist and vice president of the Dearborn Park Advisory Council, said although most of his neighbors welcome the event, some do complain.

“[Complaints that] I hear every year include, traffic congestion, lack of parking, and just general inconvenience. A few people even want the Book Fair to go away,” Perez said.

Printers Row resident Jake Haar said commuting to work at the hotel Raffaello, 201 E. Delaware Place, will probably cause him trouble.

“I usually catch a cab to work to save time, so it will probably be hard,” Haar said. “There is already too much stuff going on down here making it congested enough,” said Haar, who plans to walk two blocks to the Red Line.

Michael Hernandez, president of the Dearborn Park Advisory Council, said congestion is a problem the rest of the year, not just during the two-day event. He said driving and parking issues continue to be a problem in the growing South Loop.

“There are always inconveniences when driving in this area,” Hernandez said. “With this event, though, the positive outweigh the negative because it is such a cultural event.”

Businesses that line Dearborn Street are sure to be affected by the book fair – but in a good way, they hope.

Daniela from Daniela’s Day Spa, 705 S. Dearborn St., said she expects her business will see 20 additional walk-ins. Although it’s unclear if the walk-ins will return to spend money at the spa, Daniela said it’s a great and easy way to advertise the business.

Art & Entertainment In the Loop Public
congestion dearborn park advisory council printers row printers row book fair south loop traffic

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