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updated: 9/6/2013 2:33 PM

Lake Forest police, organizers confident in BMW Championship transportation plan

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  • A temporary sign sits along southbound Riverwoods Road near Everett Road alerting drivers to upcoming closures due to parking on land owned by W.W. Grainger Inc. in Mettawa for the BMW Championship in neighboring Lake Forest. The tournament and related events will be at Conway Farms in Lake Forest starting Monday morning.

       A temporary sign sits along southbound Riverwoods Road near Everett Road alerting drivers to upcoming closures due to parking on land owned by W.W. Grainger Inc. in Mettawa for the BMW Championship in neighboring Lake Forest. The tournament and related events will be at Conway Farms in Lake Forest starting Monday morning.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf says proximity of BMW Championship parking to the Tri-State Tollway should keep significant traffic woes from developing on Route 60 next week. Golf fans will follow signs west from the tollway on Route 60 to parking on W.W. Grainger Inc. farmland.

       Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf says proximity of BMW Championship parking to the Tri-State Tollway should keep significant traffic woes from developing on Route 60 next week. Golf fans will follow signs west from the tollway on Route 60 to parking on W.W. Grainger Inc. farmland.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • General, handicapped, VIP and bicycle parking for the BMW Championship in Lake Forest will be on 100 acres owned by W.W. Grainger Inc. in Mettawa, slightly west of the Tri-State Tollway and Route 60.

       General, handicapped, VIP and bicycle parking for the BMW Championship in Lake Forest will be on 100 acres owned by W.W. Grainger Inc. in Mettawa, slightly west of the Tri-State Tollway and Route 60.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf says the proximity of BMW Championship parking to the Tri-State Tollway should keep significant traffic woes from developing on Route 60 next week.

       Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf says the proximity of BMW Championship parking to the Tri-State Tollway should keep significant traffic woes from developing on Route 60 next week.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Conway Farms parking

    Graphic: Conway Farms parking

 
 

Fans eager to watch Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and other big-name golfers in Lake Forest next week will first need to veer to neighboring Mettawa if they are driving to the BMW Championship.

Grainger will be the place for all general, handicapped, VIP and bicycle parking near Everett and Riverwoods roads, west of the Tri-State Tollway and the Conway Farms Golf Club tournament site in Lake Forest. But Lake Forest police have announced some restrictions that would affect drivers wanting to travel along certain sections of Riverwoods Road.

Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf said the parking rules and projected road closures will run from Monday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Sept. 15, when the BMW Championship ends. Conway Farms' gates will open at 9 a.m. Monday for professional practice rounds, followed by the CDW Pro-Am.

Despite the higher traffic volume the tourney will bring to the Route 60 corridor, Walldorf said he doesn't anticipate significant traffic problems.

"We have several things in our favor," he said. "The main lot is only a short distance off the tollway and the shuttle bus loop to the event is likewise short. There will certainly be backups, which is inevitable given the number of spectators, but the route itself is simple and there are few opportunities to get lost, cut through neighborhoods, or park in private parking lots unrelated to the event."

BMW Championship spokesman Barry Cronin said parking will be free on 100 acres near Riverwoods and Everett. Shuttle buses will bring fans to and from Conway Farms from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

"The shuttle bus from the parking lot takes five to seven minutes," Cronin said. "Shuttles will run on a continuous loop, and patrons will be dropped off a short walk from the clubhouse (and) first tee."

Metra will be a viable option for spectators who don't want to drive to Conway Farms, because Lake Forest is served by two of the commuter rail system's lines.

West Lake Forest is on the Milwaukee District/North Line. Stops to Lake Forest's station near Waukegan Road include Fox Lake, Round Lake, Grayslake, Prairie Crossing, Libertyville and Deerfield's Lake-Cook Road depot.

East Lake Forest is on the Union Pacific/North Line. Towns on the system include Waukegan, North Chicago, Highland Park and Glencoe.

Cronin said the BMW Championship will operate daily complimentary shuttles to and from both Lake Forest Metra stations. The shuttles will run from 6 a.m. to one hour after play concludes.

Walldorf said it'll be the first time a Western Golf Association-organized tourney in the Chicago area has ever been close to Metra stops.

Fans exiting from the Tri-State Tollway at Route 60 will see signs directing them west to St. Mary's Road, where they'll go south and travel a short distance for a final turn east down Everett Road to the golf parking.

Southbound traffic on Riverwoods Road from Route 60 will be restricted just past Mettawa's Costco store. Only local traffic will be allowed on northbound Riverwoods at Route 22 in Lincolnshire until the lane is closed at Everett.

Lake Forest police said access to the Conway Farms residential development will be restricted to residents only during the BMW Championship and the related events.

Walldorf said Lake Forest will have "quite a few additional officers" on duty each day of the tourney. He said the department has been working with other local, county and federal agencies in preparation for the tournament.

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