LAKEVIEW — Wrigleyville residents are worried about the upcoming Cubs season, and no — it's not the team's losing streak that has them concerned.
City employees met with Wrigley Field's neighbors to discuss last season, and addressed everything from how to deal with drunken, littering fans to new traffic-reducing measures around the ballpark.
Neighbors have been concerned about Cubs games bringing crime into the area, and suggested that the team provide extra security to support police.
Town Hall District Police Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris said a legion of foot and bike cops dedicated to Cubs games will take care of rowdiness — the number of arrests during games is about the same as a normal night in the neighborhood, he said.
Compared to other events, such as last year's Twelve Bars of Christmas pub crawl, Cubs games have fewer problems, he said.
"I don’t see that big of a difference," he said. "Most people come to a Cubs game, they have a good time with their families."
Police also have support from Chicago Transit Authority patrols, he said. No beat officers are taken off their beats to bolster the Cubs patrol, which run 1½ hours before and after the games, Voulgaris said.
Traffic and Parking
Chicago Department of Transportation representatives updated neighbors on traffic and signs, assuring them they are trying to reduce traffic jams often caused by games.
Left turn signals will be added to three intersections: Belmont and Halsted, Irving Park and Clark and Addison and Ashland.
Adding the lights will use about $233,000 from the CubFund, said Erin Duffy, director of community outreach for Ald. Tom Tunney's (44th) office. CubFund is an account that the Cubs must pay into every year as part of the neighborhood protection ordinance.
The fund has more than $1 million available, and the team put $143,000 in this past season, Cubs representative Mike Lufrano said.
CDOT also replaced about 500 signs in the neighborhood that had been vandalized or damaged in the last year, department representative Mike Volini said.
Parking wise, nearly 800 cars were towed last season, Streets and Sanitation representative Louis Scalise said, 20 more than the year before.
Visiting crowds may be the source of litter in yards, but homeowners are the ones who could be ticketed if trash builds up, Scalise said.
In response to a question about trash after games, Scalise and Tunney said the ward superintendent has the right to write tickets for overflowing litter. According to the litter control act, allowing trash to accumulate on a property is Class B misdemeanor.
Streets and San can take care of streets, sidewalks and alleys, and bar and business owners will be responsible for the half-block around their property, Tunney said. But homeowners also have to do their part to keep the neighborhood looking nice.
"You as a property owner have responsibility for the 360 degrees around your house," Tunney said. "Mike [Lufrano] has alluded to the fact that we’re all working together. There’s a lot of money being spent keeping this neighborhood clean."
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com Chicago. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the team's day-to-day operations.