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Don't Drive Near Wrigley During The Cubs' Playoff Run, Ald. Tunney Warns

By Ariel Cheung | October 6, 2016 2:01pm
 Officials with the city and Chicago Cubs held a press conference Thursday to outline security and traffic plans for the Cubs postseason run, which starts Friday.
Officials with the city and Chicago Cubs held a press conference Thursday to outline security and traffic plans for the Cubs postseason run, which starts Friday.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

WRIGLEYVILLE — Don't drive anywhere near Wrigley Field this weekend, Ald. Tom Tunney said Thursday.

"I recommend you do not bring your car anywhere near the ballpark," Tunney said, either during Friday's or Saturday's home playoff games against the San Francisco Giants or even during other times during the team's postseason run, Tunney said at a press conference Thursday.

Tunney was joined by officials with the Cubs and city police and emergency management officials in announcing plans for the postseason.

Ariel Cheung talks about the stipulations near Wrigley for the playoffs.

Before the meeting, he emailed a host of parking restrictions that start on noon Friday and extend through 4 a.m. Sunday. Among others, those include parking restrictions on Clark, Sheffield, Addison, Irving Park, Eddy, Cornelia and Newport.

There will also be full street closures beginning three hours before game time on Sheffield between Addison and Waveland and on Waveland form Sheffield to Clark. Other streets might be closed at the discretion of police, the alderman said, and residents should have photo IDs and proof of residence to enter certain streets.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green warned fans to be wary of scalpers or counterfeit tickets. He also said the team will not replace tickets if you lose them or they're stolen. And don't post pictures of them online, because scammers could try to reprint them.

The tickets, he noted, are "extremely valuable."

Concern over public safety has surged in Lakeview, with neighbors forming coalitions like Taking Back Lakeview and demanding results from the Town Hall District and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th).

On Wednesday, neighbors grilled the district's top cop during a community policing meeting, but received few answers in return.

"I'll tell you we have additional resources coming," Town Hall Cmdr. Robert Cesario said at the community policing beat meeting. "The number [of officers] depends on the day. We have different plans in place. Rest assured, we have additional resources coming."

RELATED: With Cubs Playoffs Looming, Lakeview Asks Police: Are We Safe?

Cesario did say plans center around Clark and Addison immediately around Wrigley Field, but there will also be additional patrols stretching out through the neighborhood.

A man argues with a Chicago police officer along the barricade on the west side of Addison at Clark Street. Police blocked off the intersection during a 2015 Cubs playoff game. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Plainclothes officers will join uniformed patrols, so the public might not realize how large the Wrigley Field force is, the commander added.

Police are asking grocery and liquor stores in the neighborhood to avoid selling champagne bottles during postseason home games, said Bennett Lawson, chief of staff for Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). That's likely to prevent massive glass bottle pile-up like this scene from the 2015 Blackhawks championship celebration:

Bars will use plastic cups during games for similar reasons, Lawson said. Officials have advised them to avoid overcrowding and expect occupancy checks over the next month.

The police department has promised an increased presence on nights the Cubs could "clinch" a series in the playoffs. The first opportunity — a chance to advance to the National League Championship Series — could come as early as Monday, but that will be an away game for the Cubs.

RELATED: What To Expect In Wrigleyville This Postseason? No Champagne, For One Thing

The National League Division Series clincher would only be in Wrigley if the series lasts all five games, wrapping up Oct. 13.

Police — which typically includes Cesario on big game nights — have often used the option to block off portions of Clark and Addison toward the end of games with large crowds.

During last year's postseason, officers occasionally barricaded all four sides of the intersection, keeping exiting Wrigley Field attendees from the Clark Street bars.

Fans outside Wrigley Field celebrate after the Cubs beat the Cardinals to win the NLDS in the 2015 postseason. [DNAinfo/Jon Hansen]

At least one squad car patrols each of the 15 beats that cover Lakeview and portions of Uptown, Lincoln Square, North Center and Lincoln Park, officials have said in the past.

Additional officers in the district's entertainment detail are sent to portions of Lakeview like Boystown, Wrigleyville and Clark and Belmont to attend to boisterous bar crowds and the bustling Belmont "L" station.

Recently, the CTA pledged to station a security guard dog at the Belmont station from 2 p.m.-6 a.m. daily, reacting to a drove of neighbors furious over the flow of criminal activity from the station.

RELATED: Police, CTA Bring In The Dogs As Crime At Belmont "L" Station Spikes

If Wednesday's packed meeting was any reflection, it seems neighbors feel no safer, despite the increased police presence.

Police and the streets department have ramped up towing of cars on Clark and Halsted during weekends, officials said. At least 20 cars are being towed on Friday and Saturday nights for not having parking permits or otherwise parking illegally.

That helps prevent people from basically having parties in their cars, which is "really a significant problem," said Greg Kawliche, president of the Southport Neighbors Association.

"Young kids along Clark Street are just sort of sitting in their cars and drinking, smoking, not really patronizing the bars," he said.

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