Sorry for the tardiness with this recap. I have been too busy the past week, to post this. Forgive me if some of this info has been posted elsewhere. I have been too busy to keep up with other Bleed Cubbie Blue postings, during the past week.
There was a full house at the meeting this year, mostly due to the interest in the Wrigley Field renovation plans. The crowd was overflowing into the hallway. There were easily over 100 in attendance. I have never seen 5 television stations cover this meeting. As it has been covered elsewhere, this topic was not covered at this meeting. There have been subsequent, non public, meetings where this was to be covered. The purpose of this community meeting was to recap neighborhood issues from the 2012 Cubs season.
44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney started things off. 5 representatives from the Cubs were introduced. Mike Lufrano-VP Community Affairs/General Counsel, Julian Green-VP Communications & Community Affairs, Carl Rice-VP Ballpark Operations, Jennifer Dedes Nowak-Manager/Chicago Cubs Charities Programs and Steve Jacobson-Consultant to the Cubs. Only Mike Lufrano, who normally appears at these meetings, spoke.
Everyone was very civil at this meeting. Ald Tunney and Mike Lufrano were very cordial with each other. No fireworks for the media to cover, at this event anyway.
There were various city representatives on hand. Here is the list:
44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney
47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar
Representative From The 32nd Ward
Representative From The 46th Ward
Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC)
Chicago Police Department (CPD)
Department of Transportation (CDOT)
Department of Finance/Revenue
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Department of Streets and Sanitation
Office of Budget Management
Chicago Transit Authority
Here the more interesting topics which were actually covered:
DEVRY REMOTE PARKING-Used by 40,000 fans. Parked 15,000 cars. Most cars parked 480. Average number parked 293. Exploring alternate remote parking sites. Preferably along Irving Park Rd.
BICYCLE VALET PARKING-5,000 bikes parked.
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT-48 traffic aides assigned at each game. $575,000 paid out by the Cubs. Deployed 1-1/2 hours before the game, until 1-1/2 hours afterward. Boundaries are Damen to the Lakefront, and Montrose to Diversey.
CUBS NEIGHBORHOOD PROGRAMS-8,000 residents have signed up for email newsletter. 15,000 tickets given away to community programs. More than $1,000,000 available in Cubs Fund. Fund established in 2003 as a contingency fund to pay for unforeseen neighborhood projects. Has paid for traffic studies, new signage. $143,000 spent in 2012.
CHICAGO CUBS CHARITIES-$2.3 million donated. $323,000 to Lakeview organizations.
AUTOGRAPHED ITEMS DONATED TO CHARITIES-1900 balls, 365 jerseys, 2900 photos, 138 bats, 200 other.
CPD-Dedicated game detail deployed 1 hour before the game, until 1 hour afterwards. Plan to add bicycle detail to game detail. More detail officers will also be on foot.
CDOT-33 yellow night game parking signs, maintained in LV-2 parking zone. Program has been less expensive than the yellow barricades, with signs, that were previously used. Barricades were being damaged, or stolen. 21 intersections repainted. 500 sign activities (signs repaired or replaced) in the zone bordered by Ravenswood to Halsted, and Irving Park to Belmont. Left turn arrows being installed at 3 intersections, but only in certain directions of travel. They are Clark/Irving Park, Addison/Ashland and Halsted/Belmont. Traffic lights being installed at 4 intersections. I missed one. They are Clark/School, Clark/Roscoe and Irving Park/Seminary. The plan is to "interconnect" these lights, to expedite traffic flow.
DEPT OF FINANCE/REVENUE-4,000 tickets issued (night games only)
DEPT OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS-Inspectors do a sweep, twice a month, in the neighborhood. From Racine to Broadway, and Irving Park to Belmont. Conducted 303 business checks. Issued 34 non compliance citations.
STREETS AND SANITATION-Towed 797 cars. 20 more cars than the previous year. (night games only)
CTA-During games, averaged 4,000-6,000 passengers on trains. Averaged 12,000 on buses. For 2013, plan to increase service on #80, #152 and #154 buses. Yellow Line (Skokie) trains will operate until midnight, for night games.
After all the representatives spoke, there was time for a question and answer session. Some questions were good, some not so good. One neighbor pointed out that limos were parking, and blocking crosswalks, when waiting for their clients during the game. That was a legitimate issue to raise. Other good issues raised were that the Cubs cannot change the footprint of the Captain Morgans Club. During some games, the outdoor cage fences were removed, and temporary barricades were put up. These barricades were intruding into the public sidewalk. Another resident pointed out that a new city sign was blocking a city security camera. The resident had to do a little digging, to determine which city agency operated it. The camera was still being blocked. A resident also pointed out that due to some zoning changes, there is no longer LV-2 zone parking in the 46th Ward.
There were also questions, not related to Cubs games. Why did the CTA spend millions to extend the station platforms on the Brown Line, only to run 4 car trains during the midday hours? Why doesn't the city enforce bicycle traffic laws? What can I do about my neighbor's barking dog?
I'll end my recap on that note. I hope this explains what occurs at these meetings, and their purpose.