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Addison Street Sidewalks Near Wrigley Will Be Widened

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The Cubs and the city of Chicago have come to a security agreement.

David Sameshima

The Cubs, like all MLB teams, now have magnetometers for additional security checks at Wrigley Field.

Last January, the team floated the idea of closing Clark and Addison Streets adjacent to the ballpark during games as an additional security measure. This was quickly shot down by city officials, justifiably so, in my opinion. Closing two major through streets, even for just a few hours during ballgames, would have created a serious ripple effect on traffic throughout the North Side.

The Cubs and the city have now come to a compromise agreement, according to the Tribune:

Concrete construction barricades already in place will line the outer edge of the sidewalk along the south side of the stadium as the team and city officials work out specifics of how to build and pay for the permanent fortifications. Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the work will include widening the sidewalk by four feet.

Who pays for the changes on Addison still needs to get worked out, Green said.

"It's a public way, so obviously it will take some resources, not just from the Cubs" to widen the sidewalk and put in "bollards" like the posts or heavy concrete planters found ringing federal buildings and other facilities seen as possible terrorist targets, he said.

[Mayor Rahm] Emanuel told reporters Wednesday that he's looking to get federal money to help pay for the work.

You can see how this will work in the photo at the top of this post, which was taken last Saturday, April 9. There are already barricades on Addison, a few feet south of the sidewalk on the north side of the street. Effectively, they're eliminating what would have in past years been a parking lane on the north side of Addison, though there hasn't been parking allowed there in decades.

At one point along the Addison side of the ballpark, the sidewalk narrows to only about six feet wide, the result of the shifting of Wrigley Field to the south more than 90 years ago. (Mike Bojanowski created this photo essay of that move here last December.)

This seems like a fair compromise between the Cubs' desire for a larger security perimeter around the ballpark and the city's desire to keep Clark and Addison Streets open for traffic during ballgames.

The article doesn't say when this work would be completed, but it doesn't seem as if widening the sidewalk would be too complicated a job. In the meantime, I'd expect the concrete barriers to remain in place.