Just days after calling potential plans to close Clark and Addison streets during Cubs’ home games a “swing and a miss,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new plan to further enhance security measures at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
The project would widen the Addison Street sidewalk next to the stadium and add concrete posts called bollards as an added barrier.
"One of the things, as you probably know, we're going to explore- not just explore, but pursue- is putting bollards at key points because that's something in today's day and age you need for security," Emanuel said. "It would be a complement.”
Cubs spokesman Julian Green confirmed the plan to widen the street’s sidewalk by four feet and install bollards similar to those found around federal buildings and other possible terror targets.
"We are trying to implement a 21st century operational plan for a three-acre ballpark built in 1914," Green said in a statement. "That comes with challenges for us and the City, as with every other major change that has been proposed to Wrigley Field over the years. We continue to believe closing Addison and Clark is the right call, but we are open to exploring other ways to ensure safety."
“I think that gets to the same goal, without having to close Clark and Addison, which has its own complexity,” Emanuel said of the plan, alluding to Rep. Mike Quigley's proposal in a recent radio interview.
On Monday, Emanuel scoffed at Quigley’s plan to close the busy streets for Cubs’ home games.
Nevertheless, Quigley lauded Emanuel’s latest plan and pledged to work to obtain federal aid for the project.
“Today’s announcement by Mayor Emanuel is a step in the right direction for the security of Wrigley Field, its fans and the neighborhood,” Quigley said in a statement. “I will continue to advocate for Chicago in my role on the House Appropriations Committee to ensure the city has the federal funding it needs for security measures.”
Emanuel told reporters Wednesday he was “looking forward to federal participation.”
The mayor also noted that Quigley has remained involved in conversations about the stadium’s security and that they share similar big picture goals.
“There are places, not just Wrigley Field, but other venues that have a lot of people," Emanuel said. "There is ways to achieve the security without shutting down Clark and Addison. That's why widening the sidewalks, putting the bollards up, can achieve the same type of security concerns that the congressman's addressing.”
There are currently no similar plans to bolster security on Clark Street.