Free Cubs parking may seem like a dream come true for commuting Cubs fans, but residents that live near the new lot are worried it might turn into a nightmare.
Team officials announced last month a free 1,000-space remote parking lot at 3900 N. Rockwell St., two miles west of the ballpark and just south of Irving Park Road.
The new lot is designed to ease vehicle traffic and cut down on the number of cars near Wrigley Field, but neighbors are concerned about traffic flow in their quiet neighborhood.
“It’s a densely populated area for kids,” said resident Carlos Mejia. “It’s going to destroy the harmony of the neighborhood.”
The lot replaces the team's previous paid remote parking lot at DeVry University which had less available spaces.
It is part of a concession the Cubs made in order to secure additional night games this season, and is part of the $500 million Wrigley Field renovation project.
Residents say they found out about the parking lot less than a month ago, and also raised concerns about tailgaters.
“I fear drunk drivers in the neighborhood,” said Carol Rich, whose 5-year-old daughter goes to summer camp in the neighborhood. “We’re a neighborhood. My front door is 50 feet away from the parking lot.”
And residents’ concerns grow as the weather warms and summer months approach.
“It’s the summer, that’s when the park is used,” said resident Todd Cywinski. “Children are out, that’s when roads are already congested. Sixty-one games plus two concerts over six months? That’s a lot. The lot is in the wrong location regardless of what the Cubs are willing to do.”
But Cubs spokesperson Julian Green said the location is “ideal.”
“The location of the lot is a great way to get traffic off the streets,” Green said. “We have security personnel to manage the lot. This is not a free for all.”
Shuttles have been set up to transport fans from the lot to the game, officials said.