Driving to Wrigley Field for Cubs games? Not a good idea

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Public transit will be the best way to get to Wrigley Field this weekend. | Sun-Times file photo

If you were planning to drive to Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs playoff games Friday or Saturday, you may want to reconsider.

The expected crush of fans and onlookers will mean parking will be scarce — and expensive. Street parking will be banned along many routes, and residential permits will be strictly enforced.

Fortunately, public transit is boosting efforts to get fans to the games.

Trains will run more often on the CTA’s Red Line, which stops right by the ballpark. And the Yellow Line, which runs from Skokie and connects to the Red Line at Howard, will offer later-than-usual service, until 1 a.m. after Friday’s game, and until midnight during other night games. More buses will be added to the No. 80 Irving Park and No. 152 Addison routes. The No. 8 Halsted and No. 22 Clark bus routes also serve Wrigley.

Residential parking permits will be enforced from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., both Friday and Saturday, according to 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney’s website (44th).

“First, I would recommend that you do not bring your car anywhere near the ballpark,” Tunney said. “We are strategically trying to limit the impact on the neighborhood, but understanding that this is a national event.”

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Parking restrictions will be enforced from noon Friday to 4 a.m. Sunday on both sides of these streets: Clark Street from School/Aldine to Irving Park; Sheffield Avenue from Roscoe to Grace; Addison Street from Halsted to Southport; Racine Avenue from Roscoe to Clark; and Irving Park from Clark to Seminary.

There also will be parking restrictions on Seminary Avenue, from Newport to the alley north on the east side of the street, and on Newport Avenue, from Seminary to the alley east on the north side of the street.

Taxis and ride-hailing and limo services also will have restricted routes, according to the Chicago Police Department and the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Limousines and ride-hailing services must drop off and pick up on Irving Park Road between Clark and Seminary. Taxi loading and staging will be on the southbound side of the 3300 block of Clark Street.

The CTA advises customers to buy or add value to their fare cards before they get to the station to avoid long lines.

Metra suggests customers take advantage of the many connections with CTA trains to get to Wrigley Field. The Union Pacific Northwest Metra line also stops at Irving Park Road, where passengers can catch a No. 80 bus toward Wrigley.

“We have lots of alternatives,” Tunney said. “It would be wise not come within four blocks of the park” with a car.

According to Julian Green, vice president of communications and community Affairs for the Chicago Cubs, the Cubs will continue to offer free remote parking at 3900 North Rockwell, just east of the Chicago River, with free shuttle service to and from the ballpark. Shuttle services will begin two and a half hours before the first pitch and end one hour after the game.

“Folks you can’t find a better offer than free,” he said.

The Cubs’ free bike-check service also will be available in the alley just north of the main entrance for the CTA Red Line stop on Addison Street, accessible from Sheffield Avenue. The bike check will begin about three hours before the start of the game and end one hour after the game ends.

“October is what dreams are made of, and we are less than a day away from fall baseball on Wrigley Field,” Green said on Thursday. “We want to make sure all of our fans have the information they need to prepare for our upcoming National League Division Two home games.”

Residents and fans with non-emergency issues on the day of the games are encouraged to call the Cubs-funded hotline, 866-4-CPD-TOW, or text “friendly” to 69050.

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