Tunney puts aside differences with Ricketts family to promote bike-sharing station at Wrigley

SHARE Tunney puts aside differences with Ricketts family to promote bike-sharing station at Wrigley

Two weeks ago, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) infuriated the billionaire family that owns the Cubs by issuing a harsh warning on the City Council floor on the day aldermen approved the long-stalled renovation of Wrigley Field.

Tunney said he wasn’t looking for a “civil war” with the Cubs over the Ricketts family’s $500 million plan to renovate Wrigley and develop the land around it. But the team had better honor its commitments to local residents if they want to avoid one.

“You have to be a good neighbor. Otherwise, I’ll be up your butt every day,” the alderman said on that day.

On Thursday, all was forgiven—or at least temporarily forgotten.

Tunney joined Cubs owner Todd Ricketts and Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein to promote the new Wrigley bike-sharing station serving the stadium at the corner of Clark and Waveland.

The three men then hopped on Divvy bikes and road to the new so-called “People Spot” on the corner of Southport and Addison.

“Biking and baseball are two of America’s favorite pastimes and Divvy is a great way for fans to travel to and from Wrigley Field,” Ricketts, who owns a big bicycle store in Highland Park, was quoted as saying in a press release.

“Many Cubs fans already know that public transit, biking and walking are the best ways to get to the ballpark. They are also great ways to promote a healthy lifestyle and the environment. Bike-sharing is now another option.”

The Wrigley bike-sharing station is one of 137 Divvy stations across the city. It’s located near the bike valet service that the Cubs offer fans at no charge during home games.

The so-called “People Spot” on the southeast corner of Southport and Addison converted a former loading zone into a raised deck with planters and sculpted tables and chairs.

It’s a partnership between CDOT and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce that’s part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s innovative, “Make Way for People” plan.

The idea is to make Chicago streets safer for pedestrians by turning former streets, alleys, plazas and parking lanes into public spaces filled with music, farmers markets and other seasonal activities.

“In addition to improving street safety and promoting walkable communities, the…initiative supports economic development for local businesses and adds vibrancy to Chicago’s neighborhoods,” Emanuel was quoted as saying in the press release.

Despite Thursday’s détente between Tunney and the Ricketts family, it’s not smooth sailing for the Wrigley renovation. The Cubs and rooftop club owners still must resolve their differences before the team will begin construction on the privately-financed project.

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