Today, the Tribune Company reports in its newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, that has come up with a new plan to expand its stadium in Chicago, Wrigley Field. The plan entails moving walls ten feet outward into current sidewalk space along Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. The plan eliminates unsightly columns that would have punctured these sidewalks, but it manages to do worse: the sidewalks will only be 12 to 16 feet wide after the walls are moved out!
The Tribune Company's spokesperson states that this is no big deal because these streets proper are closed at game time, and can be used by pedestrians who cannot fit on reduced sidewalks.
This ignorant statement demonstrates a total lack of concern for the people who live in the neighborhood and good urban design. Ideally, sidewalks should be at least 30 feet wide to accomodate foot traffic and other uses (children playing). At a location as busy as the area around Wriglet Field, such space is certainly needed even when the stadium is closed. Twelve to 16 feet of space is insufficient at this location, as it is in any location (although I realize most places don't have even that much sidewalk width).
Does the Tribune Company want to turn Chicago into Wilmette or Schaumburg?