Evanston aldermen Monday night sided with demands from neighbors closest to Ryan Field who want no breaks in a planned fence along the west edge of the stadium parking lot.

They rejected requests from residents to the west of Green Bay Road to keep access to the stadium across the parking lot open at Livingston Street.

The residents to the west of Green Bay said the current arrangement gives them a shorter and quieter route to the stadium than having to join game-day crowds on Central Street.

But most of neighbors closest to the field — especially those near the intersection of Eastwood and Livingston who addressed aldermen at the meeting — said they didn’t want to have to deal with the crowds of people who would use Livingston as a shortcut — especially after similar informal crossing at Jenks and Chancellor streets are closed off by the fence.

The plan approved by the City Council gives Northwestern University the go-ahead to repave the stadium parking lot and make a variety of improvements to its lighting and landscaping.

The university had agreed to demands from the close-by neighbors for the fence and to pick up the cost of paving the alley that separates the lot from adjoining homes.

Apparently no analysis of pedestrian traffic counts has been done to determine the likely impact of blocking the side-street crossings on game day traffic along Central Street.

Related stories

Recap: City Council (3/28/16)

Revised Ryan Field parking plan OK’d (3/15/16)

Neighbors get NU to revise parking lot plan (3/14/16)

NU seeks to expand parking at Ryan Field (2/2/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. NIMBY Strikes again
    They knew what NU events were like when they bought/rented, now they want fences to preserve their own little world.
    No concern about extra traffic on Central and Isabella–or those neighbors. No concern about the crowds mean more having to walk in the street because of the sidewalk crowding.
    No concern about extra time people have to take to get to their cars—and houses, yes some spectators do live on both sides of the stadium.
    NU said several years ago, and the alderman [Grover] confirmed several months ago there would be at least one street access and that without the current ‘hill’ to climb.
    And of course the aldermen now bend to the few with houses on the edges and forget about all the others who live several blocks away.

    1. Not all of us stadium

      Not all of us stadium neighbors feel this way.  We consider ourselves part of the larger community.  Northwestern would have promised anything to keep this project on their tight schedule, and even threw their paying guests under the bus to get it done.  And did you notice the pedestrian access on the east parking lot side of the stadium to Livingston?  For a lot half the size of the west.

  2. Fenced out

    I applaud Ald. Revelle for giving more weight to the views of the immediate neighbors, the ones most affected by the fence or no fence, particularly where the property owner was willing to revise its plan to accommodate the immediate neighbors. The neighbors that live blocks away shouldn't be heard to complain about walking an extra 1000 feet every once in awhile when they attend a game. This entire project appears to be a model: the views of the immediate neighbors were carefully considered and taken into account by both the alderperson and the property owner, the property owner made numerous revisions based on the views of the immediate neighbors and is even paying to pave the alley, something it has no obligation to do! If only every development in our neighborhood followed such a cooperative approach giving due consideration to the views of the adjacent property owners.

    1. Hermetically seal Central to Isabella and parkinglot to Poplar ?

      The Daily Northwestern quotes a resident:"Other residents said the walkway would place an unfair burden on residents of Livingston Street and would increase the amount of light and noise that enters the neighborhood from the lot."


      Do they assume a few strands of wire will keep out light and sound ?  Not even a Faraday cage would do that.  Maybe the solution is to wall off the neighboring streets and provide ONE enterance/exit with ONE sidewalk for the whole enclave so they don't get bothered by the rest of the world.

    2. Trump will be so proud of this wall!

      A half mile long wall, and now even higher!  Trump will be so proud.  

      Seriously, so disappointed by this.  Where are we living?  Will check points along Central and Isabella to further keep undesirables out be next? 

    3. I thinik this is actually an

      I thinik this is actually an example of everything that is wrong with politics today, and it's sad that Evanston is no exception.

      Here we have a local institution that wants to do something very reasonable.  In this case simply re-pave a parking lot that has been there for generations.  The neighbors closest sense weakness and start complaining loudly and make up fantastic stories about the harm being done (see the article in the Evanston Round Table where one neighbor says at least 30 people per hour are urinating and deficating on her block, as well as climbing her fence into her back yard).  They then start asking for things for free in return for their silence.  In this case it is free paving of their alleys, free landscaping, and most of all a free wall to shut out all the bad people on the other side five days a year.  

      Elected leaders worry about unhappy voters, and tell the institution to make the noise stop.  The institution decides it is easier to shower the most selfish and loudest voices with free goodies, than to fight.  The city than happily stamps it, and in this case the aldrman actually requests to make the wall even higher than anyone asked for!  So the loud voices are molified, and no thought is given to whether it was good for the overall community.  No one cares about lost pedestrian and bike access, no one cares about environmentatal impact, no one cares if bulding half mile long walls around neighborhoods is really a good idea in Evanston.

      1. How about a wall/fence on …
        While at it, what about a wall/fence on south side of Central from Asbury to Eastwood [remember a condo/apartment building is going across from Mustard. Same on northside of Isabella and on southside from Asbury to the stadium and parking lot west. These people need the ‘quiet’ that those wanting the fence on the westside of the stadium want—actually they have FAR more pedestrian traffic.
        Bottom line is neighbors really see this as the camel getting his nose under the tent—walling off NU from the rest of Evanston.

        1. Do a reverse Trump with the ‘wall’
          If neighbors on the west of the stadium want a fence [would not cut noise or lights] or wall, have them not NU pay for it.
          Perhaps if those going to the stadium and blocked by the “wall” would make it a point to walk down Eastwood [instead of Poplar, Ashland or the alley] the residents would soon notice what a real mess they caused.
          I’m sure those living on Central are understanding of the complaints of those on the west side—not !
          How long before neighbors on the east side of the stadium will want their own wall or on the south and northsides ?

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