Pleased to hear from happy neighbors for a change, Evanston aldermen Monday night voted to introduce revised plans for Northwestern University to revamp its parking lot across Ashland Avenue from Ryan Field.

The neighbors, who had opposed various aspects of the university’s original plan, offered praise for revisions agreed to by the school which include:

  • Eliminating a pedestrian access to the west side of the lot from Livingston Street.
  • Adding a fence along the alley that separates the parking lot from homes to the west and a row of evergreens to block views of the lot from those homes
  • Reducing the height of light poles illuminating the field, reducing the brightness of LED lights on the poles and equipping the lights with dimmers to further reduce light levels during off hours.

In addition, John D’Angelo, NU’s vice president for facilities management, said the university intends to contribute to the cost of paving the four-block stretch of alley at the west side of the lot.

The scope of work required on the alley hasn’t been determined yet, D’Angelo said, but that the university hoped to be able to cover the cost of the alley project without requiring the abutting neighbors to pay a special assessment to cover part of the cost.

He said the university has followed that approach recently on some other alleys in the campus area that have a mix of university-owned and privately-owned properties. 

Typically the city pays half the cost of alley paving with the rest of the cost split among the abutting property owners.

The project still requires another vote at the next City Council meeting to gain final approval.

Related stories

Recap: Planning and Development Committee (3/14/16)

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. Blocking access to the west
    This will only make game days even worse. Many people park to the west of the lot, myself included, and instituting these changes will only funnel them to the south (where Central is already crowded) and north (which cannot handle the traffic). It’s like the people that live there don’t realize what happens when you move next to a stadium.

    1. I don’t understand why
      I don’t understand why Northwestern agreed to wall off the neighborhood to placate a few NIMBYs who live next to a stadium that has been there for 90 years. So instead of trying to have good relations with the residents of this area, NU has basically given up on them by agreeing to a half-mile long barrier and no relationship with those on the other side.

      I think that’s a shame and very shortsighted. It also pretty much ends the practice of families in the area enjoying a casual walk to football and basketball games and events.

  2. Ryan Field west parking lot fence

    a 75% reduction in ingress/egress from stadium event access makes no sense on any level.   Tell your alderpersons and ask to see the traffic studies.

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