The new upgrade could have long-term benefits for the future of Lakeview and crash victims
The Chicago Cubs plan to donate $1 million to install new surveillance around Wrigley Field, a grant that doubles the number of security cameras in Lakeview, according to DNAInfo.
The grant will be presented before the city’s budget committee today, and we’re wondering: What does that mean for one of summer’s busiest and most congested neighborhoods?
The upgrade calls for 30 new cameras to be placed on city-owned light poles along Belmont, Addison, Irving Park Rd., and Lake Shore Drive. Others will be installed on streets farther from the ballpark but within the span of traffic, including west of Western Avenue and extending as far back as the Kennedy Expressway.
Apart from the obvious security upgrade, the cameras could mean more prosecutions for offenders of car crashes, which have been sporadic but frequent over the last few years. Earlier this month, a man was carjacked at gunpoint, leading to a crash on the 3100 block of North Cambridge Avenue; in July of last year, seven people were hospitalized after a Dodge Caravan crashed into a police cruiser while making a left turn from Addison onto Clark St.; and as far back as 2012, two people were hurt when a motorcycle rammed a Mercedes at the corner of Addison and Magnolia.
It’s fair to say that the new cameras won’t explicitly deter or prevent car accidents from occurring around Wrigley in the short-term. But it does open up the possibility that multiple streets will be evaluated in the coming months and years, based on footage of driving patterns, cycling and pedestrian behavior, and the foot-traffic leading up to game days.
It also opens up the possibility for crash victims to definitively collect on impending lawsuits, aided by the use of crash footage, which is overseen by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, meaning it’s theoretically available via a public records request (something that an experienced injury attorney should be requesting, as Jay recently spoke about during a trip to the New Jersey Association for Justice Boardwalk Seminar last month). And if the city is truly dedicated to its Vision Zero plan, the above-mentioned traffic studies could influence the future landscape of Lakeview, meaning less crashes.
The Cubs have seen a significant jump in attendance and interest since winning the World Series last fall. Despite a relative slow start, the Cubs faithful continue to turn out in droves. They practically inhabit the roads. It’s nice knowing a fresh batch of new cameras have the potential to alleviate some of those fears now and into the future.