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Navigating Wrigleyville

Let’s face it, when Wrigley Field was built in 1914, few people owned cars and the neighborhood could support the thousands of straw-hatted fans that either walked or took the L train to see a ballgame. Today, the charming neighborhood officially known as Lakeview comes alive on game days as Wrigleyville. It seems for 40,000 fans there are 20,000 cars and that means traffic congestion with a capital T!

More than 35 years of going to games, working nearby, and taking in the Clark Street nightlife have taught me a few things. I’m happy to share the benefits of my experience…

One must resign themselves to a certain amount of traffic time. However, if you stay away from the well-known streets you are doing yourself and others a big favor. Forget taking Addison anywhere. Use Clark only where you absolutely must – for example if you plan to park at McDonalds across from the ball park. The worst mistake one can make is exiting the I-90/Kennedy Expressway at Addison or Irving Park Road and taking them all the way east to the park. This 3.5 miles could take a full hour! Instead, exit the Kennedy at Foster and take it east to Ashland Ave, go South to Grace Street, turn Left to go East to Clark and you are a block away. I like to use Southport Ave to escape Wrigleyville headed South to, say, Webster Ave, then go West to the I-90 entrance ramp. You’ll have to refer to a map to plan your best way, but try to use these streets if at all possible – it will keep you (and others) moving…

Use Foster Ave, Ashland Ave, Southport Ave, Grace St, Wellington Ave, Diversey Blvd, and in spots, (surprisingly) Clark Street. It seems most of the streets East of Wrigley get pretty bogged down. If coming in on Lake Shore Drive, forget Belmont or Irving Park exits. Use Diversey or Montrose to find your way to the streets I list above.

Watch Where You Park!

Remember, an illegally parked car anywhere in the vicinity of Wrigley Field is guaranteed to be towed either by the city/police or worse case scenario, by a private towing company. Towing is big business on game day, so don’t risk the hassle and expense of making that mistake!


Navigating Wrigleyville Like a Pro
Getting Tickets Parking Tips
Travel to Chicago  Maps & Directions

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