Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=175970
Story Retrieval Date: 3/8/2014 6:15:55 PM CST
Sports bars line Clark Street in Wrigleyville in the 44th Ward.
44th Ward residents want Tunney to focus on crime, safety
Rainbow-ringed towers line the Northalsted area of Boystown.
There may be no aldermanic challenger to Thomas Tunney in the 44th Ward, but some residents still want to see improvements.
The 44th Ward is located within the Lake View Community, the second-most populated community area in Chicago. Home to Cubs baseball in Wrigleyville and gay village Boystown in Lakeview East, the 44th’s active community attracts visitors from around the city.
Ald. Thomas Tunney, 55, was appointed to the City Council by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2002, and elected to his first full term the following year. He runs unopposed in 2011.
Safety is of primary concern to residents of the 44th Ward. Areas near concentrations of restaurants and nightlife have seen a notable uptick in crimes, such as assault, theft and gang activity. According to a survey of pedestrians taken Jan. 10 and published by the Lakeview Citizen’s Council, 55 percent of respondents said they feel somewhat or very unsafe in Lakeview between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. That number rose to 70 percent from 2 to 6 a.m.
Brigitte Treumann, 72, has lived in the Southport Corridor neighborhood of the 44th for 15 years. She says Tunney is a responsive and visible leader and “has everybody’s ear” at City Council as a member of six committees and as vice chairman of the Committee on Human Relations and the Committee on Special Events and Cultural Affairs.
“All in all, he runs a good ship,” she said. But Treumann, who regularly rides a bicycle in the ward, says safety, especially on poorly lit streets, is a problem.
“There are potholes. Some streets are lit well, but it’s dangerous.”
The 44th is also home to the Belmont Station, the second-busiest “El” station in the city, and events at Wrigley often snarl vehicle traffic in Wrigleyville. The ward’s Community Directed Development Council has made recommendations to the city to review stoplight patterns, increase parking and improve train and bus service.