On Monday, June 22nd, Chicago reopened the lakefront trail, the 606, and select parks. We are thrilled to be taking these long-awaited steps forward in reopening our city by safely bringing our bars back online with outside service, and, of course, taking our first, cautious move toward reopening our beloved lakefront,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
“Though we still have a long way to go before life fully returns to normal, we are able to make these important steps thanks to the commitment and collaboration with our local businesses who have been true partners throughout this unprecedented crisis, as well as our fellow Chicagoans who have done their part to keep their communities protected by being responsible and preventing the spread of this disease.”
Under the guidelines of “Keep it Moving”, parks, the lakefront and the 606, will allow the public to use the grounds to exercise and commute solely. ‘Keep it Moving’ is part of Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” plan for opening Chicago in careful phases. Opening the lakefront and parks come with a few restrictions; the following rules are in place for public safety:
- The lakefront, 606 and parks will be open to the public from 6am – 7pm.
- Beaches, playgrounds, pools, athletic fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts will remain closed until further notice.
- People are encouraged to wear face coverings at all times.
- Social distancing must be practiced while on the trails and people should remain 6 feet apart at all times.
- People are not allowed to stop and congregate and must “Keep it Moving”.
- Select fieldhouses will be open from 9am-5pm for public bathroom use as well as shelter.
There will be slight adjustments made to the lakefront trail and parks to make note of. Water fountains will be turned off due to safety concerns. Also, areas of the lakefront trail have undergone severe damage due to storms and high lake levels. In an attempt to accommodate lakefront users, areas of the trail will be merged. Additionally, in an attempt to monitor and crowd control, lakefront access will be limited to a few select bridges and entrance points. The Chicago Police Department will be working with park officials to oversee this effort.
Social Distancing Ambassadors (SDA) will be stationed along the paths as friendly enforcers to help keep everyone safe and offer reminders of the public health guidelines. SDA will offer guidance to park-goers to maintain social distancing, educate on the proper use of face coverings, public safety precautions as well as assist with busy park and lakefront foot traffic. SDA members can be identified by their powder blue t-shirts and extremely chipper attitudes. Chicago park districts will also be offering a modified version of Summer camp to families interested. Additionally, the park district has started a virtual engagement channel via YouTube. The opening of Chicago’s beloved lakefront trail and parks is supplemented by the good news that plans are right on schedule for Phase Four of Chicago’s reopening.
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