Highland Park supports use options for Park Avenue Beach
Regardless of any errant public perception, the city of Highland Park recently declared that it has no intention of closing the Park Avenue Beach, where many flock for recreation.
Traditionally, Highland Park has leased the beach area, which houses the North Shore Yacht Club, to the Park District. In 2015, the city and the Park District collaborated to have an independent engineering study done in order to evaluate ways of handling motor and pedestrian traffic while at the same time preserving the security perimeter of the nearby water plant.
Fortunately, the study revealed that it would be feasible to continue two-way automotive traffic and most boating activity from a public safety perspective, including access to emergency vehicles in the area.
Highland Park’s government conveyed full respect for the Park District’s findings, which stipulate that fishing, sailing and kayaking are permissible, and even though power boating was not included in the list of sanctioned activities, paddle boarding could be added in 2016.
If citizens display interest in investigating additional or alternative long term solutions that would successfully allow power boating to continue, the city would be more than happy to revisit the issue with Park District staff, Task Force members or Yacht club stakeholders.
The city's top priority is protecting the water distribution plant from harm, so amenities will continue to be available to the public on the south beach.