On March 4, 2019, the City Council approved an agreement for the restoration of the failed bluff along the North Beach Access Road. The project will begin this month, with the majority of the work being completed by the end of September 2019 (weather permitting). To register for weekly email updates on the project, please sign up for Construction Updates at www.cityoflakeforest.com
Please understand that this summer’s reconstruction of the Access Road/Bluff and parking plan is much larger in scope than 2018. In 2018, the road was closed on June 28, which was close to halfway through our summer beach season. This year we had the opportunity to put a plan in place ahead of the season opening. Last summer there were 9,757 cars and 16,947 beach visitors that utilized the lower south parking lot on weekends and holidays from June 28 - September 3, 2018. It is our goal to minimize the impact of traffic and congestion while keeping the beach and sail/power boating operations safe and open for all. We will be open to adjustments to the parking plan as the season progresses and construction moves forward.
The Parks and Recreation Board and City Council, as well as representatives from Police, Fire, Streets, and Parks & Recreation staff have discussed the situation at length and have approved what is believed to be the safest plan, which will best manage beach/boating/parking facilities and resident expectations.
The City anticipates a large amount of truck traffic on Deerpath to access the construction site.
• Trucks will enter Lake Forest from Route 41 east to Westleigh Road to Sheridan Road north to Deerpath east to Lake Road, whereby no railroad crossings or school traffic will be impacted.
Differences you will see this year include:
1. Clear signage and communications outlining this summer’s changes.
2. Increased staff availability at entrance points to answer questions and direct traffic.
3. Police support to manage traffic and safety.
4. Road Closures / New Configuration which impact traffic and parking:
• Lake Road will be closed going north at Deerpath.
• Due to construction and truck traffic, there will be no parking available on the city streets as there was last year.
• The Ring Road will be closed at the north end for reconstruction of the bluff, so there is no place for cars to safely exit that area. Using the grass area or parts of Forest Park for parking was discussed but since there is no way to exit safely, this idea is not feasible.
• The upper south lot can only accommodate 15 cars. It will be used for staff parking and to manage turnaround traffic.
For 2019, a new beach parking plan and beach parking regulations will be in place and has been approved by the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Board as well as The Lake Forest City Council. The goal of the parking plan is to provide a safe waterfront environment, exceptional customer service, meet resident expectations, and to best manage staff and beach/parking facilities. Even after the north beach access road failed in the summer of 2018, almost 24,000 vehicles parked at the south parking lot, and Lake Forest beach hosted nearly 47,000 guests. The City will communicate the beach parking plan through the summer Dialogue newsletter, marketing, print and social media, web sites, email notifications, signage, and information made available at City buildings.
Summer 2019 beach parking will be limited to the South Beach Lot with the following criteria:
• Lower south beach parking lot will be open to all residents with a City of Lake Forest vehicle sticker.
• Middle row parking will be reserved for trailer, boat storage, and watercraft permits.
• Non-residents will be directed to park at the East Train Station.
Weekend & Holiday Parking:
• From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm a lower south beach parking permit (as space is available) or watercraft launch permit is required.
• Lower south beach parking lot will be open to residents with a City of Lake Forest vehicle sticker from 6:00am – 9:00am and from 5:00pm to close to accommodate residents walking in the morning or enjoying dinner or the evening hours at the beach.
• Lake Forest Residents: Parking for vehicles with a City of Lake Forest sticker is behind Deerpath Middle School. Shuttle service will be provided to and from the south beach parking lot continuously from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Non-Residents: Parking will be available at the Deerpath Middle School lot after the non-resident fee of $15.00 per person is paid at the Recreation Center and wristbands are obtained. Shuttle service will be provided to and from the south beach parking lot continuously from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Non-residents may also park at the East LF Train Station.
• Once the season is underway, adjustments may be made. If it becomes clear that the lower south parking lot has space availability on the weekends and holiday, parking may be opened up to residents with City of Lake Forest vehicle stickers. Overflow parking will remain at Deerpath Middle School.
• Middle row parking will be reserved for trailers.
• On July 4, the parking and shuttles will run from the Lake Forest High School East Campus parking lot, not Deerpath Middle School, due to the Festival & Fireworks event being held there.
• The top south parking lot will be designated for beach staff only.
• Signage will be added in key locations regarding parking and the shuttle service.
• Bicycle racks will be available at both staircase entrances.
• Uber can be utilized and beach goers can be dropped off at the Upper South Lot drop off area.
• Handicapped parking will be available in the lower south parking lot.
• Anyone with a LF vehicle sticker may drop off people and/or equipment at the lower south lot.
• Residents with City of Lake Forest vehicle stickers bringing in a paddleboard or kayak on the weekend from offsite will be issued a temporary parking pass at the facility.
• We are looking at additional options for storage so residents can keep large, bulky items at the beach.
• Strollers are allowed on the shuttle bus, but keep in mind that the aisles are narrow.
• For family safety, please be aware that the south lot is typically reserved for boaters and there are cranes and other heavy equipment being used to launch boats. Stick together and make sure everyone in your group is aware of their surroundings.
• Golf cart transportation between the south beach pavilion and the north pavilion swimming area will be provided.
• Pedestrian traffic will access the beach from the north belvedere stairway and the south wooden stairway.
• Caretaker passes, daily boat launch passes, and guest parking passes will continue to be issued for weekdays only (not on weekends or holidays).
• All beach pavilion and fire circle rentals have been temporarily suspended for the summer. Any existing rentals of these facilities will be honored.
• All emergency vehicles will access the lakefront from the south parking lot unless access from the north lot is available.