No, the growing BigFoot Beach controversy is not going anywhere fast.
Like with the building of a downtown parking garage, the majority of citizens of Lake Geneva are opposed to the re-route of the road through BigFoot Park. However, unlike with the parking garage, the majority of those in the surrounding area (not just Lake Geneva voting residents) are also in opposition to the proposed rerouting of Lake Shore Drive through the heart of Big Foot Park. Like with the parking structure, the opposition to the re-route plan is for a multiplicity of reasons. To name a few:
- The destruction of the best public road view of the Lake Geneva.
- The questionable continued collection and use of TID#4 funds.
- The destruction of about 20% of the Big Foot Forest.
- Impact of an open channel between the lake and the lagoon.
- Personal gain for the development forces promoting the issue.
- Erecting any boat launch in or around BigFoot’s lagoon.
Those opposed to the rerouting of Lake Shore Drive thru the heart of BigFoot Park have supported the recent improvements to BigFoot Park and support the continued improvements to the park; however, that is not what this issue is about nor the reason for the opposition. The real issue, regardless of expressed motives, demonstrates a disregard or disconnect between those of in authority (elected, appointed public servants) and the people whose interest they are supposed to represent. Whether it was the parking garage or it is the reroute of Lake Shore Dr. thru BigFoot Park, there is a growing disconnect between the views and goals of those in authority in Lake Geneva and the people that they represent. Somehow current Lake Geneva leaders don’t see that Big Foot Park missing all those trees will look like Smokey the Bear with mange.
The Geneva Shore Report has been asked by more than just a few readers about who these “boat people” are (as described in last week’s GSR). Well, they appear to be part of a phenomenon that evolved slowly over the years to fill, as is usually the case in evolution, a niche or void in nature, except this void was an empty shoreline along Paradise Drive at Big Foot Beach State Park. It turned out to be an ideal spot to moor boats and let the kids frolic in the shallow water along its perfectly smooth sand bottom. Pretty soon more and more boats came and people began to socialize by tying their boats together, and before you knew it, a community of boaters developed that would gather on the weekends to enjoy each other’s company, play games and party. Now it’s become a tradition with boaters rushing early in the morning to be in the first line of boats. For anyone who hasn’t driven past the boat people on a weekend afternoon, you’re missing a wonderful sight of people coming together as a community and enjoying the benefits of this magnificent lake, together with the swimmers at the swimming beach. That’s a big part of what Lake Geneva is all about, to be a community, to be part of nature, to enjoy the lake but, just as importantly, recognize a keen responsibility to preserve nature and protect it.
The “boat people” have a big responsibility as well. A big part of that responsibility is to protect the swimming beach. On a busy weekend, there just isn’t enough room to accommodate all boaters who want to join the boat people festivities, so they come right up to the buoys protecting the swimmers in order to moor their boats. The boat people do not need to be restricted or kicked out of the BigFoot area anymore than the swimmers and people who enjoy picnics in that area need such treatment. To be safe from automobile traffic all everyone recreating in the BigFoot area needs are some low protective walls along the road and an over or underpass for pedestrian traffic. Sometimes the simplest solution is not only the best solution it is also the most cost effective.