Wrigley Drive between Main and Broad Street has to be the most populated area of Lake Geneva.
The parking stalls fill quickly and remain that way all day. Outdoor seating at the wonderful lakefront eateries is overcome with people. Foot traffic is so thick it is like walking through a crowded concert hall of a sold-out show. Cars still continue to inch their way through it all. This is great for Lake Geneva, but is it great for the future? The virus has a lot of people thinking differently, and concerns about health and safety are given top priority. Memorial Day was a madhouse and every other warm weekend since was close to the same. The talk of Wrigley and the crowds are brought up at almost all city meetings.
The public works committee last week talked about concerns for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, and the crowds we all know it will bring. Wrigley Drive has fifteen parking spaces on the north side of the street, and if those were closed to vehicles it might create more space for the people to walk and practice some physical distancing. Not everyone agrees with that idea. Safety between pedestrians and cars is a concern for many. Then there’s the idea that if you give the people more space, more people will come. After a brief discussion among the committee members at the public works meeting, the members were in agreement that closing the north side of Wrigley was not an option and could not be done in time for the busy weekend ahead.
Last Monday, June 8th, the city council met and addressed some difficult topics.
An application was approved for O’Mann Therapeutic Massage LLC which will be working out of Project Veteran Muscle to help local veterans and first responders. The committee then had an in-depth conversation about the emergency proclamation that is in effect through the end of June. Many were concerned about beach capacity and long lines. The capacity has been increased to around one thousand to help alleviate the lines and allow more residents access to the beach. The parking department stepped up and helped the visitors purchase beach passes at the kiosks to help keep the line moving as fast as it could go. The beach is short-staffed, but the personnel are doing a marvelous job of keeping the beach safe and clean for visitors. The beach will continue to be observed and will hopefully follow the practices the mayor and city employees feel are best.
Sidewalk dining was also a concern, with members of the council wanting to make sure visitors have enough space to walk on the north side of Wrigley. At this time, they voted to make no changes and leave the outdoor dining as is. The emergency proclamation will be addressed at each city council meeting throughout the summer, to make sure all policies are up to date. Estimated revenue loss and what can be done about it is a topic of many city meetings. Parking and beach rates are a huge moneymaker for the city of Lake Geneva and with the budget shortfall, the possibility of increased rates is an option. On Tuesday night the Finance, Licensing, and the Regulation Committee met to discuss the possibility of doing just that.
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