Mayor Lightfoot Looking Into Ways To Reopen Lakefront

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot is considering a number of options for reopening the lakefront, possibly doing it in phases, as the closure wears on Chicagoans.

"May 20, one year in office - hell of a baptism you have had here," said David Axelrod speaking to Mayor Lori Lightfoot on his CNN podcast, The Axe Files. 

Mayor Lightfoot said she is working on a plan to reopen the lakefront.

"I go back to what led me to close it. We had a lot of education around social gathering, the danger of clustering in too large a group. We talked over and over and over again and people just flat-out ignored the guidance," Lightfoot said. "And what I want to do is, when we re-open the lakefront — and we will — we do it in a way that’s smart...And that, unfortunately, in many of these things, we have to play to the lowest common denominator: the person who’s just not gonna pay attention. What do we do to make sure we keep that person safe and minimize the risk they’re gonna pose to other people?”

When speaking to Axelrod, it sounded like Mayor Lightfoot is missing the lakefront, too...

"Look, I get it. I love the lake. There is nothing more calming to me than taking a drive on Lake Shore Drive and finding that little secret spot - which I won't reveal - that I go to just to watch the water and waves. It's cathartic and I get it.

“We’ll get there. But we’re just not ready yet,” the Mayor said.

When Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the “Protecting Chicago” framework, she said people were already sending her "really interesting suggestions" about ways to reopen the lakefront by doing it in phases and having segmented hours for particular activities. The Mayor said she would consider those ideas whenever the city meets the rigid standards she has established to graduate to Phase 3 — what her plan calls the “Cautiously Reopen” level.

Lightfoot said there are ways to safely enjoy things like live music and theater again outside, which is part of the ongoing discussion. And no matter what lakefront reopening plan Lightfoot chooses, people will be needed abide by the "new normal" of wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.