ROGERS PARK — The Chicago Park District has added new caution signs to a dangerous portion of a Rogers Park beach this week after removing a life ring and warning signs installed by neighbors.
Two new “Danger No Swimming or Diving” signs were added Tuesday to the pier at Tobey Prinz Beach Park, 1050 W. Pratt Blvd. An additional sign in Spanish was added Wednesday, as the Park District reconsiders neighbors’ years-long request to add safety measures to the Rogers Park lakefront.
The signs were installed at the base of the pier near the beach and at the lighthouse.
Neighbors put up a life ring and caution signs at the pier after 19-year-old Miguel Cisneros Jr. drowned after jumping off Pratt Pier for a swim in late August. A second life ring was placed at the pier this week, according to neighbors, but it also was gone by late Wednesday morning.
It is not clear who took down the second life ring. A spokesperson for the district did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but previously said officials removed the life ring because it was “not authorized” by the district and is looking to add new safety equipment at beaches.
The new caution signs may be just the first safety measures to come to Tobey Prinz Beach, the site of three of Rogers Park’s four drownings in recent years.
Park District officials will also meet with Rogers Park neighbors this week to conduct a “risk assessment” of the pier area at Tobey Prinz Beach, Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said.
Cisneros’ family will attend the meeting, Hadden said.
“They are reconsidering their position of whether we need a life ring at Farwell Pier because of all of you guys,” Hadden said in a social media video to neighbors. “Thank you to everyone who called the Park District, pressuring them to give us the life-saving equipment that we need at one of these dangerous spots on our beaches.”
After years of demanding more life-saving measures at Rogers Park beaches, neighbors said Cisneros’ death was the catalyst for taking matters into their own hands.
Around midnight Saturday, Rogers Park neighbor Jim Ginderske installed a U.S. Coast Guard-rated life ring at the end of the pier. Other neighbors installed two signs. One said, “Do not swim near pier. Strong current,” with the words “F— austerity” at the bottom. The second sign said, “Life rings not goons.”
But they only lasted the weekend.
By Wednesday afternoon, neighbors said a third life ring had been placed at the pier.
A petition to add life rings to beaches has more than 4,600 online signatures.
Chicago’s beaches officially close to the public after Labor Day. Until then, they are open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
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