CHICAGO (CBS) — There was confusion this weekend at Montrose Harbor, as an official message posted to social media had boaters thinking it was closed.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, that was not the case.
The post issued Saturday by Chicago Harbors said, “We have been informed that due to irresponsible and unsafe behavior along the lakefront, the Chicago Police Department has closed access to Montrose Harbor – this includes boaters.”
The post did not specify whether this was due to crowds or COVID-19 concerns.
Chicago Harbors is the group that operates the city’s harbors under the Chicago Park District. The claim also claimed that police had “closed Lake Shore Drive from Fullerton Ave. to Lawrence Ave. until further notice,” but the Mayor’s office said Lake Shore Drive is not closed and never was.
Chicago Harbors later backtracked, amending the post with an update saying, “Cars with boater parking passes are now being allowed at Montrose Harbor.”
That policy has been in place for weeks, and Chicago Police said there was no change.
It all had boat owners at Montrose Harbor wondering why their harbor was singled out in the first place.
But boater Dominic Irpino said there have been problems.
“I can see sometimes there’s 10 people, like 10 to 20 sitting, congregating, and I think it’s one to two or maybe three boats, but all of their guests. And the docks are not very wide – I would like say they’re three, four, three and a half feet wide, so it makes it uncomfortable for people even to walk by some large groups,” Irpino said. “That being said, the majority of docks are not that. There’s just a couple that I’ve walked past and driven past where I’ve just been shocked.”
On Sunday afternoon, Chicago Harbors posted to Facebook again with a different message: “A reminder to Chicago Harbors boaters to please boat safely and responsibly. Due to several social distancing incidents along the lakefront, we advise all boaters to review the City of Chicago COVID-19 guidelines including boat capacity limits. Thanks for helping us keep the harbors open! #Chicago Harbors.”
CBS 2 tried to reach out to someone at Chicago Harbors for clarification on the mixup. We were still working to get details late Sunday afternoon.