Evanston Beach-Goers Object to Entry Fees

At $8 a day, some people feel Evanston's beach fees are unreasonable.

By Katherine Richardson
Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute

Two men tread up the beach, drop their yellow tickets into a trash-can, and share their objections to the $8 entry fee, a cost about which many beach-goers complain. 

Lucas Keisler, 21, an IT server administrator from Minneapolis, said he sees the fee as unwelcome—and perhaps unfair. 

“I’ve never been here," Keisler said. "I think it’s very, very stupid because when I was younger, my family didn’t have a lot of money and one of the things we did was go to the beach because it’s free.” 

Another beach-goer, John Fox, a resident of Mexico who was visiting relatives in Evanston, said he does not have to pay for beach access at home. He said he sees the Evanston beach fee as an injustice to low-income families and those struggling with the recession.

“I think it’s probably in the long run a good idea, but I think there should be some consideration for low-income people also,” Fox, 69, said. “Maybe a reduced rate for low income. Maybe they pay a quarter of the price the rest of us would pay.” 

Evanston uses revenue from the fees to pay for lifeguards, cleanup and other beach expenditures. The daily charge is $8, which rose by $1 in 2002. A season token costs $16 to $32 for residents and $28 to $56 for non-residents, depending on when tokens are bought. Some fee assistance is available for qualified residents, according to the city website.

Although the city uses the money to maintain and guard the beaches, Rinya Daniel, 32, an office manager from Skokie, said that the beach should still belong to everyone without charge.

“They charge because they’re trying to keep it cleaner than the other sides, but it’s a beach. It should be free for everyone,” she said.

Keisler suggested a possible solution to the problem. “It seems like they employ a lot of people. Maybe employ fewer people and make it free,” he said. 

He and his friend washed the sand from their feet and walked away from the glistening Lake Michigan water behind them, $8 less in their pockets.


Katherine Richardson is a high school student from California participating in a five-week journalism program with Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article included incorrect information about the cost of beach tokens. We sincerely regret the error.

Richard Schulte July 31, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Just a few examples of Sully just in case you don't have the time or the energy to follow the link. Please don't talk to us about being "respectful" when you have no objection to the this sort of discourse on Patch: Sully: ". . .Get your head out of your arse and try thinking for yourself. Just once." Sully: "And we're coming after your guns, and building concentrations camps at this very moment. As soon as all you smart Americans are put away in the camps, we're installing sharia law all over the country and moving the Muslim Brotherhood into the white house. That's been Obama's plan since he was born in Kenya. He was a very precocious child, and had the birth certificate thing all figured out by the time he was three. Yes, very sneaky he is. Oh, and all the crosses at Arlington National Cemetary will be removed. Christians will have to wear purple crosses at all times so they can be identified, and Jews will wear black stars of David. It's coming Richard! And we're starting in Florida." Sully: "I'm guessing you're a big fan of Michele Bachmann, and her current hunt for the big bad Muslims taking over our government.. And we all know Sarah Palin tells the truth and nothing but the truth. Only democrats lie. The republicans are much too pure to tell an untruth (although Pennsylvania repubs told the truth about voter fraud, but they don't care). Pitiful." This is the sort of "trash talk" we have to endure from the leftists on Patch.
Richard Schulte August 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Chick-fil-A, thumbs up!!!! Headed to Chick-fil-A later today-never been there before.
Richard Schulte August 01, 2012 at 09:15 PM
The Chick-fil-A was too crowded to go in at about 3:30 PM. Thumbs up Chick-fil-A. Thumbs down Mayor Rahm and Chicago Democrats. Yes, we're going to cling to our guns and our Bibles.
Richard Schulte August 01, 2012 at 09:47 PM
"This is the difference between free speech and fascism. It's one thing for people to choose not to engage in business with people with whom they disagree. That's often nasty and extreme, but it's certainly within First Amendment territory. It's another thing entirely for the government to step in to punish people who disagree with liberal policies, simply because they disagree with liberal policies. That's fascistic. It's deeply dangerous. And it's becoming the ugly new attitude of the Democratic Party elite." Ben Shapiro http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/08/01/shapiro-the-democratic-party-fascists-take-over/?subscriber=1 Java Jo, next time don't accuse me of vandalizing your Obama bumper sticker. Kook.
Richard Schulte August 02, 2012 at 01:35 AM
"It's Mike Huckabee's idea [Chick-fil-A Day], and it's a nice "in your face" slap back at the righteous liberals who proclaim their love of the 1st Amendment and then undercut the notion of freedom of speech and religion by punishing anyone who doesn't believe as they do." Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/happy_chick-fil-a_appreciation_day.html#ixzz22LePEwNu Freedom of speech and freedom of religion-what archaic ideas. Yes, let's just get rid of the 1st Amendment, and while we're at it, let's get rid of the 2nd Amendment too. Fascism is alive and well in Chicago.


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