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home : columns : columns May 25, 2017

5/17/2017 4:39:00 PM
The Traffic Guy hears ...
... that a former RT employee forwarded this sign.
... that a former RT employee forwarded this sign.

… that folks at Expedia Viewfinder recently featured downtown Evanston as “one of the coolest downtowns in North America” (with an expansive notion of “downtown,” which is good.) The criteria for choosing the cities were one-of-a-kind dining options, local arts venues, unique shopping experiences, fascinating historical sites, and access to urban greenspace.

Here’s what they have to say about Evanston, home of renowned Northwestern University, “Even after the students leave for spring break and summer
vacation, this waterfront city stays busy. … Wander along Lake Michigan for
beautiful views ...”

… that construction projects continue apace to make this fine City even finer. Water-main improvements are in the offing for three street sections: Lee from Brown to Dewey (this week); Howard from Dodge to Ashland (week of June 5) and Grant from Cowper to Lawndale (week of July 3).
Each project, which will last about eight weeks, involves replacing deteriorated water mains and water service lines (those from the new main to the parkway), minor sewer improvements, concrete curb and sidewalk repairs as needed. The Lee and Grant segments will be resurfaced, but the Howard segment only patched; resurfacing is scheduled for 2019, in conjunction with a Chicago project there. Residents, drivers, and bikers should be alert for temporary closures and parking restrictions.

… that the next supermoon will be next Thursday. This occurs when the moon is new and at its perigee, a short distance of approximately 357,209 km from earth.

… that, speaking of underground work, RCN is beginning its construction in southeast Evanston to bring Internet, phone, and video service to residents and businesses there. There will be some aerial construction as well. Most of the work should be completed by Sept. 30. Work hours are 7-7 weekdays and 9-5 Saturday.
Since the work will be in streets and alleys, folks can expect some changes in traffic patterns, both pedestrian and vehicular. The City says, though, that all residents will have access to their garages during construction.
The City also asks that residents not remove the utility markings or flags from their property, saying that RCN crews will remove them. TG hopes that those crews will be more diligent than NICOR crews, who left many flags on parkways and private property during their work in northwest Evanston.

… that, continuing the protection of parkway trees from the ravages of the Dutch elm beetle, the City will purchase Arbotect Fungicide and injection paraphernalia, spending about $37,000 this year.

… that NU’s commencement will be held at 9:30 a.m. on June 16 at Ryan Field – watch out for congested traffic. Because of construction there, high school graduation ceremonies typically held there have been scheduled for other venues.

From our readers: TG, Thanks for your comment about the Upstairs Café in last week’s column! We the cafe owners agree that Union Pacific’s wizards in Omaha, NE are dreaming when they imagine big rent coming from our tiny space. We needed a good laugh as we prepare to close our beloved business. Thanks for providing one.    – Gail Doeff

And in an email to the RT, Ms. Doeff said the last day at the Upstairs Café, which she and her partners Shelley Patterson and Elizabeth Hubbard have operated since 2014, was “bittersweet: a real celebration of what we had created at Upstairs Café and a little feeling of attending one’s own wake! Tons of friends and customers stopped by and it felt like a party. My partners and I would really like to thank you and other local journalists and supporters of the Café who helped publicize our situation and lobbied UP on our behalf. Now we are going to take a short break and then start discussing our next venture.”   

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that things are getting set for a great summer. Beach tokens are on sale, as are Skokie pool passes; the dog beach is open; and Evanston is greener and shinier after a cold spring.

... hang on to your parkways and sidewalks, everyone. Among the first acts of this new City Council was planning to sell a City asset.

... that anyone can shop the world over at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade retailer selling goods from 130 artisan groups around the globe.

... that to find your chill: Wander along Lake Michigan for beautiful views and check out Evanston’s green cuisine. Blind Faith Café is green-certified and serves up vegan and vegetarian eats. You can’t get much fresher than this, unless you buy the produce at Downtown Farmers Market yourself!



Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Comment by: Cap'n Hank

Mr. Traffic Guy: I would like to suggest that you pose this question in your column:

Who knows where Evanston's Wilder Street is located?

I will bet not many.

Cap'n Hank




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