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home : columns : columns August 22, 2017

8/9/2017 4:15:00 PM
The Traffic Guy hears ...
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… that in the next few weeks the City will install even more directional signage will at the Emerson-Ridge-Green Bay intersection. TG is glad to hear the City continues to monitor the traffic-signal timing, because that right-turn signal onto Green Bay from westbound Emerson can sometimes be a bit problematic. Most readers probably know that aldermen were not unanimously enthusiastic about the public art piece that is slated to go there. One alderman said she thought the piece would be “distracting.” Here is the design of “Stitch,” a “24-hour public art concept in polychromed steel and light,” as the artist, Warren Langley of Australia, calls it.

… that problems with underground utilities protracted the reconstruction of Fountain Square, but now the City reports that “substantial water main, sewer and other underground utility work has been completed, and sidewalks south of Davis Street are almost complete.” The new plaza on the south side of Davis – an expansion of the triangular island there – may be completed by the fall, but it may take until next spring for the main plaza – the old Fountain Square area – and the veterans memorial wall to be finished. As always, during construction anywhere in the City, residents and guests are asked to be patient and to continue patronizing the dynamic businesses of Evanston.

… that NU football season begins in less than a month. Crowds of fans will pack Ryan Field, of course, and this year there will be even more tailgating, as hole #12 of the Canal Shores Golf Course has been added to the list of permitted football partying – at least for this year. For several years, readers – and those who live near Canal Shores – doubtless know, football fans have been able to park their cars on holes 1,2,11, and 12, but tailgating was permitted only on the first three. Now a fourth party hole has been added, and folks on all sides (presumably anyway) will evaluate the program after the season ends. Passes to the parking and partying spaces – 200 per hole – will be sold only to season-ticket holders and who are vetted in other ways as well. Folks can park up to four hours before game-time and remain until two hours after it ends.

… that some streets and alleys can still be repaired and resurfaced before the end of this construction season. Schroeder & Schroeder of Skokie has received a $1.3 million contact for paving some alleys, resurfacing parts of Dewey, and converting part of the alley on Garnett into a 32-space parking lot. The alleys singled out this year are those north of Brummel and east of Grey; north of Brummel and east of Elmwood (installing some storm sewers and paving a “green alley,” which will have an outer edge of conventional concrete and a porous paver block center infiltration trench); north of Simpson and east of the UP railroad (paving with 9-inch concrete, installing storm sewers and restoring garage aprons). North of Grove and east of Chicago, the Hyatt House’s alley will be overlaid with asphalt.
Residents can look for more speed humps on streets and in alleys all around town.

… that July 26 was Speed Awareness Day, observed by police departments across the state, and several speedsters were ticketed by Evanston Police officers. The EPD reports that one fast driver was clocked at 55 mph, but the fasted anyone is supposed to travel here is 35.  

… that for the last few weeks the Evanston Fire Department has been conducting training on the 1500 block of Wilder Street.
EFD is training for communications, line management, and victim removal in these two homes, using theatrical smoke and mannequins to recreate life threatening scenarios that may occur.
Division Chief Glenn Vanek said the two homes are scheduled to be demolished and replaced with four new townhomes. The builder contacted the EFD to donate the use of the properties before teardown.

… that from now until the end of September, crews will be resurfacing Asbury from Oakton to Howard, repairing the roadway base, replacing the asphalt, replacing curbs and ADA ramps as necessary, and restriping the street. Residents should watch out for temporary daytime parking restrictions, but the City says parking will be available 5 p.m. – 7 a.m. The project is funded by tax dollars, of course, but this comes through IDOT, the Illinois Department of Transportation, so everyone has kicked in a bit.

 … that, coming soon, drivers traveling north on Sherman who are planning to turn west on Davis will be making that turn from the other (that is, west) side of the little island there. Folks have doubtless been keeping an eye on the Fountain Square renovations, and the changes for the island, and the traffic patterns, are
part of this.

… that TG mentioned in the most recent column to present another short street in Evanston. Here it is: Wade Court, one block long and only one house: Wade Court. The genesis of the name stumps even Janet G. Messenger, local historian and author of, among other books, “The Streets of Evanston.” Here’s what “The Streets” says about Wade: “derivation unknown. It was cut through by the late 1930s but even in 1948 it had no houses.”

From Our Readers: TG: In response to the Traffic Guy’s question of shortest street in Evanston, I wanted to submit that I think it is Linden Place in South Evanston.
It is barely a block long and creates much confusion for those who may confuse it for the end of the line of the Purple Line which ends at Linden Avenue in Wilmette. The South Boulevard el is only a block from Linden Place. I lived near Custer and Linden for twelve years and encountered many a lost traveler. I don’t think Linden runs at any other point in Evanston, and I think the Biscuit Lofts of 601 Linden Pl. is the only address on Linden Place in Evanston.   – Marci Rubin

From TG: Thanks, Ms. Rubin. Linden Place is, as you suggest, a tiny street, and it may be smaller, though more populous, than Wade Court.

Here’s what Ms. Messenger says about the genesis of Linden Place: “Once called Keeney, it was renamed in the mid-1920s. It is only a half-block long but still big enough to fit the machine shop of the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) for 82 years.” The former shop was renovated into Biscuit Lofts.

TG: About the one-way bike lanes: I think the one-way markings have as much legal force as the one-way street signs for an entire street. “Supposedly” may be the wrong word. The trouble with direction violators, I’ve found, is that instead of walking the bike on the sidewalk or going to the lane with the direction they need, they’ll just ride around the person giving them the rule - out in the street, now riding a bike in the wrong direction in motor-vehicle traffic. These sprocket scofflaws also blow stop signs and red lights. These latter are violations also committed by bikers riding in the right direction. Not to mention failing to yield to pedestrians. “Thermoplastic, a plastic polymer that liquefies when heated, is the material of choice for marking pavements.” This almost makes it sound like “thermoplastic” is a brand name. It’s just an adjective and common noun for the group of plastics displaying this property. The opposite is “thermoset” or “thermosetting.” Wikipedia has a lot of information about both kinds of plastics.  – Jean SmilingCoyote

From TG: Thank you, Ms. SmilingCoyote. The reason the “t” in thermoplastic was capitalized is that the word began a sentence. TG apologizes that the capitalization seemed to make the chemical compound into a brand name.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

The swagger of July is past, and we have fallen into August. Leaves and seeds on the sidewalk are tinged with fall, and the summer’s last and best meteor shower has begun. Starlight Movies begin earlier, and the crickets and cicadas are louder.
It’s time.





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