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December 12, 2017

11/29/2017 5:03:00 PM
The Traffic Guy hears ...
They asked for a crossing guard near Dawes School - and the City Ciuncil paid attention.RoundTable photo
They asked for a crossing guard near Dawes School - and the City Ciuncil paid attention.
RoundTable photo

… that Evanston’s ever-evolving traffic patterns never fail to keep drivers on their toes: At Greenwood, there will be right turns only onto Ridge between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The City estimates the cost of installing two right-turn-only signs is about $150, as is the cost for installing two new stop signs. This permanent ban on left-turns across traffic comes after a six-month trial period, when there were only eight accidents – four of them violating the left-turn ban – between May and the end of September. In 2016, there were 26 accidents at that intersection.

… that some of these new traffic patterns were approved with the safety of children in mind. Take the new four-way stop sign at Harrison and Marcy – enhancing the two-way stop already there. This will help keep folks aware of the youngsters heading to Willard or to Northminster Presbyterian Church, where there are some pre-school programs. Speaking of safety for children, the loading zone on the west side of Custer north of Madison will be a school loading-zone mornings, 7-9, and afternoons, 4-6, not all day, to accommodate pickups and drop-offs at Reba Place Day Nursery. And a few blocks west, there will be a new crossing guard for Dawes School, this one at the Oakton/Grey intersection. City Council paid attention to Elizabeth Elwood and her mother, Kelley, when they requested a crossing guard at that intersection, which is on the Safe Routes to Dawes School. They spoke on behalf of the Dawes PTA and had a petition signed by 200 people. Full disclosure: Ms. Elwood is a RoundTable reporter.  

… that the City will apply for Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) Grant Funds for the Main Street Corridor Improvement Project – on Main from Maple to Hinman. The City says the area is “one of the most walkable areas in the North Shore … with significant multi-family housing in the surrounding neighborhoods and access to multiple forms of transportation, as well as a major business district.” ITEP funds are pass-throughs from the feds, requiring a local match of 20% to ITEP’s 80%, up to $2 million – which is the amount the City will request. If the City gets the funding, Evanstonians and visitors will see an improvement in the roadway surface, pedestrian crossings on Main at Elmwood and Custer, new street lights, and better sidewalks. What they won’t see, but it will be there, is a new water main that will replace the centenarian there.

… that, speaking of bumpy streets, the City plans to amend the truck restriction on Sheridan from Church to South Campus Drive, and from Lincoln Street to North City Limits. Readers and others know how much construction is going on over there at Northwestern, so if the trucks can be routed onto certain streets, that could save wear and tear on others. Of course, TG hopes that NU somehow will reimburse the City for this continual wear and tear, particularly on Lincoln and Sheridan.

… that the City plans to sell a 2013 police patrol Chevy Tahoe in “very poor” condition. The sale will be through the Northwest Municipal Vehicle Auction.

And so to parking.

TG hears that the City is getting its own app, Park Evanston, for online parking payments at meters and pay stations. With this app, patrons can extend their parking sessions remotely – that means paying more money out of the phone wallet to avoid a parking ticket. They can also receive notifications, get receipts (via email) and keep track of their parking history, though TG is unaware of anyone who would want to do that. Coming soon: the chance to purchase City parking permits and appeal or pay citations.  The City advises that parking zones will soon transition to payment by license plate to wit: “This program is rolling out now on the 1500 and 1700 blocks of Sherman Avenue. On these blocks, customers can pay by plate at the pay station or via the Park Evanston app. Single-space parking meters are being removed on those blocks.” Interested? If so, the next step is for smartphone users to download and register the Park Evanston app from the App Store or Google Play. Users can also manage their sessions at ParkEvanston.org.

… that late last month the average retail gas price in Chicago fell about 3 cents per gallon, averaging $2.88 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,437 gas outlets in Chicago. Nationwide, the drop was about 2.6 cents/per gallon. Here is some startling news from GasBuddy: “Including the [most recent] change, gas prices in Chicago [in mid-November] were 63.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 8.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 40.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.”

… that the City reminds folks that with the coming winter, to avoid tows and tickets, people should pay attention to posted parking restrictions, sirens, text, emails, radio broadcasts – everything the City may be doing to try to clear the streets of snow and cars: Here are some of the rules:

• A Snow Route Parking Ban (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) affecting main streets may be declared after two inches or more of snow.

• A Snow Emergency (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) affecting side streets may be declared after four inches or more of snow. During a Snow Emergency, parking is not allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd dates and parking is not allowed on the even-numbered side of the street on even dates.

• During a Snow Route Parking Ban or Snow Emergency, parking on the street is illegal for the duration of the time indicated on the street signs posted at the beginning and end of each block, as plowing and salting operations may require return visits by City trucks.

• Dig out and clear around fire hydrants.

• Help neighbors with their snow-clearing. Volunteer with the City to shovel snow for someone who can no longer do it.

… that the next supermoon will be on Dec. 3.


Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the day after Thanksgiving should be called “Thanks-getting” rather than “Black Friday.”

… that this sunflower has dried into a perfect autumnal reminder of the summer.





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