… that of all the candles on the lawn in front of the Evanston Art Center for its birthday bash last week, the RoundTable’s was one of the best. The ERT candle was covered with photos of RoundTable readers across the globe – from Florence Avenue north to Barrow, Alaska and south to Antarctica and lots of places in between.
… that the taxi stand at 1702 Sherman (at Church) will be relocated to the 1600 block of Oak. The former taxi stand will become a three-minute passenger loading zone. These changes are to accommodate the relocation of several programs of the Music Institute of Chicago from Dempster Street to the downtown area (the Galleria, also known as the former Marshall Field’s building), the live music venue and soon-to-come brew pub farther west.
… that Chicagoland Paving Contractors of Lake Zurich began work last week on the Davis Street improvement project, trailing the infrastructure work now being done on Davis by Nicor and the sewer replacements by the City. Evanston will get a newly resurfaced section on Davis from Ridge to Hinman, new sidewalks, brick borders, tree grates and a west-running protected bicycle lane, a companion to the one on Church. The project should be completed mid-October (-ish). Residents, patrons and owners of businesses in the downtown area should watch for temporary “No Parking” signs posted 48 hours prior to the start of the work and try to tolerate the inconveniences. The City says street sweeping and/or neighborhood parking restrictions will be waived for a one-block radius around the construction zone. The resident engineer in the field will be Dan Abraham, who will be directly responsible for all aspects of the construction. Questions or concerns about the project can be directed to Mr. Abraham by calling 311 or 847-448- 4311. Questions about the street resurfacing projects in general should be directed to Sat Nagar, P.E., senior project manager, by calling 311.
… speaking of protected bike lanes, this one (photo at right) on Church was less than “protected” last week.
… that there will be an “Evanston residents only” parking district from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily in the “area north of Howard Street to the CTA tracks and east of Ridge Avenue to include Custer Avenue.” And up north, there will be two-hour parking between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on both sides of Hurd “from the south alley of Central Street to the north alley of Central Street,” Sundays and national holidays excepted. The reason for the limitation, according to the City, is that the area is “over-parked by employees of local businesses and vehicles scheduled for repairs at the local auto repair shop located on the northwest corner of Central Street and Hurd Avenue.”
… that the City will use about $770,000, along with a $500,000 donation from the Arrington family and a $400,000 grant from OSLAD (Open Space and Land Acquisition and Development), to repair the lagoon at Dawes Park.
… that the City will execute a $489,000 contract with F.E. Moran Inc. of Northbrook for the HVAC repairs and upgrades at the police/fire headquarters and the Levy Center.
… that T.Y. Lin International of Chicago will get a contract for $120,000 for the Evanston Bicycle Plan Update Project. CMAP, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, has given the City a $100,000 grant for this; the remainder comes from the capital improvement fund. According to the City, the proposed update “will ensure that all new infrastructure, programming and policy updates reflect the current needs of the residents and the increased acceptance of multi-modal transportation alternatives. The Plan will guide planning, development, education, awareness and management of existing and future bicycle infrastructure improvements and multi-modal connections within the City.” Sounds like a great plan. Maybe some of the bike lanes lines on Dodge could be repainted as well.
… that, speaking of contracts, the half-million dollar alley-paving contract goes to Schroeder & Schroeder Inc. of Skokie. The City pays half and the homeowners pay half – and they have 10 years to do so. The alleys to be paved are as follows: north of Emerson, east of Grey; north of Howard, east of Hartrey; north of South, east of Chicago; and the one north of Madison, east of Sherman.
… that the City has begun repairs to the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and to Firemen’s Park, located at Maple and Simpson. Work at Noyes includes replacing the roof and repairing “nine masonry chimneys.” The work should be completed by November. Over at Firemen’s Park the City will renovate the playground equipment and furnishings, install new stuff: lighting, a drinking fountain, drainage systems, fencing, curbing, pavements and landscaping. The contractor is Elanar Construction of Glenview and the contact is Stefanie Levine of the Public Works Department. The work is expected to be completed by mid-October.
… that the City has added seven more street segments to be resurfaced in the next few weeks: Prospect, Colfax to Grant; Wesley, Foster to dead end north and Maple to Sherman; McDaniel, Lee to dead end north; Dewey, Mulford to Kirk; Hartrey, Howard to dead end north; and Prairie, Harrison to Central. There will be a drop-off zone on the east side of Prairie in front of Haven Middle School. The project involves curb replacement as needed, roadway base repair, replacement of asphalt surfaces from curb to curb and the replacement of selected sidewalk and driveway aprons. The contractor for this project is A. Lamp Concrete Contractors of Schaumburg. “No Parking” signs may appear during the day; the City says there will be normal parking 5 p.m. – 7 a.m.
… that, per City ordinance, only electric or hybrid cars can park in the “vehicle charging stations” in various City lots. Fines for parking non-electric cars there will be pretty steep: $55 for a violation
and a $50 late fee tacked on after 21 days.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the ducks enjoyed the Ethnic Arts Festival.
… that, as long as the City is thinking about taxicab stands, perhaps it should start charging for the ad-hoc stand that has materialized in the parking lot of the Ecology Center.
… that there should be an Evanston app that would have things on it like our historic districts, our fabulous cultural and arts scenes, shopping districts, museums, recreation spots, where to and not to park, a reminder to stop at nearly every intersection and when the beaches are open.
… that Evanston should become the capitol of Illinois (who likes Springfield, anyway?), and the City could lease the Clarke mansion to the State to be used as the Governor’s mansion – or maybe by the General Assembly. Since they meet only half the time and don’t accomplish much then anyway, parking would not be a problem and out of town legislators can stay in Col. Pritzker’s B&B’s.
… But wait - there’s more. A recent study from the Kennedy School of Government found that states whose capitals are far away from financial and population centers tend to have more corruption.
Two of the reasons posited are that the lawmakers are somewhat isolated from their constituents and that scrutiny by
the media in the more populous areas is lacking. So, look out, Springfield, here comes Evanston.