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Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL

home : columns : columns September 14, 2014

9/11/2013 2:52:00 PM
The Traffic Guy hears ...
This is not a bird (or a drone) but a white-lined sphinx hummingbird moth.     Photo by Mary Mumbrue
This is not a bird (or a drone) but a white-lined sphinx hummingbird moth.     Photo by Mary Mumbrue

… that the Evanston Police Department netted a few scofflaws during its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, Aug. 16 – Sept. 2: 75 seatbelt violations, three child restraint violations, 25 using a hand-held cell phone while driving, four operating an uninsured motor vehicle; two speeders, 1 driving with a suspended license, one arrest for an outstanding warrant, one citation for violating the City’s ordinance for possession of cannabis and 10 others for various vehicle code violations.

… that work on the Bridge Street bridge has begun in earnest: The City reports that there will be two phases to the construction “in order to maintain westbound traffic throughout the duration of the project. Eastbound Bridge Street traffic will be detoured north to Green Bay Road. During the first stage, traffic will be maintained on the north half of the bridge while the south half of the bridge is under construction. The north half of the bridge will be constructed during the second stage of the construction. Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of the bridge at all times and the North Shore Channel will remain navigable the entire length of the project.” The contractor for the project is Illinois Constructors Corporation of Elburn.

… that, speaking of construction, crews have begun to dig out the paths in Perkins Woods in preparation for the new ones. And a lot of scaffolding is covering the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, where a new roof is being installed.

… that the City will hire DataPark, Inc. of San Leandro, Cal., to maintain the company’s “parking access and revenue control” systems in the three downtown parking garages at a cost of $5,550 per month.

… that, with the autumnal equinox only days away, it’s time to starting thinking about winter. While most residents think of snow, salt is on the minds of Public Works Department, and once again the City is contracting with Morton Salt for the purchase of 8,000 tons of rock salt at $60.61 per ton. The contract allows some flexibility, in that the City can increase or decrease that amount by up to 30 percent.

… that the City will purchase 82 gallons of Arbotect fungicide at $385 per gallon for inoculating public elm trees against Dutch elm disease. The fungicide comes from Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements of Minnetonka, Minn. This may seem like expensive juice, but it is protecting our beautiful park and parkway elms.

… that the City has approved a contract with O’Hara Construction, located right here in Evanston, for $48,000 of improvements to the interior of the police headquarters.

… that the City is considering some changes to its banner program – those fabric signs on light posts in business or residential areas that tout something. Here are the changes under consideration: allowing banner to be displayed for only three months between June 1 and Oct. 3 instead of year-round; restricting the banners from “primary routes with four lanes of traffic, e.g. Ridge Avenue or Green Bay Road,” and allowing only City-funded banners and banners only for City-sponsored events. The City would exclude “separate units of local government [the two school districts] that install their own banners and assume liability.”

... that this lovely creature was spotted a few days ago in the enabling garden of the Levy Center. It’s a white hummingbird moth.

… that a Protein Bar is coming to Sherman Plaza and a resale shop, Minouchic Boutique is coming to 1900 Asbury (at Emerson).

From our readers:
TG:
Given its narrow lanes, there is ample justification for the many “No Bicycling” signs all along Ridge Ave., and yet cyclists routinely ignore them. Assuming cyclists are unaware of the dedicated bike lane one block west on Asbury, when traffic allows it I’ve taken to rolling down my car window and politely sharing that information with individual cyclists as I slowly pass them in my car. Most seem grateful to learn of a safer nearby option.

 Here’s my suggestion: How about adding information about the Asbury bike lane to each “No Bicycling” sign along Ridge Ave.? That way, cyclists would be provided with an attractive alternative to breaking the law, drivers would not be frustrated by slower-moving bicycles on a narrow, frequently congested thoroughfare, and it would be a win-win for us all. Grace and peace. – Jill Graham

From TG: What a great idea – having a sign with useful, positive information instead of this community’s usual harsh “do not do this” mantra.

TG: I would like to show this to all of your readers that hate our bike lanes. Things change and sometimes for the better. I love the bike lanes and I hope that everyone will learn how to use them properly and safely. Bikers need to obey the rules and cars, buses, and trucks need to share the road and stay out of the bike lanes. The benefits far outweigh the inconveniences to motorists. Share the roads. Message from peopleforbikes:
The summer is coming to a close, but what a summer it’s been! Two of the largest U.S. cities, New York and Chicago, launched major bike sharing systems with thousands of public short-term rental bikes. Today, San Francisco opened its system, with 700 bikes and 70 stations around the Bay Area, and more on the way. Bike sharing —particularly when paired with a network of safe, low-stress bikeways — can transform  a city’s bicycling experience and culture. We captured these exciting developments in the infographic below. Check it out and share with your friends. – Thomas Clark

From TG: From what TG has read and seen, Evanstonians do not resent bicycles and bicyclists per se but only when they ignore safety rules.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that City Council’s economic development standards are wondrous. Consider: The City spent $800,000 in legal fees to keep a school out of the east half of the former Shure Brothers property, behind the shopping center at Howard Street and Hartrey Avenue. Now they plan to expand the tax-increment financing district there to include that property and offer subsidies of about $8 million (TG’s estimate, over a 10-year period) to Autobarn, to put a used-car lot there. One of the reasons is that it has been vacant for so long.

… that this year’s kickoff of NU’s football season and academic year – called “’Kits and ’Cats Week – Go Wild!” – has a much more collaborative sound than the previous “Paint the Town Purple.”

... that two-sided street parking poses difficulties for through traffic. So does ad-hoc parking by delivery trucks, e.g’:

... that drones are for sale in a downtown bookstore.





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