… that this piece of sidewalk advice was seen at the Fountain Square festival.


Davis Street

westbound from

Judson Street


Hinman Avenue

will be closed, probably till Friday, for the purpose of removing equipment from the Mather construction site. The sidewalks will still be accessible by pedestrians and the alley ways will be open for garbage collection. The City offers the following information: The contractor managing the equipment removal is Power Construction Company, LLC of Schaumburg. The following individuals will be directly responsible for all aspects of this activity:

Peter Stearney, Superintendent, Power Construction Company, 847-214-6716; Michael Carney, Director of Development and Construction, Mather LifeWays, 847-492-7436. Additional information is available from the City of Evanston‘s Engineering Services, Division of Transportation
at 847-866-2924.

… that on McCormick, the lightpoles are getting repainted. Don’t panic – the red is the primer.

… that the City will be removing the sprinkler system from the

Maple Avenue

garage and will renovate the north façade as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could do something about the west face, which at night, some say, is reminiscent of a prison?

… that this piece of sidewalk advice was seen at the

Fountain Square


… that the City also approved funds to purchase a one-year database subscription with NewsBank, which will let us library patrons have access to even more material even more quickly (including full texts from more than 500 newspapers (this one, too, TG hopes), including obituaries dating back to 1910 from a Chicago paper. We taxpayers have (via our aldermen) also approved funds for GIS maintenance and support for City geographic information systems, and we’ve approved change orders for the emergency sewer repair on

Lake Street

and for the renovation of the police/fire headquarters. Seems the emergency sewer repairs on Lake came as a lagniappe with the street repairs there. Apparently, inspection by closed-circuit TV revealed that the 176-foot-long, 9-inch sewer main between a couple of manholes there was in “poor condition” and the pipe was not the proper shape (too oval) for the contractors to use the usual cured-in-place piping. But sewer repair seems quite worthwhile these days, as we seem to have a storm-of-the-century every two or three years.

 … that the City renewed its lease “of the property at

Lake Street


Sherman Avenue

as a public parking lot (City lot 14).” Seems when the City sold the property in 1972 for the construction of a hotel (used to be a Holiday Inn), it arranged to be able to lease back the first floor of parking as a public parking lot. The City had a 25-year lease with a rider allowing for two additional 10-year leases, so we just now availed ourselves of the first 10-year option. Speaking of parking, TG hears that the City may have a pilot program for 40 parking meters that accept credit card payments.

… that the Phase II engineering event for repairs to the Sheridan Road corridor will begin soon – from Burnham Place to Chicago Avenue (where the road bends at Alice Millar Chapel).

… that the City has sent some additional vehicles off to the used-vehicle auction in Lake County: four Ford Crown Victorias and five Chevy Cavaliers. All but two of the vehicles were listed as being in “poor” condition. The condition of those two, both Cavaliers, were listed as “very poor.”

… that the beauty of fog on the canal is one of the great things about the cool start to the summer.

… that, regarding Patty Baker’s inquiry a few weeks ago about how cars and bicycles can safely interact at (specifically) Church and Sherman, Rajeev Dahal, senior traffic engineer for the City, said Ms. Baker “was exactly right”: She gave the right-of-way to the bicycles behind her that were heading straight (east) on Church before she took the right turn onto Sherman.

… that Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey complained to the CTA about a foul smell in the

Howard Street

el station, in response to which the station was “power-washed” once and will be again this week. In Evanston, at least one visitor felt the effects of bleach used to clean the

Noyes Street

station. Her long brown skirt now has white spots at the hemline.

… that the State of Illinois is said to be using photo-radar in freeway work zones. According to the informant who sent TG the notice, “One mile per hour over the speed limit and the machine will get you a nice $375 ticket in the mail.” A second offense is said to carry a fine of $1,000 and a 90-day suspension. “Since July 1, the State has been using the speed cameras in areas designated as ‘Work Zones’ on major freeways. The State already has two camera vans on line issuing tickets 24/7 in work zones with speed limits lowered to 45 mph. Photos of both the driver’s face and license plate are taken.”

… that the EPA has finally updated the standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), first set in 1971. Brian Urbaszewski, director of Environmental Health Programs from the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, calls NO2 a “dangerous pollutant.” It is one of the six main pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act and its presence in the air is “strongly connected to breathing problems,” Mr. Urbaszewski says, adding, “According to EPA, ‘Current scientific evidence links short-term NO2 exposures, ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours, with increased respiratory effects, especially in people with asthma.’” And this stuff comes from our cars, both when we’re driving and when the engine is idling. So please pay attention to the City’s anti-idling ordinance, and if you see a vehicle weighing four tons or more, call a cop if its motor is idling more than five minutes.

From our readers:

TG: Regarding your comments about Evanston‘s scavenger ordinance, I think it is wonderful that scavengers can recycle items instead of them ending up in a landfill. The problem is that there is no oversight of the scavengers or no way to communicate to them what is okay to take.

I may be more sensitive to this because my home borders an otherwise rarely used alley, but twice strollers have disappeared from my side driveway in the middle of the day. Also, I am constantly amazed at how many bikes – often in good condition – I see on those scavenger trucks. Could they have been mistakenly picked up or are Evanstonians really throwing away that many bikes? 

At least the sticker program communicates what is meant to be removed. Perhaps if we do “dump that ordinance,” we should require a clear communication device between the owner and the scavenger.                           – Heather Smith

From TG: Thanks for your viewpoint, Ms. Smith. TG certainly does not endorse thievery, which your letter certainly suggests occurs too often. “Clear communication” sounds like a great idea. Maybe City Council will revisit the ordinance.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the move to try (and maybe use) parking meters that accept credit cards is a good thing. Since one of the advantages for the City is said to be that people tend to buy more time with credit-card payments, maybe the City will get rid of those ridiculous two-hour limits in downtown in the evenings.

… that some folks attending the Fourth of July parade were upset by parade-watchers who left a mess. Here’s a pic someone sent of the offending trash – and the offenders’ legs:

… that there are so many types of portable toilets around that maybe a certain political party could get into the act at its next convention creating a brand called “Yes We Can.”

Hope everyone had a great Fourth and that we all can continue this great summer, enjoying the beach, the starlight concerts and our wonderful town. Send your thoughts and comments to us at info@evanstonroundtable.com. We are here to listen.