Even an 8-month-old can enjoy the beauty of the Merrick Rose Garden. To see Mr. Smith’s photo and vote for the Rose Garden, go to placemakingchicago.com.

… that renovations for Foster Field have been approved. Nicely enough, the contract goes to a company operating on

Foster Street

. The company, G.S. Johnson, will construct louver screens for the HVAC equipment area and put in some decorative limestone walls and landscaping.

… that the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan says that some fine day we pedestrians may get more time to cross the street. There is a note that in the next edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices – MUTCD, to the cognoscenti – “the standard walking speed used to calculate the minimum time for the FDW (that’s “Flashing Don’t Walk”) phase of a traffic signal cycle is proposed to be decreased to 3.5 ft/sec from the current 4.0 ft/sec, and the total Walk plus FDW phases would be based on a 3.0 ft/sec walking speed. Someone has noticed that Boomers are slowing down.


… that about 20,000 squares of sidewalk in the City need to be replaced; at five feet per square, that’s about 19 square miles (the City’s figures, not TG’s). Under the City’s program, the City and the homeowner share the cost of replacement. Speaking of the replacement squares, TG hears that some RoundTable folks who saw these rebar-wood contraptions in a few yards initially thought they were art installations.


… that the Evanston Police Department was recognized for the fourth year in a row by the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association, through their Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge. The department placed third in the state this year, in recognition of its traffic enforcement plan, outlining various traffic-safety intervention and enforcement initiatives. The plan targets
three areas: speed violations, impaired-
driving enforcement, and vehicle-occupant-restraint education and enforcement.


… that, against the wishes of City staff, City Council has given us Evanstonians a choice of vehicle stickers next year – one honoring the Lighthouse Rotary or one for the McGaw YMCA. Last year the City paid less than $4,000 for 25,000 stickers, and, what with plate-making costs, etc., for the second sticker, the cost will go up, and, so, likely will our wheel tax (sticker price). Wonder if the City Clerk’s office will accept early orders for preferences? Next year the two runners-up, Seniors Action Service, Inc., and Evanston Baseball and Softball Association, may win the sticker sweepstakes.


… that two laws bolstering the assault on distracted driving will become effective on Jan. 1, 2010.  The measures ban text messaging while driving and cell phone use while driving in school or construction zones. In other words, “Stop B4 U Text.” Violators, if caught, will find a moving violation on their record and have to pay fines and court costs. The legislation is based on recommendations made by the state’s Distracted Driving Task Force, chaired by Secretary White. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 25 percent of police-reported crashes involve some form of driver inattention.


From our readers: TG: So I nominated the Merrick Rose Garden in the Great Places contest being run by placemakingchicago.com. My submission is one of the finalists so I thought the City
of Evanston should know. Anyone can vote in this contest and it is a “vote early, vote often” affair.

 Visit www.placemakingchicago.com by Sept. 14 to vote for your favorite photo and video entry.

– Lee Smith, Senior Planner,
City of Highland Park


From TG: What a really good idea – thanks for the nomination and for the info about the contest. The rose garden is beautiful year-round.


Guy thinks …

… that there have been some unpleasant bicycle encounters lately, some with harmful results. Seems a young woman biking to work recently was knocked off her bike near Main and Chicago by a car whose driver, unconscionably, did not stop. She suffered bruises, a concussion and a broken collar bone. On the other side of the fence, TG hears a couple was nearly hit by a bicyclist speeding along the sidewalk near Ridge and Monroe – the couple jumped back as the guy ran the red light without hesitation. Maybe for protection or for some other reason, a large crowd of bicyclists is often seen in northwest Evanston taking up an entire lane, preventing anyone from passing but not going the speed limit. Come on, people, we have to learn to share.


… that evenings last week during the meteor shower were among the quietest of the entire summer. Might have been the end of the summer or maybe the comet dust itself.

School starts on Aug. 31. Watch out for kids walking to school, crossing the streets and riding bikes. Send your thoughts and comments to us at info@evanstonroundtable.com. We are here to listen.