Dedicated runner...

… that Dodge Avenue are proceeding apace. It’s better to be behind somebody than be the lead car, because the lane guides are so poorly marked.

… that vehicle stickers and residential parking permits for 2010 go on sale next week – staring Nov. 16. This year, you have a choice of designs – one featuring the McGaw YMCA or the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse (limited numbers available). The City says that certain senior citizens are eligible (by a combination of age – 65 years and more – and income level, proven via tax returns) for discounts from the full $75 price. Remember that you not only have to purchase a sticker for your vehicle, you also have to display it properly by Jan. 12 of next year. You can pick up applications for both at the Civic Center or apply for vehicle stickers online ( The City also says, “Online service, provided by Third Millennium Assoc., Inc., accepts credit card payments, and there are no convenience fees charged.”

… that we’ve just about turned the corner from construction woes to winter parking woes. Pay attention to snow routes, posted signs and voices coming from bullhorns. Do not, (TG repeats, do not) pay attention to such unreliable things as the weather, the fact that your street has been plowed, and the like. Trust the written word, not the sky.

… that some parking changes are in store. The City reports that, for a 90-day trial period, 41 meters in the downtown area will accept credit cards for payment. During the day the two-hour limit applies, but from 5 till 9 p.m. you can park for four hours. At either time, there’s hardly a danger of maxing out your credit card on downtown parking. Here are the locations of these groovy new meters: on both sides of Sherman from Lake to Grove; on the east side of Sherman between Grove and Davis; and on the south side of Davis between Chicago and Sherman. There is also a multi-space meter that takes cash or credit cards in lot 14, 1501 Sherman Ave. As of Monday, the City said, parkers there can have the four-hour, 5-9 p.m. extension. The dedicated permit spaces will now be metered spaces 5-9 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday.

… that NU recently honored the team that built the I-35W Anthony Falls Bridge – replacing the one that that collapsed into the Mississippi river two years ago. The group formally received the David F. Schulz Award for Outstanding Public Service in Transportation and Infrastructure Policy as part of the third annual William O. Lipinski Symposium on Transportation Policy. The I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge team members are the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Minneapolis, the Federal Highway Administration, Figg Engineering and Flatiron Manson Joint Venture. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was scheduled to speak at the event.

… that, earlier this week, the Active Transportation Alliance inducted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley into its hall of fame as the Ultimate Campaign Manager.

… that the Illinois Commerce Commission reports that as of last Saturday, Chicago has another area code – 872. It’s an overlay of 312 and 773 (sort of the way 224 evolved here). Eleven-digit dialing is now required there, according to the ICC, but it was not clear whether  the 11 digits are required for dialing into those area codes or just within. TG suspects, though, that folks will quickly pick up the routine. However, the new area code should be another deterrent to texting while driving. Speaking of cell phones, the CTA has signed a ten-year contract with T-Mobile to allow cellular service on the Red and Blue Line subways, giving customers, according to its press release, “access to service while traveling through the underground portion of the two busiest routes of the Chicago Transit Authority.” 

… that the Regional Sustainability Working Group – composed of representatives from the RTA, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) – is developing the Regional Green Transit Plan, which will guide the development of an eco-friendly transit system in northeastern Illinois. The group hopes to complete the plan – called the Regional Green Transit Plan – by next fall. It will recommend strategies to improve the energy efficiency of the region’s public transportation system and reduce the overall impact of transportation on the region’s environment. It also aims to educate the public about the environmental benefits of transit and demonstrate the ability of transit to reduce regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Check out the website for thoughts about greener travel and commuting.

… that last month was what you thought it was – very rainy. It was the second wettest October on record (since 1895), according to information provided through the University of Illinois and from state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey. Their preliminary data show the statewide average rainfall was 8.9 inches, 6.0 inches above normal. The wettest Illinois October was in 1941, with 9.2 inches of rainfall.

According to the data, Chicago reported its ninth wettest October with 6.04 inches. Mr. Angel said, “October was a gloomy month, especially in northern Illinois. Chicago reported two sunny days, and Rockford only one.” Temperatures across Illinois averaged 49.8 degrees, 4.8 degrees below normal, he said.

From our readers: I found this sign on northbound Green Bay Road at Lincoln Street (taken Oct. 31, 2009) amusing. Does this mean it is now mandatory to turn right on a red light? — Bob LeBailly

From TG: Looks like that’s just what it means. Perhaps NU’s Traffic Institute should offer a course in sign-placement.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that, while it’s probably not a good idea to text while driving, it seems that texting is a symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself. Witness that the mandate that drivers use hands-free cell-phones has not significantly reduced cell-phone accidents. Distracted driving is the culprit, and maybe distractible drivers should not drive or should self-police themselves to concentrate on the road ahead.

… that photo-enforcement of traffic laws is a good thing, but TG would also like to see audio-enforcement. Somewhere there must exist the technology to detect reverberations above the legal decibel-limit and trigger a photograph of the offending vehicle. Now that’s a way the City could garner some real revenue. 

… that this is a really dedicated runner – in shorts and barefoot, waiting to cross Dempster in 40-degree weather.

… that, in addition to the City Manager’s blog, the City now offers information on Twitter and (now only in Beta form) YouTube. If something is re-aired it’s called a re-broadcast or a rerun. If there is redundancy on Twitter, is that progress or a re-tweet?