Does anyone understand what this sign really means?

… that, even though the City says it has enough salt to see us through the bad weather, the folks at Streets and Sanitation will use it “conservatively,” the director said at a recent meeting. The conservative approach means, for residential streets, salt will be spread mid-block and at intersections but not the entire length of the block. Wonder if we’ll get some beet juice stuff (sold as Geomelt) again this year?

… that the City proposes to take over  the jurisdiction of  Dempster Street, from Sherman Place to Forest Avenue, from the Illinois Department of Transportation. In addition to the street segment, of course, the City gets the responsibility of maintaining it.  The transfer will give the City control of the Chicago/Dempster intersection. This will allow the City to use the post-top traffic signals, which we here in Evanston prefer to the mast-arm signals mandated by the state when it modernizes the traffic signal installations on Chicago from South Boulevard to Dempster. Although the state owns the road, the City maintains the traffic signals. The modernization project includes the interconnection and coordination of the signals from South to Grove. The City will receive $18,500 from the state for the Dempster Street segment. The Chicago Avenue Signal project, planned for next year, will use CMAQ (congestion mitigation and air quality management) funds.

… that the City is hoping to use tax-increment financing (TIF) funds from the West Evanston TIF for improvements to the Dodge Avenue streetscape. (TG thinks it’s more like creating one.) There will still be a bike lane on Dodge, the City says, and some additional landscaping. TG was delighted to hear that the City also proposes a knuckle or bump-out at Crain (extending the sidewalk farther into the street for pedestrian safety). That’s one of TG’s favorite places to jay-walk.

… that the new name of the Parking Committee is the Parking/Transportation Committee. The change in name and scope was recommended in the multi-modal transportation plan.

… that, speaking of parking, City Council rejected two proposals to change parking regulations – one, south and one, north. Seems some folks would like to have their street allow parking on both sides during the summer but not in the winter – to accommodate the residents there during snow-no-parking times. Also, someone hoped to change the definition of “passenger vehicle” so his truck could be parked in a residential area.

… that speaking of leases, TG hears that the old Barnes & Noble property at Church and Sherman (kitty-corner
from the new B & N store) has finally been leased. Word is that two entities have leased the place and one (according to … according to … etc.) is a “food user.” But aren’t we all?

… that the City was able to renegotiate its lease with Verizon. They’re interested in adding an underground utility line space to the leased building space at the north end of the property to allow them to connect their existing communications equipment to the new fiber optic cable that was installed by AT&T throughout the City. The City was able to get additional money for the use of the additional space and to renegotiate terms of the cell-tower lease.

… that a radio-frequency identification device (RFID) has been installed on all the new recycling carts and new garbage carts, said Interim Public Works Director Suzette Eggleston. This system allows the City to know the location of the carts, Ms. Eggleston said, adding that the City “will expand the system” so that an RFID will eventually be on all carts. TG hears that one alderman called the system “a lo-jack for carts.”

From our readers:

TG:  I am confused about a large sign at Burnham Place and Lake Shore Drive. The part facing the street just says “Burnham Shore” and “City of Evanston.” But the side facing the park says:

     To Aid Your Enjoyment

        Please Eliminate

        Dogs            Litter

As a guy who has an IQ of at least 39, did graduate from third grade and has been paying taxes in Evanston for nearly 45 years, I need help in (1) understanding the meaning of “aiding my enjoyment” and (2) since there is no apostrophe between the “g” and the “s” in the “Dogs” part of the sign, I can only assume that the City of Evanston wants me to eliminate dogs, as well as litter. 

Does the City of Evanston really think that eliminating dogs will aid my enjoyment?

Your analysis would be very
helpful.         – Bill Friedlander

From TG: It is a quizzical sign, and there is a similar one in Dawes Park just west of the lagoon. As you point out, Mr. Friedlander, without punctuation it is difficult to understand precisely what the text intended to convey. That said, TG sees two additional ways to parse it. One way is to consider the sign in parts rather than as a whole. The first line could be seen as a request and the second as a declarative sentence. The other requires an interpretation of “litter:” Is it excrement or progeny? Is this a concern for aesthetics and the environment, and the hope is to get rid of that unsightly (and worse) waste that careless dog-owners do not clean up? Or should dogs be starved so they will no longer produce excrement? Perhaps, though, the sign intends to convey a concern about canine overpopulation and suggests that dogs be spayed/neutered so as to prevent litters. However, TG sees at most a tenuous connection between any of these interpretations and the reader’s/observer’s level of tranquility. Clearly, the words are multilayered and cryptic and perhaps in need of deconstruction – or elimination.

The Traffic Guy
 thinks …

It works in any language.