"Do not park on any day that ends in a ‘Y."

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… that the City is going to buy a new ambulance.

… that we’re also going to purchase 41 more single-space parking meters of the kind piloted last year along Sherman around Grove – that accepts credit cards and allows up to four hours of parking after 5 p.m. Not sure where they’ll be located.

… that the City has awarded a contract for sealing cracks in the asphalt to SKC Construction of West Dundee.

… that Sept. 22 is car-free day in the Chicago area. The Active Transportation Alliance is partnering with the City of Evanston, CTA, Metra, Pace and RTA to
“shine a spotlight on ways of getting around without driving. “ The residents of Evanston are “invited to take the Chicagoland Car-Free-Day Pledge, no matter if they already walk, bike or take public transit. By taking the pledge, residents are eligible to receive special discounts from businesses like Sports Authority, Argo Tea and I-GO Car Sharing, according to information from the City. Between 6 and 9 a.m. next Wednesday (Sept. 22) there will be a “car-free promotional event at the 909 Davis building,” and a rally at 8 a.m. with “appearances and speeches by local officials, free food and drinks, free bike repairs, an extra bike parking corral, bike raffle and more.” Check out www.activetrans.org/carfree to take the car-free pledge.

… that Bike the Ridge returns on Oct. 3 – the only time it is legal to bike on Ridge Avenue. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will kick off the ride at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Ridge Avenue at Howard Street, but the City invites bicyclists to ride any portion of Ridge between Howard and Church between 9 and noon that day. More information is available at cityofevanston.org/biketheridge. Don’t forget that youth under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets – and those over 18 ought to do so. Kids under age 14 are invited to decorate their bikes.

… that the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA) Foundation hosted its annual public awareness event on Sunday, giving the public an opportunity to meet and greet fire, police and public works professionals and get an up-close look at the tools of their trades through interactive displays of public safety equipment and vehicles.

… that what you probably thought is official: This past summer was one of the warmest and wettest on record, according to state climatologist Jim Angel, based on preliminary data. “The statewide average temperature for summer (June-August) in Illinois was 76.4 degrees, 2.7 degrees above normal and the seventh warmest summer on record, according to information from Mr. Angel (http://www.isws.illinois.edu). Other information from our state climatologist (and TG just loves it that it’s Mr. Angel looking at the skies for us) is that the average rainfall for summer in Illinois was 16.7 inches, 5.2 inches above normal, ranking as the sixth wettest summer on record – that is, since 1895. The heaviest rains occurred in western and northern Illinois. Bentley (Hancock County) reported the most rain of any location with 28.5 inches. Nine other sites reported more than two feet of rain within this timeframe. The wettest summer on record was 1993 with 18.3 inches. The warmest summer on record was 1936 with an average of 78.6 degrees, again, acocording to information from the climatologist. The National Weather Service calls for an increased chance of warmer-than-normal temperatures for Illinois in September. The precipitation outlook for September is neutral (equal chances of above, below, and near-normal rainfall), except for far northern Illinois, which has a slightly higher chance of above-normal rainfall.

… aaargh! Sunday is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

From our readers:
TG: I believe that the shortest turn signal in Evanston is on the corner of Green Bay and Emerson. If you are the first car stopped in the inside northbound lane on Ridge, and you are intent on turning northwest onto Green Bay to immediately turn west onto Golf, when the light turns green to permit you to go, you will find the left-turn arrow onto Golf already turning yellow when you get to it.  Clearly, the traffic engineers have not noticed this, or they would extend the time for that green arrow to permit the traffic to clear.  I always wonder why the people who are traffic engineers don’t seem to pay attention to these things. Of course I also wonder why the forestry people drive past tree branches that totally obscure stop signs without doing anything about them, too.  Welcome to Evanston, the lighthouse community with the burnt-out bulb.   – Chuck Cole

From TG: Thanks, Mr. Cole. That is a short one. Any others, readers?

TG: Re: Grove St. Parking signs in the 400 block (District 2AB)

These signs read: “No parking on Thursdays 9AM – 4PM on the south side of the street” and …….… “No parking on Fridays 9AM – 4PM on the North side of the street.”

These signs are wrong and misleading. 

Parking regulations were changed several years ago:

For the past few years have been no parking every other week. The wrong signage has deprived many people of legal parking spaces. For example, at 2 p.m. on Aug. 8, one car was parked legally on the entire block.  

I live on this street and I am a snow bird. Upon my return from Florida, I immediately went into the Evanston website, www.cityofevanston.org/parking to check the parking schedule. 

The page opens with street cleaning parking rules for this block.  

I followed these rules, and when I parked on June 18, I received a parking ticket. I protested, and was told that these rules are not the parking rules.

I was told that this is for sweeping at 4 a.m. – 7 a.m. which does not happen, and it is listed under parking rules. To find the parking rules you have to scroll down the page to find another set of parking rules. 

Why aren’t the current rules on top? Why didn’t they change and correct the street signs? 

I protested the ticket, and the protest was denied. I went to the office in person and finally “as a courtesy they voided the ticket.”
I wasted much of my time.

The first thing that should show up when you open the City parking website should be the current parking rules.  The street signs should be up-to-date. 

The new schedule has only two “no parking” days in June, four “no parking” days in July, two “no parking” days in August, three “no parking” days in September, etc., and the sign says “No Parking Eight Days a Month. –Norman Ferber.

From TG: Mr. Ferber, you have just hit a TG nerve. The same nonsense applies to the 1100 block of Florence Avenue (where the RoundTable offices are), and TG has complained about the problem several times this summer:

The posted signs ban parking far more than needed to accommodate street-sweeping, and the street-sweeping schedule posted on the website bears no relation to the “No Parking” signs here or to any street-sweeping that occurs here. Is it OK to ignore the signs and to follow the City’s website? Perhaps suggesting that the permanent signs can be ignored, the City puts out some temporary “No Parking Tuesday”, etc., signs up in the neighborhood on Tuesdays when street-sweeping is supposed to occur. Why do we need temporary signs, if the permanent signs are the authoritative ones? This whole scheme has caused confusion and unnecessarily (TG believes) deprived residents of on-street parking on many days. TG challenges all streets and sanitary officials – and the City Manager – to park properly on any of these residential streets (no re-parks) for an entire season.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that some squares of sidewalk along Central Street were replaced recently, in a seemingly haphazard and certainly ugly fashion. The new white squares stick out against the old gray concrete. Maybe the merchants there will paint the new squares green or blue or orange or purple, to make it look like the contrast was purposeful.

… that we’ve all been kinda crabby recently, though in some cases with good reason. Let’s hope the crisp autumn air will refresh us all.