… that Metra has postponed until the first week of October its schedule changes that were supposed to go into effect last Sunday. According to the Metra website, “When studying the impact we realized Evanston passengers may be adversely affected.  We are listening to the residents in Evanston and want to take yet another look at how we can best serve all of our passengers on the Union Pacific North Line. This is an unprecedented construction project and we want to take extreme measures to make sure all stations are served to the best of our ability.”

… that the present phase (phase 2) of the Sheridan Road repairs will be almost completed by November, when the project will shut down for the winter. That’s from Burnham to Foster. Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says even though that part may not be wholly finished, the street segment will be smooth. Maybe it’s a good idea not to do the final resurfacing just before ice-snow-and-salt season.

… that, speaking of seasons, we’re not only into autumn, we’re into budget season. The City has provided the following information about Evanston: It’s 8.0 square miles, with 147 miles of streets, 76 miles of alleys, 5,641 street lights, 157.5 miles of water mains, 1,385 fire hydrants and 208 miles of sewers. We also have 2,300 parking meters and 11 parking enforcement officers. TG notes that this year the budget is deemed to be a financial framework, not, as often in the past, a statement of the community’s values. Maybe this description, not the former, is truth in taxation.

… that drivers are still ignoring the new law mandating that vehicles stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. This law changes the balance of power, as it were, giving pedestrians the right to amble or sashay or even cartwheel (which might make them semi-pedestrians or manupedestrians) in a crosswalk and drivers have to let them be. Although police officers have issued some tickets to violators (752 cell phone tickets, 48 tickets for crosswalk violations), it doesn’t seem that we’ve all learned our lesson. 

… that Evanston didn’t make it to the top 10 in the “safest cities to drive in.” The top 10, are Ft. Collins, Colo., where drivers average 14.5 years between collisions; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs; Knoxville, Tenn.; Eugene, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; Huntsville, Ala.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Notice that most are west of the Mississippi River. 

… that NU wanted the fountain at Fountain Square to run with purple water during “Paint the Town Purple” weekend. Go, Wildcats. But also, go, Wildkits, as homecoming is next weekend.

From our readers – the entries are a great kickoff to Arts & Humanities Month…

… and the winners are:

    Evanston City Parking Blues

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

They added five spaces to the Lighthouse Beach lot,

But no matter how much I cruise through,
I still can’t find a spot.

Will I make it to the beach today or
will I not?

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

The Maple Street garage is a boon
for downtown

But the design’s so weird I keep driving round and round

Can’t figure out how to go up or how to
go down.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I keep a bunch of parking meter quarters
in my car

To feed the meters’ appetite; they don’t go very far.

Spent all my money on meters, I can’t go
to the bar.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

Parking meter laws confuse everyone
in sight

Downtown meters cost more and go later
in the night.

Dempster and Chicago ain’t downtown,
am I right?

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues.

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

I’ve got the Evanston city parking blues,

Maybe I’ll move to Skokie, or even Wilmette

But there’s nothing going on there, so I guess I’ll go in debt

To pay the parking meters when it’s fun
I want to get.

I’ll put up with the Evanston city parking blues.

— Kurt Peters

‘Maple Avenue Parking Garage Blues’

I woke up this morning, still dizzy 
from last night.

Yes, I woke up this morning al areel 
from last night.

Through Maple Avenue Garage,
strange parking fright.

Since last night, I hosted an oldsters’
movie night.

Yes, that’s right, I treated a seniors’
movie night.

Through Maple Avenue Garage,
strange parking plight.

While downstairs, my guests stood,
awaiting reunite

I’m upstairs, floor looped route
preventing reunite

Through Maple Avenue Garage,
strange parking plight.

At long last, departing customers
made things right.

Departed customers’ parking spots
made things right.

Through Maple Avenue Parking Garage, strange parking plight.

Except that, this morning I’m dizzy
from last night.

As I woke up this morning still areel
from last night,

Through the Maple Avenue Garage,
strange parking flight.

–- Robert J. Bagby

Limerick/Blues from a Metra Rider

‘Exactly How Much Has the Failure to Collect Fares Cost Metra Since the Recent Schedule Change?

Just Wondering …’

When riding Metra he prepaid
He did so for all of his days.
On the northerly ride,
They let everyone slide.
Now he is changing his ways.

‘One More?’

There once was a man from the north
Who rode Metra to always go forth.
When he came to his nexis,
’Twas too crowded to exit.
So he continues his ride farther north.

Is that enough? I have more….

–- Michael Matek

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that one way to get more money without raising taxes is to enforce the leash law. Have the City direct its PEOs (parking-enforcment officers) to become LEOs (leash-enforcement officers) go to parks, where dogs are supposed to be leashed but many are not, and to school grounds, where dogs are not allowed at
all but seem to be running around anyway. We might get a few thousand dollars and safer, less poopy, areas. Dogs already have their own beach and their own park.

… that everyone should try to get to the Green Living Festival on Saturday and Bike the Ridge on Sunday.