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… that next year’s vehicle stickers go on sale Nov. 1 on line and at the Collector’s office, now more candidly called the Revenue Office. The wheel tax must be paid annually on all vehicles registered to an Evanston address, and the sticker must be properly displayed. Again this year we have two designs: one featuring SASI – Services for Adults Staying in their Homes and the other featuring the Evanston Baseball and Softball Association. Stickers are $75/ passenger car; $50/motorcycle; $85/RV; $30/trailer; and $20/antique car.
… that a TV star and an economic star led NU’s homecoming parade: actress Stephanie March, who portrayed Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and Dale T. Mortensen, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics. Wow! This year’s theme was “Where the Wildcats Are.”
… that the offer of free gasoline by the Shell Station on Oakton near McCormick caused a bit of a traffic jam just after rush hour on Oct. 15.
… that, speaking of the Oakton/McCormick area, AT&T and American Tower Corporation would like to replace the nine existing cellular antennas and install three new ones on an existing tower in that location.
… that a three-way stop at Greenwood and Grey will be coming soon.
… that a couple of new parking bans will be in effect soon: one (to which readers were alerted last time) is prohibition against parking on Lincoln across from the water plant. NU seems to have acceded to the elimination of the four parking spaces there.
The second is a prohibition of parking on the east side of Chicago between Howard and the CTA tracks. Last month, according to the City, “The Transportation/Parking Committee recommended approval … based on an aldermanic concern that the east side of Chicago Avenue from Howard to the CTA tracks had become a storage area for unwanted and unsightly vehicles. The intent of the amendment is to relieve the area of unwanted vehicle parking by repair shops and rental agencies in the area. The area has not been used as a “Parking Meter Zone” since the completion of the 415 Howard project.”
… that about ten days ago a lightning strike at 431 Ridge damaged a tall chimney, and the flying bricks broke windows at a nearby third-floor residence. For a time, traffic was diverted around Oakton and Ridge.
… that the City will continue to outsource “parking-ticket management and payment-processing functions” to Milwaukee-based Citation Management (a division of Professional Account Management, LLC, and a division of Duncan Solutions, Inc.). We’ve had a three-year contract with them and this is the first-year optional renewal. Citation Management will process tickets paid “by mail, telephone or the internet” and perform “all license plate lookups, noticing, lockbox processing and the management of citations that require administrative adjudication.” The City Collector’s office will continue to process walk-in payments and those dropped in the payment box at the Civic Center. The cost to us is about $450,000, which, according to the City “includes the contract amount, postage costs and pass-through fees.”
The City says Citation Management has “provided the City with a state-of-the-art solution for processing parking citations and citation revenue. The solution has provided the framework for the City to modernize many of our current business processes, but it is also a fundamental aspect of the City’s continuing efforts to promote a more efficient, cost-effective and customer-friendly government. Citation Management has effectively increased collections as a result of more effective noticing, real-time access to out-of-state plate information, and on-line tools that allow for easy entry of payment information.” The company has also “developed and implemented a boot module that has effectively increased our ability to locate and immobilize vehicles for failure to pay parking fines.” It’s a fine irony that dunning people for parking-ticket money and booting the cars of scofflaws are considered a part of “customer-friendly government.”
… that the City is going to sell some surplus vehicles at December’s Lake County auction, all of them listed as being in “poor” condition: 52 Ford F-350 (patrol car); two Cavaliers used by the housing division, two fire-suppression vehicles, a Dodge used by the recreation department; a Ford used by the Streets division and a Deere Gator used in parking lots.
… that we’re also going to sell rock salt to School District 65 at 10 percent above our costs, to cover administration and handling fees. The District needs about 300 tons of salt each winter season and does not have sufficient storage room for it. Don’t worry – we’ve been doing this for a number of years, and we include the District’s allotment in our original order.
… that, speaking of winter time, again this holiday season there will be free parking after 5 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays in the three downtown garages (Maple, Sherman and Church) and the lot at 1234 Chicago Ave.
… that part of the new zoning proposed for downtown, in light of the approval of the downtown plan more than a year ago, calls for religious institutions to be a “special use” rather than a permitted use “in the Business, Commercial, and Downtown Zoning Districts.” Of course this should not affect the present religious institutions, but new churches wanting to locate in any of those districts will have a lot more hoops to jump through.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the dedication tomorrow night (7:15) of “The Blue Line,” the sculpture that spans the Custer Avenue bridge should be lovely. Hope everyone can make it. P.S., does anyone think that the sculpture should have been amber, so it could have been called “The Yellow Line,” above the Yellow Line? Others for whom that kind of symmetry is important might prefer to change the name of the CTA line, not the sculpture.
… that next weekend is the time to fall back one hour: 2 a.m. on Nov. 6 becomes 1 a.m.