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Due to the construction of the second phase of the Mather at the southeast corner of Hinman and Davis, the people living on Hinman have put up with
noise and no place to park for over two years. Hinman Avenue has become a construction staging area with trucks and concrete-mixers.

Why not use the east side of the block – the side facing Judson – for staging and truck lineup? Only a few houses on the west side of Judson and the Mather garden are currently under renovation.

Not far away, in the center of Raymond Park, at the intersection of two cross-walks, is a circle roughly 25 feet in diameter filled with dark grey industrial gravel. This gravel is not only ugly, but is carried all over by pedestrians who cross this circle. When called, the Parks and Recreation executives said it was all they could afford, a defense that does not stand scrutiny. It should be replaced by concrete – like the sidewalk.

420 Chicago Avenue (with the blue brick) has the saddest-looking front yard and sidewalk in the City, with its untended grass and not a single tree. In addition to looking slummy, it is downright dangerous: a 2-to-3-inch dip in the sidewalk that collects rainwater or melted snow that in the winter freezes and becomes slippery. This is an old complaint that was called to the attention of the alderman years ago.

This gripe cannot be localized because it covers the entire downtown area. The decision to use masonry paving units in downtown Evanston was an aesthetically bright idea and should be applauded. While they are holding up well, repair is badly needed as the paving units wear, loosen or break and disappear. Improper maintenance leaves them not only unsightly, but also dangerous, as well as costly, considering potential legal action and judgments. Supposedly the maintenance is contracted out to a company, but obviously they are not doing a good job.

These issues could – and should – all be addressed.

To conclude this article on a more optimistic note, Giordano’s is opening a new place in the long-abandoned building at the southeast corner of Chicago and Davis. The building is being rejuvenated on the exterior as well; hopefully this will be a good location.