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… that repairs to the three downtown garages will begin in July. The City reports that the Maple Avenue, Sherman Avenue and Church/Clark garages will collectively get a $2.1 million facelift: structural repairs (concrete repair, rusting structural elements, expansion joint replacement, etc.); waterproofing coating (traffic membranes, etc.); repairs to exhaust fans, dampers and other mechanicals; and repairs to the electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems.
… that construction season is upon us. Watch out for projects all over the City, including Sheridan, Pioneer, Isabella and more. Ignore the temporary “No Parking” signs at your peril.
… that a new VRAD is coming to 1528 Dempster. Somehow the company’s term for it, “Lightspeed facility,” belies the squat mass that it is.
… that the CTA will hold its next public meeting about the possibility of a Yellow Line CTA station in Evanston from 7 to 9 p.m. on June 2 at the Levy Center. As most readers will recall, there is some momentum for the return of a Yellow Line stop in Evanston. The old station on Asbury closed in the 1940s, and there is a possibility of getting a station there again. Dodge and Ridge have been suggested as other possible sites.
… that the Police Department will be conducting roadside safety checks just as Memorial Day weekend begins – 10 p.m. on May 27 to 4 a.m. on May 28. The Evanston Police Department says the safety checks aim to “reduce traffic crashes and the liability associated with violations of vehicular safety laws.” While the two main foci of the checks will be impaired driving and “occupant restraint violations … additional enforcement activities will focus on compliance with the Illinois driver license statutes, liability insurance compliance, and other vehicle statutes and/ or ordinances.” So when you drive, don’t drink, text or talk on the phone, and make sure everyone is appropriately, well, restrained.
… that a few changes may be coming to Central Street: a new restaurant on Ewing, where Blockbuster Video once reigned, and, farther east, a low-rise rental complex on the site of the old Evanston movie theaters.
… that the Chicago River (including parts of the North Shore Channel south of Howard) has been labeled one of the most polluted in the country. The feds and the EPA keep telling the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to clean it up or show some socially responsible reason not to. Here is what the Chicago Tribune reported on May 12: “Last year, after the Tribune first reported on the Obama administration’s efforts [to clean up the river] two [MWRDGC] top officials said it would be a waste of money to clean up the river. Making the river safe enough for swimming, they said, would put children at risk of drowning.” Thus keeping the river polluted and unfit for human occupation (or even long-ish exposure), according to MWRD, is actually saving lives.
… that a study reported in Scientific American compared the CO2 emissions of four men walking, running and biking with emissions of a hybrid car carrying those four men. The four men released more CO2 by jogging than if they traveled the same distance in the hybrid car. On average, four women would release less CO2 than if they rode in the car because of their lower body mass.
One wag suggested to TG that a practical application of this data would be that if four environmentally conscious couples want to go out for dinner, the four men should ride in a hybrid car, and the four women should jog to the restaurant.
… that again this year peregrine falcons have nested at the Library. Four eggs have hatched, and the fledglings will be banded next Tuesday.
From our readers: TG: Got lucky to find this meter on Chicago Avenue earlier today. It flashed “out of order” on the other side. Thought about leaving the car there indefinitely … – Dave Blickenstaff
From TG: Maybe it’s a pilot for user-friendly parking.
TG: Here is a photo of the “Guy Who Cares,” as seen on the southeast corner of the Dempster Street “el.”
From TG: Thanks for the photo. TG has been criticized for glorifying graffiti, which is seen by many as destruction of private property. TG intended no offense and apologizes to those who feel that this inquiry into the “who” and the “why” encourages proliferation of the images and thus additional destruction of property. That is not the intent. Further, most recognize that at times these paintings rise to the level of art.
TG: Thought you might like to print these two “Love Birds.” Love is in the spring air. A contractor painting my windows came across the last window and saw Mom or Mom-to-Be sitting in my window box. Today, I saw Dad for the first time bringing food. Not sure if they are doves or pigeons, but I go out my back door with my white lab, Joey. Mom watches. Dad, from a distance no doubt. She watches. Not scared. I wave to her and assure her all’s well. Contractor on hold till further notice. A beautiful sight.
– Michael James Schram
From TG: What a wonderful story – and what a good thing that you and your contractor can defer the project until the birds are fledged.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that some folks are upset about the proposed large sign for the renovated Office Depot on Green Bay. Since some think it’s rather large and gaudy (similar to things said about the proposed knife sign for the Hilton Garden Inn on Maple), perhaps a question to ask is, “Is there a better way than a huge sign to advertise a location?”
… that (and TG wrote this before a similar suggestion was made in the Chicago Tribune by fellow Evanstonian and brilliant writer John McCarron) Evanston ought to give notice to NU and Chicago that it is considering relocating. Let’s see what incentives they can come up with to keep us here – and by the way, we should tell them, we’re taking the lake.
… that even more folks than just gardeners will appreciate this bumper sticker.