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… that some Seventh Ward residents – in particular one condominium association – are unhappy about the City’s approval of extra parking and partying for football season-ticket holders on the golf course for Northwestern home football games. Seems that “dry” (i.e., non-party parking) is allowed on the 16th and 17th holes, as last year. As last year as well, the 9th hole will be used for tailgating, and the 10th hole has been added as another tailgate party area. The 43 property-owners in the Evanston Terraces Condominium Association are concerned about the fiat of the parking grant. They are also concerned that parking on the 10th-hole fairway will “exacerbate an already untenable traffic situation in and around Evanston Terraces.” In addiiton, there are concerns about Asbury Avenue, since other streets are already adversely affected by traffic on game days. “Given the City’s commitment to go green, we should be encouraging carpooling to these central lots (that are well-supervised). Beyond that, we should encourage use of public transit – both the CTA (train and bus) and the Metra are convenient,” their letter reads.

… that the irrigation system at James Park that keeps verdant several athletic fields there will be improved by Halloran & Yauch, Inc. of Lake Forest. According to the City, the irrigation system maintains a total of 62 stations and includes a 3HP, 50 GPM booster pump to supplement the static pressure delivered by the City’s potable water service. But the system provides only enough dynamic pressure to operate one of these irrigation systems at a time, resulting in a 60-hour cycle time. Given the heavy use of the fields in summer, it takes about seven days for a full cycle of irrigation. So the new system will be quicker and will preserve the grass there more effectively.

… that Twiggs Park will receive some aesthetic complements: a gateway similar in design to those found at both Butler and Beck Parks, a concrete walkway to “facilitate pedestrian traffic crossing the bridge at Green Bay and some deciduous trees on the – might one say – barren east end.

… that the City will “rehabilitate the top” of the underground north fuel tank #1 at the City’s service center on Asbury Avenue and have other repairs performed there. 

… that the City’s towing-and-booting contract again went to North Shore Towing. It’s a three-year contract with two optional one-year renewals; if all these are exercised, the City and NST will have enjoyed a 34-year relationship. These are the folks that will capture (tow or boot) your car if you’re parked on a street that is being swept or being cleared of snow, if you’ve not paid a lot of your parking tickets, for example. The services to be performed are “towing and related services for private vehicles” as directed or requested by the City. Tow charges for private cars will be $145 and will be $30-$35 higher for autos with a trailer. Storage charges (for those who do not claim their vehicles, etc.) will be $5 for up to three hours; $25 for three to 12 hours and $40/day. However, if the City directs or authorizes the services, the charges will be about $25 higher than those costs so they can, well, share in the revenue (possibly about $46,000).

… that there are some additional charges to the $4 million rehab of the 1964 filter addition at the water utility. The project involves the complete removal and replacement of the under-drain system and filter media, as well as the tuck pointing of the masonry walls, removal and replacement of the pre-cast roof slabs, rehabilitation of the structural steel, and removal and replacement of the roofing membrane in the 1964 filter building addition. Demolition work in the area uncovered the need for additional masonry work, replacement of some tiles and of 13 rather than nine purlins.

… that the City will sell seven more “surplus” (that is, out of service) vehicles at auction: A 312 Pierce truck used by Evanston Fire and Life Safety Services; a confiscated 2008 Dodge Caravan; a Dodge Ram from Parks, Forestry and Facilities Management; a Chevy Astro and a Ford Windstar from Public Works; a pontoon trailer from Public Works; a Harley Davidson from the police department.

… that there might soon be a bed-and- breakfast in the mansion at Church Street near Dawes Park.

… From our readers: TG, I know I’m going to sound curmudgeonly here but I feel the need. Why can’t our police write the occasional traffic ticket for failure to signal turns?  The turn signal has become “optional” in practice and I am tired of it.  I am tired of “reading the body language” of cars at intersections without left-turn lanes.  One of my favorites that I pass frequently is northbound Asbury at Main. I estimate that 50 percent of the left-turners there don’t use signals. Or else there is the “excuse me” signal – meaning, “Oops, I know I’m supposed to use the signal, but dang, I just forgot, and, oh, well, now that the light has turned green and I’m ready to turn, better late than never.” No, at that point, late is not better than never and you’ve already forced me to wait for you, when if you’d had your signal on, I could easily have pulled to your right, but now it’s too late. Doesn’t the law require a signal something like
100 feet before the turn?

By the way, I partially blame left-turn lanes for this problem. One might argue that signaling is less necessary in left turn lanes since your intent there is obvious. With left-turn lanes more prevalent, many drivers have gotten out of the habit of signaling, even where there is no left turn lane. Seems to me the occasional traffic ticket issued for this would get people paying attention to it more.      – Steve Cohen

From TG, TG could not agree with you more. There are way too many rude and careless drivers in this place. Read on.

TG: Here is the sign I think we should have at crosswalks. The wording is a little busy in the triangle, but it is direct and clear, I think. And after drivers read it once, they will recognize and understand the sign without having to read the small print again.

– C. Brian Pendleton

TG, I have attached a photo of the lightning that took place on Friday night/Saturday morning. This image was taken on the Northwestern Campus looking east over the lake. I have no problem with your reproducing this image. 

– Emily McGonigle, recent graduate from Evanston Township High School.

From TG, Thanks, Ms. McGonigle. Great pic. Let’s hope that there won’t be too many more light shows around, though.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… That the proposed new site of architect Michael Vasilko’s proposed lakefront development, now just off the coast of Northwestern, poses all sorts of interesting possibilities. Readers may recall that NU owns about 70 acres of lake bottom immediately east of the lakefill there, the remainder of the 150 acres the University purchased in the 1960s (before the EPA) to extend its campus without encroaching into Evanston. Is the proposal to purchase the lake bottom from NU? Is it for sale? Can it be developed?

… that it would be great if Evanston 150 received 2,013 ideas – its goal – by last week’s deadline.

… that better than a wind farm in Lake Michigan would be a kite farm. While both would generate electricity, a kite farm would be superior in matters of cost, ease of construction and sustainability. The raw idea is this: Hundreds of 3-by-6-foot kites would fly in a dazzling array from extended breakwaters adjacent to the Lighthouse and Clark shorelines, dangling keys of all sizes (gathered from a “recycled key” drive). And the kites could be made of plastic bags. Electricity will flow over to a transfer station in a single tube of copper wire, protectively clad and taped discreetly to curb or sidewalk. Ben Franklin would be proud.

… that there are two fine, free festivals this weekend: the Lake Shore Arts festival in Dawes Park (10-6 and noon-4), Church Street at the lakefront, and Gospel Fest at Family Focus (1-4 on Saturday) in the park between Fleetwood-Jourdain and the Family Focus building, north of Foster, south of Simpson, west of Jackson, east of Dewey.

… that the Guy Who Cares is trying to imitate TG.