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… that some refuse pickups were stretched out over a second day last week, when three of the nine garbage trucks used were in the shop for repairs.

… that there is a “Do Not Enter” sign for Davis at Maple. Who knows what kind of absent-minded driving made that necessary.

… that work began last week on a five-week construction “pedestrian safety” project at Emerson Street and Green Bay Road, the purpose of which, according to the City is “to enhance pedestrian safety at the intersection. … The scope of the work will include tightening the turning radius at the intersection and moving the pedestrian crossing and signal on Green Bay Road closer to the Green Bay/Emerson intersection. Traffic may be slowed, but not detoured, during construction. Watch for temporary “No Parking” signs, which will be put up about 48 hours before the work begins; street parking is not likely to be disrupted. The contractor is Schroeder & Schroeder Inc., located at 7306 Central Park Ave., Skokie, under the supervision of the City of Evanston’s Division of Transportation, and the resident engineer in the field will be Pankaj Chokshi, who will be directly responsible for all aspects of the construction. If residents have any questions or concerns, please contact the resident engineer at 311 or 847-448- 4311. Questions about the street projects in general should be directed to Sat Nagar, P.E., senior engineer at 311.

… that mosquitoes have been buzzing toward the abandoned garbage carts behind the former recycling center on Oakton. Water collected; larvae blossomed; mosquitoes whined. We’ve got to keep those pests away from all the kids at James Park.

… that the police department has announced its late-night plans for the 2011 Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Impaired Driving Crackdown.
The intensified enforcement effort against the overwhelming number of late-night impaired drivers and safety-belt violators underscores the disproportionate number of traffic deaths occurring during late-night hours, said Commander Tom Guenther, public information officer of the Evanston Police Department. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the midnight-to-3 a.m. timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways. Not coincidentally, the data also shows this time of day has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest safety belt usage rate. EPD’s Sergeant Thomas Moore says, “In Evanston, remember, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.’” So – if you’re going to indulge or imbibe, get a designated driver, hand over your keys, call a cab or a friend and buckle up, and report unsafe driving.

… that, speaking of the EPD, the department was  recognized for the sixth year in a row by the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association, through their Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge. (Their first award for traffic safety was earned  in  1933, when the National Safety Council awarded the Evanston Police Department the National Grand Prize for Traffic Safety.) The City reports that with the “award of a first- place finish in the state safety challenge, the Evanston Police Department was entered into the National Law Enforcement Challenge, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.” The department earned first place out of 38 applicants. Winning efforts included submitting a traffic enforcement plan, outlining various traffic safety interventions and enforcement initiatives, which encompassed four areas: speed violations, impaired driving enforcement, distracted driving and vehicle occupant restraint education and enforcement.

The Traffic Guy Thinks …

… that the lane closure for northbound Ridge/Green Bay traffic during the Emerson/Green Bay sidewalk repairs should be set back about 40 feet. Right now, the lane closure, with no warning, is at the curve just before the traffic light there, where it can cause confusion and congestion and maybe worse. Alerting drivers to the lane closure, and putting it farther south (but north of Clark) might offer mitigation – or at least, fair warning.

… that it might be a good thing for the City to consider using metal plates instead of the red cement squares on curb cuts. The metal plates, which come in yellow, won’t wear down with snow blowers or crumble from the weather – things that are occurring with the red ones all over the City.

… that our parks are getting a great workout this summer, with the Starlight Concerts and now free movies.

… that school’s open now. Watch out for kids. They’re young, they’re vulnerable and they can seem heedless or thoughtless – but they’re our precious kids, so watch out for them. .

… that if there had been snacks served during the Economic Development Committee’s recent spat over closing TIF districts early, that would have been a TIF tiff tiffin.