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… that a contractor attempting to lay a fiber optics line to the Rotary Center ruptured a gas line, necessitating the evacuation of the Rotary building and several surrounding buildings and storefronts and the closing of Grove from Chicago to the CTA tracks. Fire and Life Safety Services Deputy Chief Tom Janetske said utility workers hit a gas main on Grove Street near the intersection of Sherman Avenue. No one was injured, and emergency personnel and various utility crews were on the scene to measure air quality levels and repair the leak.

… that again this year, the City will offer free parking after-hours (5 p.m. – midnight) on weekdays  and all day Saturdays  from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. The free zones will be in the three downtown self-parks (Maple, Sherman and Church/Clark) and the 1234 Chicago lot. The City will foot the bill for the parking in hopes that folks will do their holiday shopping and partying in Evanston. Projected revenue losses total about $45,000. Now, let’s all cooperate and see if we can get even more in sales tax and other revenues.

… that a second solar (photo-voltaic) canopy and electric-vehicle charging station will be in the surface parking lot in the 1700 block of Chicago Avenue. The first one, readers will recall, is to be at Central Street and Stewart Avenue. The charging station will accommodate two plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). A third one will be placed either at the Main/Hinman or the Chicago/Howard lot, at the option of I-Go.

… that the City is getting about $675,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant money and will add about $317,000 of City capital funds to pay for the Sheridan Road signal modernization project, from Chicago Avenue to Central Street. NU will kick in the princely sum of $130,033 for the controversial stop light to be installed on Sheridan south of Garrett Place in anticipation of a below-ground parking lot it plans to build on campus nearby.

… that parking in the 2500 block of Hurd Avenue will soon be restricted to residents only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. except Sundays.  In the same vein (or lane) there may also soon be limited parking (“residents only”) on the south side of Lincoln between Orrington and Sherman avenues. 

… that the sign in TG’s last column was washed out in some copies of the paper. Here it is again (above), slightly changed.

From our readers: TG: Loved the sign in your last column. Here’s my contribution: With all the beloved institutions and programs constantly at risk here and all the people trying to Save the Libraries, Save Chandler, Save Civic Center and such, why not have this one? It’s simple, to the point and all inclusive. – MLSC

From TG: Point well made. 

The Traffic Guy Thinks …

… that the three new viaducts for the Purple Line – coming within the next several months to Grove, Dempster and Greenleaf – will be welcome additions to our transportation system, not only from the crucial aspect of safety but also from an aesthetic point of view. We’ll get new or rehabbed retaining walls and new sidewalks and landscaping in those areas. Some of the retaining walls and viaducts are more than 100 years old, CTA officials said, so it’s time. Of course, in the meantime, there’ll be some congestion, detours, noise, dust and temporary loss of some sidewalk and street areas, but TG predicts that once the work is complete and things are opened up again, some folks will miss the enclaves of privacy the construction created. Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne said Evanstonians like to have a party when we get new viaducts. TG sees three great ones in the offing. Can we have them on the spans themselves before they’re hoisted onto the rail lines?

… that Oct. 2 turned out to be a perfect day for Bike the Ridge. Here is how Alex and Ryan of Bucephalus Bikes turned up to enjoy the morning. Hope you noticed Ryan on the front page.

… that if the City really wants to implement a new moving-van fee, it should be decided on an in/out scale – one low fee for those moving into town and one at least double that for anyone packing up to leave.