After waiting patiently for a few weeks, this VRAD pad now has an occupant, relocated from Florence and Dempster.

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… that the Evanston Police Department won a first-place award for its traffic-safety and -enforcement initiatives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. This recognition rewards the best overall traffic safety programs in the United States. Evanston won in its award category of municipalities with 101-200 sworn officers out of a field of 38 applicants. This award is the second time that Evanston has been recognized as a national leader. In 1933, the National Safety Council awarded the Evanston Police Department with the national grand prize for traffic safety. This year’s first-place finish in the Law Enforcement Challenge earned them a chance to participate in a lottery for a new police-equipped 2012 Ford Expedition EL. Ten keys were randomly distributed to all ten nationwide winners, and EPD received key #10. Luck then smiled on E.P.D. when key number #10 started the Ford Expedition.

… that insinuating itself into the budget discussions is mention of raising parking rates once again – this time to $1 per hour. A few aldermen considered it a good thing for rates to be $1/hour throughout Evanston, but another few thought the downtown rate hike would be sufficient for their fiscal yearnings.

… that there were a few street closings last week as the crane overhauling The Mather project at Davis and Hinman took leave of Evanston. Between now and Nov. 30 or so, the alley at Davis and Hinman will be fully closed for demolition, underground utilities and repaving. There will be full curb-removal and -replacement on Davis (south side) and Hinman (east side); [sic]and new sidewalks will be installed, according to the City. The City also says, “During this period we anticipate Hinman and Davis to be publically available for use in the current configuration. The south westbound drive lane of Davis will remain closed for this work, and the Hinman parking lane will remain closed. … Once curbs and sidewalks are completed on Davis and Hinman, Davis will be ground and fully paved from Judson to Hinman, and an approximate 3-foot strip of pavement adjacent to the east curb on Hinman will be ground and repaved. Davis is repaved full-width from curb to curb, and will require closure during working hours for the grinding and paving operation [probably the week of Nov. 30].” The City also provided the following contractor and contact information: The contractor managing the temporary street closure and equipment mobilization is Power Construction Company of Schaumburg. The project is under the supervision of Power Construction for Mather LifeWays. Questions about the temporary street closure can be directed to Peter Stearney, superintendent: Power Construction Company, 847-214-6716; Michael Carney, director of development & construction, Mather LifeWays, 847-492-7436. Questions related to this work should be directed to Pelayo Enerio Jr. (Jhun), Division of Transportation, by dialing 311 or 847-448-4311.

… that the VRAD on Florence just south of Dempster that was located practically beneath a bedroom window has finally, after about three weeks of work, been transferred to an alley.

… that the Water Division (used to be Water Department) was at work replacing the water main that goes to the fire hydrant in front of 825 Church (Dixie Kitchen) last week. According to the City, this section of water main broke twice earlier this year, causing water service interruptions to complete emergency repairs.

 … that City crews played an unkind trick around Halloween by not completing the sidewalk replacements in some areas. This left tiny Trick-or-Treaters to jump over, fall into or otherwise negotiate several black holes in the sidewalk.

… that vandals, or maybe just rascals, in the Florence/Greenleaf area so trashed fresh sidewalk cement last week by deeply carving their names in the muck that it had to be re-poured. Here’s a note from the neighborhood chat: “A few weeks ago, 24 squares of new sidewalk were poured along Greenleaf near Florence, when the property owner participated in the 50/50 Sidewalk Program. In less than 30 minutes, 10 of those squares were defaced beyond repair. … This damage was not simply an instance of writing your name in wet cement to immortalize yourself. A branch was torn off of a nearby tree and deep gouges were made in the cement.”

… that, speaking of vandals, Metra overpasses and walls along Green Bay, particularly near Lincoln, seem to be a prime target these days. The sentiments expressed are not even vaguely cute or witty. The resident who sent the photo below  wrote, “The layers of white paint show the City’s response in recent months to at least three instances of anti-immigrant graffiti under the Metra tracks at Lincoln and Green Bay Road, just one block south of Central Street.” And it happened again. Folks there are some mean opinions being expressed up there along Green Bay and Lincoln. 

… that a caller to 311 with a question about public art was referred to the Collector’s Office.

From our readers:

TG: About that cartoon in the last RoundTable: It’s the old CTA cars that are comfortable – the new ones are not. — Mick Buckley

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that it will be great if work on the Purple Line overpass at Dempster is completed by Nov. 18, the target date so holiday shoppers will be able to enjoy the panoply of gifts and services offered there.  Kudos if so. Until then, Dempster between Sherman Place and Sherman Avenue will be closed to through traffic. The south sidewalk is open, and when it is closed, the City promises the other side will be open. One sidewalk will be kept open at all times for pedestrian traffic, they say. More info about this string of viaduct replacements is available at www.cityofevanston.org/purpleline.

… hope everybody remembered to fall back on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

… that once winter sets in, perhaps the vandals who like to deface property will just write their names and snarky sentiments in the snow and get it all out of their systems by springtime.