… that ComEd will install an above-ground switch box (they, like the traffic-signal boxes and VRADs are so aesthetically pleasing) and some underground connections at Fireman’s Park. This approximately 5-foot cube won’t cost the taxpayers any money (ComEd will get it out of our rates) and it is supposed to be designed and located (in the southeast corner of the park) so as not to affect the features of the park and to have the least impact on the users of Fireman’s Park.

… that the City will sell several of its used vehicles, many of which are already out of service and considered of “fair” or “poor” value, through a public auction, Obenauf Auction Services Live Auction in Lake County.  Here’s what the City is selling: six out-of-service sailboats, a water reel, a broadcast spreader and a field groomer ©; a self-propelled cart, a dump truck and a mini-van (poor condition and out of service); an in-service dump truck in poor condition; and an air compressor, a combination backhoe/loader and a solar-powered Arrowboard (all in “fair” condition, and the backhoe is still in service).  The City does this two or three times a year, another way of recycling, of course.

… that Edgemark Development, the firm that hopes to build a Chase Bank building and drive-through at 2628 Gross Point Road in the Hillside area (Central/Crawford and northward) has requested a continuance of the public hearing on the zoning amendments it has proposed for the area. Many residents in the area are opposed to the building and the zoning amendments, as the proposal is to switch some properties from residential to commercial. The new date is Feb. 8.

From our readers:

TG: Anyone notice the grammatical mistake on some of the City’s street signs, the ones that read: “Two Hour Parking 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Except Sun. and Hol’s.” The apostrophe and period both do the same thing, that is, indicate the word as a whole is “Holidays.” So using both is redundant.

– Les Jacobson

From TG: There is always a “gotcha” moment when these errors on the City’s signs are brought to TG’s (and consequently the public’s) attention. Perhaps the City will consider hiring a proofreader and copy editor next time they put up such permanent directions.

TG: I don’t even know that this needs to be published, but that’s not my call. I just thought, since this is the second time I’m having to remind people it’s not cool to poison children, it might help to have some of the heft of the fourth estate behind me [in calling attention to the City’s anti-idling ordinance]. I can’t believe this is an argument that needs to be made.

– Michael Moran

From TG: Mr. Moran, TG fears that such reminders may have to be continual. Keeping the vehicle’s motor running when the car is stationary may keep someone warm or entertained but it emits toxins into the air and, as you so clearly state, “poisons children.”

The Traffic Guy Thinks …

… that it may be time to look back. Here is TG’s retrospective: 2011, a Year in Traffic.

It’s almost the new year and so it is time

to revisit what happened, be it foolish or sublime.

The snowstorm in winter that kept us all in,

Shoveling and wondering still furnished a grin:

The RT tricked some with an early April Fool,

saying purchasing snow stickers would now be the rule.

As weather got better, then down by the lake,

the new paths appeared, which some think a mistake:

Their purpose – to separate walkers from riders,

but the smooth wide bike path left many undeciders:

Walkers, joggers and strollers should keep to the east

but the uses are conflated – just the nature of the beast.

Over on Chicago the CTA wall is getting a facelift – TG says,
  “Good call.”

New viaducts too for Greenleaf and Grove,

and Dempster as well, so what’s not to love?

For one thing, the pounding that shook many a shop;

for hours and days owners wished it would stop.

And further up north, xenophobic graffiti

was not welcomed there or elsewhere in this City.

The leaves-in-the-street controversy continuation?

Residents find bagging them up a frustration.

While mulching seems a solution for some,

mowing, mincing and raking can make one’s hands numb.

The parking divinities increased some rates and fines,

making most of us angry – these gods aren’t benign.

Another street puzzle that put tempers in gear

are the “Stop for pedestrians” signs that most find unclear.

The stop sign is prominent but drivers must check

for a pedestrian in the crosswalk sticking out his or her neck.

To the consternation of some, our crosswalks still use

those confounded signs that confuse not amuse.

But don’t blame the City – they’re creatures of state,

another chargeback, or unfunded mandate?

But were there not some good things in traffic this year?

A few little trafficy nuggets to cheer?

More bike lanes and racks to make Evanston attainable

for those working to make this planet sustainable.

Electric plug-ins at some City garages,

to attract Volts and Priuses and such entourages.

Lakefront enjoyment will be greater real soon

with the renamed and revamped Arrington Lakefront Lagoon.

So what is in store for two thousand and twelve?

What should be kept and what put on the shelves?

For next year, thinks TG, how ’bout a noise diet –

no honking or boom-boxes;

on the streets peace and quiet.

No texting while driving, no idle phone chattering;

this is not a full wish-list, just more of a smattering.

Such things one may contemplate on foot, bike or car.

Happy Holidays to all traveling on streets near and far.