Storm water at Lake and Dodge will be managed in part through rain gardens and a porous concrete sidewalk. Rain gardens will also be part of the streetscape at Church and Orrington, where the plaza will have LED pedestrian lighting. Renderings from the City of Evanston

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… that residents can sign up for text or email messages about when their streets will be swept. Text or e-mail notifications will be sent to subscribers one to two days before the actual street sweeping day. Those who wish to sign up should first determine their street-sweeping district. This has to be done from a map on the City’s website ( With that information, a resident can sign up for the alert by going to, then enter the mobile number or email and the district. Rickey Voss, parking and revenue manager for the City, said this system will “give residents ample warning to move their cars in order to avoid a parking citation.” Mr. Voss and TG remind residents always to check posted parking signs before parking anywhere in Evanston. 

… that work on the Sienna development project requires that the right-turn lane from Ridge onto Clark be closed for at least the remainder of the year. This building, which will complete the original Sienna project, will be eight stories tall with 175 rental units and 200 underground parking stalls. Since some trees will be removed because of the construction, Focus Development, which is handling the project, will plant four new trees near the north end of the project, two near the south end of the Ridge side of the project and one on the east side of the building. Farther south, on Chicago Avenue, construction on the AMLI project continues.

… that the State of Illinois plans to pave Crawford between Golf and Central this summer. According to information from the City, the project will cover only the grinding and replacing of the asphalt. The City has determined that six drainage structures are in need of repair or replacement, as well. City crews will also make those infrastructure improvements, since they should coincide with (or precede) the repaving project.

… that the City will soon purchase six dump trucks and 12 other vehicles for the City’s fleet and will lease seven hogs (Harley Davidson motorcycles) for the police department.

… that the surveillance cameras in the Levy Center will be replaced soon. City staff say they think the 10-year old system malfunctioned because of a lightning strike.

… that the low bidder for the Green Bay Road landscape maintenance contract, Christy Webber and Company, will maintain both the native plantings and the more formal ones along the embankment between Isabella and Foster. The company will also clean up litter and debris on a weekly basis.

… that the City will get $45,000 to plant deciduous trees in some parts of the parkway as part of the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) tree replacement project. Taxpayers pay for it all, of course, with 80 percent coming from the feds (as a pass-through to the state) and 20 percent from here – already accounted for in the forestry budget. ITEP is willing to fund up to 80 percent of a qualifying project that involves pedestrians or bicycles. 

… that the City will apply for two more ITEP grants. One of these projects is to renovate the Ladd Arboretum multi-use trail. About 80 percent of the three-year, $750,000 cost will come from ITEP; the rest from capital funds in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The trails in the arboretum are more than 50 years old, so it does not seem that this project is hasty. Bad weather can sometimes make parts of the path unusable, so kids walking to and from Haven and Kingsley have a tough time and sometimes walk on McCormick – a dangerous alternative.

… that both Davis and Church will get protected bike lanes – another ITEP funding request (the Davis one). The Davis lane would run from Judson to Dodge and from Pitner to the North Shore Channel. (The protected lane on Church will be one-way eastbound from Darrow to Chicago; it may be extended even to Sheridan.)

…that the streetscape proposed for Lake and Dodge and for Church and Orrington look absolutely fantastic. The proposal for Dodge and Lake, at an ETHS corner, is green: a porous concrete sidewalk, rain gardens and the reuse of brick pavers for a wall. The construction will likely be bid this month and the work take place during summer break. 

… that, speaking of street-scapes, the ones proposed for Church will include a bike shelter, sidewalk furniture and pedestrian lighting. From Benson to the alley east of Ridge, brick pavers and tree grates will be replaced as well. Folks will remember that the City is slowly replacing those downtown bricks, many of which are uneven and menacing, with brick-bordered concrete slabs. Wouldn’t it be great if the proprietors/owners could put their handprints in or on the new concrete blocks in front of their businesses? Or maybe – like the concrete poetry in front of the library – haikus describing their businesses or their corner of Evanston. Construction on this project will likely be performed in late summer and early fall.

… that the City has hired Krivanek and Breaux to create a sculpture for the Sherman Avenue garage. This one seems to be set of images and words on the Benson Avenue lobby, elevator and elevator-bay windows, with a light shining down to illuminate them. As always, a pic is worth a thousand words. (See page 5.)

 … that, continuing a downtown narrative, Nona and Squawker, the pair of peregrine falcons that have been nesting at the library for the last few years, have returned. So far, four eggs have been spotted in the nest.

… that (this may not be news) March was hot. State climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey reports that the warmest temperature reported in the state was 87 degrees on March 21 at O’Hare. The coldest temperature reported was in Monmouth on March 5 with 5 degrees. The Jan.-March period, Dr. Angel reports, was “another record-breaker; it was the warmest of that period on record since 1895.” Statewide, the average temperature in that period was about 41 degree, 9 degrees above normal. What was below normal was precipitation. Statewide, it was “2.11 inches, 1.1 inches below normal or 66 percent of normal.” 

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that it would be great if someone would reconfigure the top of the Sherman Avenue garage to have a restaurant up there. It’s got some of the best views in town.