EPD wins 2012 Award for “Best Dressed” Public Safety officers. Photo by Ozzie Ramsey

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… that TG omitted one of the new viaducts last time, noting only the Grove and Greenleaf ones. The Dempster viaduct is sleeping on east Sherman Avenue north of Demspter.

… that street repairs began this week and will continue through June. Work will include curb, sidewalk and driveway-apron replacements where needed and new curb-to-curb asphalt surfaces. Watch for and heed “No Parking” and other monitory signs. The City says “evening and nighttime parking (5 p.m. to 7 a.m.) will always be available. Street sweeping and/or neighborhood parking restrictions will be waived for a one-block radius around the construction zone when temporary daytime ‘no parking’ is in effect.”

The street segments will be repaired in this sequence: Madison from Ridge to Custer, Hinman from Greenleaf to Dempster, Greenwood from Maple to Sherman Place, Grove from Chicago to Judson, Dodge from Emerson to Simpson, Foster from Dodge to Dewey, Ewing from Grant to Colfax, Sheridan Place from Sheridan Road to Sheridan Road (this is not a misprint – go look) and Highland from Thayer to Isabella.

… that Chase Bank is still pursuing zoning changes in northwest Evanton, and some neighbors continue their opposition. Their concerns are about traffic safety at this already busy intersection (Gross Point, Crawford and Central), about the character of the residential neighborhood there and about compliance with the Central Street master plan, which prohibits new drive-throughs there. Chase hopes that the City will rezone a residential property to commercial, the neighbors say, and will lift the ban on drive-throughs. Chase would have a branch bank, two drive-though teller lanes and a 24/7 drive-through ATM. Not that TG has a horse in this race, but, Go, Neighbors!

… that this week the City is ramping up its enforcement of bicycle rules in the downtown area. No bikes on the sidewalk means that, according to the Evanston Police Department. Of course, this should not be news – there are signs posted in several spots downtown. The EPD began the week with “education” – signs and warnings or something like that, but now there will be fines: a minimum of $15 and a maximum of $500 if there are previous violations or a court date is involved. The rules of the sidewalk, as far as bicyclists are concerned are to use an audible signal, watch for pedestrians and have control of the bicycle at all times, said Commander Aretha Hartley of the EPD.

… that, beginning Monday, Pace Route 250, from the Davis Street transportation center to the Des Plaines Metra station via Dempster and then south to O’Hare, will convert from its present “fixed-stop” service to “posted stop only” service. Pace says this change is part of its program to “improve on-time performance and identify more clearly the locations where buses will stop.” In other words, riders will have to wait by a Pace sign and not be able to flag down a bus.

.. that state climatologist Jim Angel, Ph.D., reports that, statewide (as in Evanston), April was a bit cooler than March – but by less than 1 degree. The average March temperature was 55, compared to 54.1 in April, but still 2.4 degrees above normal. March was 13.8 degrees above normal – a beautiful but ecologically scary month (TG thinks). The last time April was cooler than March, Dr. Angel reports, was in 1907. In April the highest temperature reported was 92 degrees at Kaskaskia on April 2 and at Jacksonville and Pana on April 3. The coldest temperature was 23 degrees at Jerseyville on April 17. The statewide average precipitation was 3.32 inches, about 0.5 inches below normal. The highest monthly rainfall total reported in Illinois for April was near Belleville with 8.64 inches.

From our readers: TG: I’m confused by the statement above that the Walgreens at Southpoint Plaza will expand and take over the “former video rental store.” Video Adventure is still in business and there is no indication that  the store will close. I’ve checked minutes of the Evanston aldermanic meetings and subcommittee meetings, I’ve googled information about it, and I can find nothing. Where did that news come from?

Thanks, Rosemary

From TG: Thank you for your letter. TG was premature. An RT staff member who spoke with someone at the video store said the store will be open until the new Walgreen store is built, which could be soon or could be as late as February of next year. As of now, there are no plans to relocate. TG and likely others will regret its closing. As with everything, though, things could change.

TG (by message): I am almost six years old, and I think that if people want to avoid rush-hour traffic they should stay at work until rush hour is over. Just so
you know. … Isabelle

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the Evanston Police Department was deservedly honored with the 2012 Best Dressed Award for Public Safety for a police department with fewer than than 200 sworn officers. The award was presented by the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The photo above represents various divisions and units within the department.