Stuck truck under the Main Street Metra tracks.             Photo courtesy of Ian Hurd

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… that the EPD has received some IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) grants to “conduct a series of traffic enforcement campaigns” this year. Through May 28, police will be especially on the lookout for speeders, impaired drivers and those not using seat belts (drivers, adult passengers and children all). IDOT reports that since 2004, when the major seatbelt legislation was passed, 90 percent of drivers are now wearing seatbelts in Illinois.

… that an advertising company spent part of May 10 at Robert Crown Center on Main Street filming a short piece about Little League baseball. The film will be used in-house only for motivational purposes for the sales force of one of its clients, representatives of Abelson Taylor, the advertising company, said.

… that a few days later another film crew was in town to shoot part of an episode of “Boss,” a show on Starz. Crews were around the Music Institute of Chicago for most of last Monday.

… that some of our hydrants will be painted by Alpha Paintworks of Chicago.

… that the City has contracted with Chicagoland Paving of Lake Zurich for the Church Street Improvement project and the Dodge/Lake streetscape. Readers doubtless remember that the Dodge/Lake proposal is for a porous concrete sidewalk, rain gardens and a wall. The Church streetscape will include a bike shelter, sidewalk furniture, pedestrian lighting and some new trees.

… that an 18-wheeler was stuck under the Metra viaduct on Main Street and Custer Avenue a few weeks ago. Apparently no one was injured, but the eastbound lane of Main was closed until the truck was extracted. 

… that ComEd installed “six distribution automation devices … that will allow the utility to automatically detect issues on the system and re-route power around the problem, often with no noticeable interruption in service.” Six more are slated for the next quarter, as is one automatic fuse device, which is supposed to “minimize the number of outages caused by trees, wildlife, lightning and other weather-related outages.”

TG:  For whom the Jeep beeps:   In order to maintain my Curmudgeon-in-Training status, I feel I need to report this incident. 

  It is street sweeping day on my block, and I noticed that my neighbor’s car was on the wrong side of the street. Farther down the street was a Cahill Plumbing van. A few minutes later, I heard the honk of a horn. I looked out the window and saw that a parking enforcement Jeep was honking to notify the plumbing van that they were in danger of getting a ticket. A resident ran out of his house and he knew where the plumber was working and found him. The parking enforcement Jeep waited until the van had been moved, and then the Jeep moved on. Then I noticed that the Jeep had gone past my neighbor’s house and that she had gotten a ticket – without the Jeep having warned her first, the way he had warned the Cahill plumbing van. 

  Why the preferential treatment? This was very frustrating for me to see, because every time I’ve gotten a ticket in front of my house, I was working from home, and could have moved my car within seconds, if I had been warned that way. Should I paint my car to look like a work van? 

  If the City’s objective is to get the streets clean, honking the horn is more immediately effective than ticketing. Singling out the residents for tickets and letting businesses get off without tickets doesn’t seem right to me. 

       –  Michael Moran

From TG: What a regrettable incident you describe. Perhaps it would behoove the City to figure out its policy (which, TG hopes, is keeping the streets clean, as you suggest) then be candid about it to the public. If it’s just a game of “Gotcha!” Evanstonians should be informed. If not, then the City should educate the street-sweeper-drivers that residents should be given a chance.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that graduation season is upon us. Folks planning to drive on Central Street for the next few weekends might want to consider alternate routes, as again this year several high schools will hold their graduation ceremonies in NU’s Welsh-Ryan arena.

… that someone had a grin about this: May is Older Americans Month and National Preservation Month.