… that Jerry lives on, as seen on this Jeep wheel cover: looking grateful but – dare one say? – could use a little more than a “touch of grey.”

… that business keeps on growin’ here. Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles may open soon at 2424 Dempster St. – at the edge of Harbert Park, almost to the canal.

… that among the newer sidewalk cafés there will be the one at The Alcove, 512 Main St.

… that the Lake Street parking prohibition on the south side of Lake between Maple and Oak will be lifted for a few hours (4-8 p.m.) on Saturdays for folks who go to mass at St. Mary’s (1012 Lake) to park nearby. Sunday is still OK for parking.

… that a crane graces Ridge Avenue just north of Church, as Focus Development continues its completion of the Sienna  project.

… that the City has contracted with KLF Trucking to haul away and dispose of construction debris for two City departments: Utilities and Public Works. The contract, which extends from next month through a year from December with an optional one-year extension, covers hauling mixed-dirt-and-construction spoils, broken concrete, broken asphalt, uncontaminated soil and mixed dirt and asphalt grindings from alleys.

… that, as many drivers, cyclists and walkers can attest, the City will begin this month one of the major repairs of the summer: the Church Street project, with the protected bike path and rain garden. Readers will remember that Church between Ridge and Chicago (and part of the east side of Orrington south of Church) will get new sidewalks (concrete slabs with brick pavers on the perimeter as in front of the library), tree grates and frames. The reconfiguring of Orrington Plaza will include porous as well as regular concrete and a rain garden to catch and use storm water runoff. The protected bike lane will be built along the south curb lane of Church between Ashland and Chicago. The City says that during this 11-week construction project (Aug. 1– mid-October), one lane of Church will always remain open.

… that G.A. Johnson & Son, the company repairing the parking deck at the Service Center (2020 Asbury), has received an extension until Sept. 10 to complete the job.  Delays were out of the contractor’s control, according to the City. Part of the base work included the removal of a heating system that had been decommissioned in 1999. The heating system had a piping system, and the piping system had to be drained. Draining the piping system involved chemical testing and MWRD approval, because the fluid was going to end up in the sewer system. But wait – there’s more: The boiler, it was discovered, had some ACM (asbestos-containing materials), and there was a lot of unexpected concrete work involved, as sub-layers of concrete were found to be “deteriorating and crumbling,” according to the City. Each time a sub-slab had to be repaired, the contractor had to stop the other activities, “expose and isolate the additional repairs, shore areas in danger of collapse,” then do the repairs. Voila: A month of delay and additional repairs. And the Service Center parking deck is going to be cleaner and safer. 

… that speaking of construction, the City plans to hire L. Marshall Inc. to replace the roof on the police/fire headquarters at Lake and Elmwood. Here’s what the City has to say about that roof: “The Police/Fire Headquarters roof is divided into 10 sections. Over the past 14 years, all sections except the southwest roof – roof area 9 – have been replaced. Roof Area 9 currently has a ballasted roof system which is actively leaking at multiple locations.” The roof is leaking in a couple of places, and the leak in roof area 2 has soaked the insulation and potentially deteriorated the concrete deck.

Looks like with this project, too, the City is catching up on repairs before the damage catches up to unsuspecting personnel.

… that Alex Clifford, Metra’s CEO, visited Evanston last month during one of Metra’s open houses. At the open house folks were asked to vote on their priorities for Metra. The options included leadership, stewardship, speed, equipment upgrades, pricing and the like. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, met with Mr. Clifford to stress the need for greater infrastructure investment here. Anyone who has lived here for even a few months can’t help noticing the deplorable condition of most of Metra’s and CTA’s viaducts (notwithstanding that the City now has five new CTA viaducts). Here’s what the City had to say about the visit, the open house and the viaducts: “There has been concern in the community for several years by riders, residents, business owners and elected officials alike about the condition of the Metra viaducts. These viaducts are located in residential and commercial areas of the city and many are concerned about safety and the visual impact they have on the community’s business districts in that they are not visually inviting, do not enhance the appearance of the surrounding areas and visually separate neighborhoods. Additionally, elected officials are interested in exploring the possibility of removing a second set of now-defunct tracks that parallel the Metra tracks that were part of the old North Shore Electric Line.” The online survey is still available until Aug. 9 at metra.com or cityofevanston.org/metra.

From our readers:

TG: Not sure if this exactly qualifies, but the lights at Chicago and Main are very annoying, because the cars on Main who want to turn left do not have a left-turn arrow like the ones on Chicago do. So what happens is that someone in the center lane on Main decides to turn left and forgets to put his turn signal on and sits there, or the car who wants to turn left does turn his signal on but the person behind just sits there and so do all the others behind him, and so it goes. It’s chaos. Why can’t we have dedicated left-turn lanes on Main, just like the cars on Chicago?

By the way, I completely agree that the left-turn signal from northbound Green Bay to westbound Emerson is completely useless. The traffic engineers who designed that didn’t earn their money and wasted [that of] the taxpayers. They should be condemned to try that left-turn themselves several times a day.

                       – Sylvie Romanowski

From TG: Thank you for the nomination to the Most Annoying Intersection. Read on.

TG: I nominate the traffic signal at Main and Hinman. Since the cross side streets on Main east of Hinman have only four-way stop signs and Hinman is also a side street, it also should have four-way stop signs and allow the City of Evanston to save the expense and upkeep of this
traffic signal.
                  – Dan Joseph

From TG: Thank you, too, Mr. Joseph.

The Traffic Guy thinks:

… Hope everyone enjoyed the Ethnic Arts Fair and the Food Truck Fest. Don’t forget the next one: the Lakeshore Arts Festival. It’s the last of the summer festivals, but the Starlight Concerts continue.