Getting ready for Evanston Day at Ryan Field. Residents are encouraged to support NU football at the Sept. 29 game.

… that City Council is contemplating an ordinance about riding bicycles in alleys. It’s O.K for folks to do it, but at their own risk. The ordinance would clarify that alleys are not intended for bicycle use so the City doesn’t have to maintain them the way it has to maintain streets. According to the City, there are 41.5 miles of paved alleys and 28.25 miles of unpaved alleys here.

… that, speaking of bikes, the protected bike lane on Church is now even more protected. Plastic posts have been added. Apparently the lane is so popular that a group of runners (the TG informant suspects the ETHS cross-country team) uses it too.

… that the City continues to upgrade the water facility, bringing the equipment, some of it decades old, into the 21st century. Three years Malcolm Pirnie prepared a water and sewer cost of service rate and fee study; among the recommendations was to put a capital plan into action.  in 2009. According to the City, “Based on their engineering experience of water plants the same age as the Evanston treatment facility, they recommended and included a $3 million cost estimate for concrete structure repairs in the capital improvement program.” The City would like to have separate inspections “to verify the need and to obtain a more accurate cost estimate for these potential concrete repairs, inspections of various concrete structures.” A couple of years ago there was an “inspection and evaluation of concrete in the 1913 filters and clearwells,” which recommended repairs of “$970,000 in 2010 dollars.” This inspection/evaluation would cover the concrete structures at the Water Treatment Facility including the Finished Water Reservoir (1934, with a storage capacity of 5 million gallons) and Settling Basins 1 and 2 (1948).

… that Mary Lou Smith is retiring from Top of the Tracks (aka the pulse of Evanston), the coffee shop in the Central Street Metra Station. Three Evanston women will take over the place, and its new name is SEG Café. Let’s hope Metra will clean up the stairs and stairwells there, something it has seemed loath to do for a few years.

… that a brew pub is coming to the former Illinois Department of Employment Security space – even more formerly the Oak Avenue Market – on Oak between Church and Davis. It will be the Smylie Bros. Restaurant and Brewery.

From our readers: TG: Regarding the question about turning left on red when northbound on Sherman at Davis, such a left on red (after stop) is allowed only when turning from a one-way to a one-way street. Your reader was not on a one-way street, but merely on one side of a divided Sherman Avenue. The northbound one-way begins north of the Davis intersection where Orrington begins. No new signs or signals are required, just a full read and understanding of the stop light exception. – Driver

From TG: Your clarification is most welcome. Sherman Avenue becomes Orrington north of Davis; at that traffic light (northbound at Davis/Sherman) drivers are on Sherman Avenue, which is there divided by a small island.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that Paint Evanston Purple kicks off tonight with a pep rally. Again, the City is going all out for NU with Evanston Day at Ryan Field on Saturday. Fountain Square is bubbling purple – but it’s water, not grape soda.

… that Bike the Ridge is coming on Sept. 30. Ridge Avenue between Howard and Church will be closed to motorized traffic, and folks on bikes can enjoy the ride between 9 a.m. and about 1 p.m. The ride will be safer for those who wear helmets (mandatory for those under 18 years of age).

… Happy fall, everyone.