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… that the City and Osman Construction Company will be replacing curb, gutters and public sidewalks on Chicago around Keeney. Drivers should watch for daily lane shifts and for flaggers and heavy equipment there between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. through Sept. 21.
… that the City’s Utilities Department will be upgrading its Automatic Meter Information (AMI) system by installing new Meter Interface Units (MIU) for all its 14,400 water accounts between now and next June as follows: South: Aug.-Nov.; Central: Oct.-Feb. and North: March-June. Most of the work, according to the City, can be done on the exteriors of buildings, where MIUs will be connected by wire to the appropriate water meter, replacing “the City’s current fixed-network radio transmitter. … All meter and MIU field installation work will be performed by one of two project subcontractors [of Water Resources, Inc. of Elgin]: Water Services Company of Elgin, Illinois or Mobix Corporation of Evanston.” There are about 1,500 accounts that will require interior work, that will be “scheduled by appointment.” Contact information to schedule appointments is as follows: Toll Free Appointment Scheduling Hotline Number: 1-800-355-7299; emails: firstname.lastname@example.org. Folks should remember not to let anyone in who does not have proper identification.
… that the last of the Shaw buildings – the original Research Park buildings – is being razed for the Carroll Properties apartment complex. The new buildings, with a fitness center and other amenities, will stretch along Emerson from Oak to Maple.
… that July was cooler and drier than might have been expected. State Climatologist Jim Angel reports that the statewide average temperature for July in Illinois was 73.3 degrees, 2 degrees below the 1981-2010 average. It currently ranks as the 19th coolest July on record, dating back to 1895; by comparison, during last year’s heat wave and drought, the average temperature in July was 81.8 degrees.
With statewide average precipitation at 2.74 inches, 1.31 inches below the 1981-2010 average, this was the 29th driest July on record. Nonetheless, the January-July period this year was 31.4 inches, 7.61 inches above the 1981-2010 average. Regrettably, for this area and for Lake Michigan, the rainfall was scattered, and the southern part of the state received more rainfall than the northern part.
… that Northwestern’s dismantling of the lakefront continues. … that, speaking of NU, the City reports that the University dropped from sixth to 19th place in Princeton Review rankings of “town-gown” relations. NU was 16th in 2010 and 15th two years before. Seems there are two questions involved, asked only to students: “How well do students at your college get along with members of the local community?” and “How do you rate the city or town where your school is located?” Wouldn’t it be interesting if they asked us regular old Evanstonians similar questions? The 14th-century St. Scholastica Day Riot in Oxford is an extreme example of town-gown animosity, the depths of which have never been plumbed here in Evanston. Oxford- UniversityHistory.org carries a description of the two-day battle that left about 62 scholars and 30 townsfolk dead.
… that, lacking anything else to offer, TG submits this bit of history, from the 1989 “Evanston: A Pictorial History” by Barbara Buchbinder-Green: The “Round House” was built in 1856 on the lakeshore near Cook Street (now Garrett Place) with lumber from the wrecked “Sally Morgan.” Students at Garrett Biblical Institute used it as a dorm for 10 years, and then it served as a wayside inn. “About 1870, John Pearsons moved the structure … although it was said that seven chains broke in the effort and several workmen were injured. An 1884 attempt to raze the Round House, which was about 30 feet in diameter) was unsuccessful: 500 men pulling on ropes and chains encircling the building could not budge it, nor could four teams of horses. When the building was finally demolished in 1899, it was discovered that underneath the clapboards was a heavy grout wall. In 1903 the Cudahy Building was built on the site of the Round House, once the home of Smithfield’s.” She ends the section by saying, “The building is now Bennigan’s Restaurant.” Old-time Evanstonians who know what restaurant occupied the former Bennigan’s site can contact the RT at email@example.com. Those who are right can come by the office and receive a RoundTable bumper-sticker.
… that there is a bit of relief for pedestrians in the RT neighborhood: The City installed one of those “Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk” signs at Crain and Dodge. Some of the neighbors worked really hard to get the City to pay attention to that crossing, where few if any drivers seem inclined to yield to pedestrians. One resident opined that is why they call
it “Dodge” Avenue.
… that ducklings in the lagoon at Dawes Park still enjoy the ramp, but probably not as much as the folks who see them and take photos of them.
From our readers:
TG: Sidewalks are meant to be for pedestrians. Cyclists are prohibited from riding on Central Street between Prairie and Hartrey avenues. But who would know? Lately, bicyclists use them for bike paths. They do not slow down when they meet a pedestrian, nor do they give any warning when coming from behind.
Texting while cycling ought to be against the law, as should riding on a busy Central Street sidewalk with one hand on the handlebar and a Starbucks coffee cup or a Foodstuffs shopping bag in the other. I see this happen on my daily walk.
I would like to see more signage prohibiting bicycling on sidewalks. It needs
to be at the bicyclist’s eye level, not high on a streetlight, where it isn’t even visible. Better yet, how about someone to patrol the area? – Ruth Shaw
From TG: TG agrees that bicycling on sidewalks can be dangerous for pedestrians and for cyclists. As to enforcement, perhaps that is best taken up with your alderman and then the police.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that folks who trash up the lakefront ought to pay some sort of fee to the rest of Evanston – a view-blocking or ugliness tax, perhaps. Of course, if the City gets into levying ugliness taxes, who would be safe, since ugliness, like beauty, will be in the eye of the “you-know-who.”
… that, even though autumn’s approach cannot be lightly dismissed, there are still some wisps of summer: starlight movies on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, farmers’ markets on Wednesdays at Ridgeville Park District and downtown on Saturdays, the annual CommUNITY Picnic at Ingraham Park on Aug. 25 and that delightful gem, Shakespeare in the Park, behind the Civic Center.