RoundTable photo

… that the City has winterized the Clark Street beach house and the dog-beach hose has been turned off for the coming winter season. The dog beach will be open until the end of the month.

… that Evanston residents with motorized vehicles have to pay their wheel tax by Dec. 16. The tax is the same old vehicle-sticker fee; the difference is that folks don’t get a vehicle sticker. Instead, the license plate number(s) will be put into a database accessible by PEOs (parking enforcement officers) and others in authority to determine at almost a glance whether the tax has been paid on a vehicle. The glitch seems to be that Chicago police ticket cars without vehicle stickers for a presumed violation of a Chicago City ordinance. Let’s hope the City works it out with Chicago not to let Evanston wheel-tax-payers fall victim to that. Some applications have been mailed; those who don’t receive them can get one at a community center or the Civic Center or online at cityofevanston.org. Late registration penalties are steep, so pay up now.

… that street-sweeping season will be over next month and snow-parking regulations are kicking in. Here are suggestions from the City: “Don’t park on the snow routes at night. During a snow emergency, park on the proper side of residential streets between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Clear your sidewalks of snow and ice. Clear parking lots for which you are responsible, without pushing snow into adjacent streets, alleys or sidewalks.” There are a variety of ways to find out whether there is parking ban or snow emergency: signing  up for the City e-newsletter or for text-message alerts  through cityofevanston.org, following the City on Twitter or Facebook, calling the snow hotline (847-864-SNOW or 847-866-2917), checking Cable Channel 16 or the City’s homepage.

… that, now that the City is in budget season, it might be interesting to note that the City says these are the most common parking citations: expired meter ($10 fine), parking during street cleaning ($30 fine) and overstaying one’s time at a parking meter ($35 fine).

… that, speaking of parking meters, the City is updating its street parking equipment to become, as it says, “ more environmentally and user-friendly.” It’s testing out solar/battery-powered single-space parking meters and pay stations that accept both coin and credit cards, with the future alternative option of payment with the use of a cellphone. Residents can look at a map at cityofevanston.org to see the locations of these new trial mechanisms – 50 single-space meters and two upgraded pay-and-display stations. Until last Tuesday, folks could take a survey to let the City know which equipment they preferred, but the installations won’t be complete until next March.

… that, as many already know, CTA  track maintenance work continues on the Purple line between Milburn and Linden. CTA says the work will be done Sundays through Thursdays, nightly 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. next day; Saturdays and Sundays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also, trains will operate on a single track at the Central Street station, and there may be delays. Folks in the area can expect engine noise from diesel track maintenance equipment, beeping from backup alarms on track maintenance equipment, crunching rock, metal-on-metal hammering and lane closures and parking restrictions during weekend work. Questions may be directed to Ryan Mouw, CTA Government and Community Relations at 312-681-2751 or rmouw@transitchicago.com.

… that a commercial indoor recreation facility may be coming to west Central Street.

… that fall rowdiness by NU partiers has awakened and otherwise disturbed residents in the Noyes Street area. Seems aldermen, NU students and police, EPD folks and residents planned to talk about it last week. Maybe the coming winter months will mitigate the immediate problem and give everyone a few months’ breather to come to terms about this. Or maybe, now that the air is out of the balloon for the football season, things will quiet down.

From our readers:TG: Yesterday there was yet another serious auto accident at Ridge and Grove, in which a driver tried to speed across Ridge and got T-boned by a car on Ridge. By my count, this happens at least once a month and involves injury, damage, and stopped or slowed traffic up and down Ridge. Here are my questions: Why hasn’t the City or State (because it’s a state road) put up traffic lights at that intersection? There are lights a block north and a block south on Ridge, so this shouldn’t impede traffic. I’d also like to know whether this is the most dangerous intersection in Evanston, and if not, which one is, and how the traffic accidents at Ridge/Grove compare to it. – John Cleave

From TG: TG agrees that the Grove/Ridge is a scary intersection and prefers to use Lake, Davis or Greenleaf for that reason. Also, TG has forwarded your question to the traffic mavens at the City. For pedestrians, TG hears the most dangerous intersection is Chicago/Main.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the Davis Street repairs are more than 70 percent complete. Perhaps things will be back in order by the time of the holiday tree lighting in a couple of weeks. And now that the proposed tower is back in the City’s focus, perhaps in a few years everyone can look forward to another siege of construction  in the downtown area.

… that, since Jennifer Pritzker is buying property on the  City’s west side – one on Church by the high school – maybe she’ll take a look at Evanston Plaza for
her rehab aspirations and skills.