One of last year’s falcon chicks.RoundTable photo

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… that the peregrine falcons have nested at the library again – for the eighth consecutive year.  This pair appears to be the original pair, Nona and Squawker,  that keep returning. As of April 8 there were four eggs. The Library’s website, there are a falcon camera that views the nest, an Evanston Peregrine Falcon Watch for posting and sharing news and observations of these peregrines, and a Facebook fan page: EPL Falcons on Facebook.

… that, beginning last week and continuing through May 30, ComEd contractors will be performing excavation and installation of underground conduit for the future installation of underground electrical cable along Grove between Ridge and Elmwood. According to the City: “The electrical cable install is part of a project to upgrade the ComEd infrastructure and improve system reliability by minimizing the number of customer outages.” The work will be done in three stages, and no power outages are envisioned.

During phase 1 April 16-39 ComEd contractor trucks will entirely block off the westbound lane of Grove between Maple  and Oak Ave., as well as the east half of the McGaw YMCA parking lot, which is south of Grove. During this phase, there will be no parking along either side of Grove between Maple and Oak or on either side of Maple “approximately 100 feet north and south of Grove,” the City says. Work times are 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays. The second phase will take place May 14-16 and the third, May 19-30. The contacts for this ComEd project is Brandon Bauer, senior project manager, 847-980-5567 or the 24/7 emergency number, 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON-1). Contact for the City is Pelayo Enerio Jr. (Jhun), 847-448-4311.

… that the City has purchased 312 trees from the Suburban Tree Consortium and has contracted with the STC for planting 150 of them, for a total cost of $77,536.76. Part of the funds to cover the cost comes from the Parks & Forestry account. A second part comes from the “Replant Express” program, under which residents can pay $250 plus the cost of the tree and delivery to get their trees planted early – that is, earlier than the typical two-year wait. Twelve other trees are being planted through this program, according to the City.

… that the City has added another year to the contract with Arrow Road Construction (dba Healy Asphalt) of Mount Prospect. This is for the purchase of 500 tons of “modified hot-mix asphalt” and 300 tons of “modified hot-mix binder.” Healy has held to the 2013 prices, and the contract will allow the City a variance of plus or minus 30%.

… that, now that the Davis Street repairs have been completed, it’s time for street furniture. The City will purchase four “Melville Style” benches (just in time for the new production of “Moby Dick” at NU), 30 Emerson bike racks and 24 “Poe Style Litter Containers” (quoth the trash man ….) from Landscapeforms of Kalamazoo. TG is grateful that no bollards were on the list and is certain that others are grateful, too.

… that Chiaravalle Montessori School will use a portion of Currey Park – at Hinman very close to Dempster – for two mobile classrooms for about 10 months while the school at 425 Dempster St. is being renovated. According to the City, “Chiaravalle seeks to demolish the north part of the school facility and build an addition in its place.”

… that a “four-way stop control” is coming to Broadway and Jenks.

… that the City has two more honorary street names: “Hecky Powell Way” will be the section of Emerson between Asbury and Green Bay, and “Crown Family Way” will be the honorific for the section of Dodge between Main and Lee. One sign is typically installed at each end of the block-long honorary “way,” and a third one given to the honoree.

… that, mirable visu, the west (some call it “south”) lane of the Bridge Street bridge has been completed. Maybe when the whole thing is completed, folks can gather and sing their own rendition of “Feelin’ Groovy,” Simon and Garfunkle’s “59th Street Bridge Song.”

… that sidewalk improvements are coming to Central Street via a contract between the City and Infrastructure Engineering Inc. of Chicago. According to the City, streetscape and sidewalk improvements will be completed along Central from Hartrey to Green Bay, along Green Bay from Harrison to Isabella, along Prairie from Harrison to Central, along Harrison from Prairie to Green Bay and along Central from Green Bay to Eastwood. The company will also conduct “intersection evaluations” at Central/Green Bay, Central/Poplar /Broadway (long a challenge); and both legs of the Central/Prairie junctions. And it will conduct a “traffic impact study and analysis” for Central from Hartrey to Eastwood and for Green Bay from McCormick to Isabella. Among the improvements will be repairs of curbs and gutters, installation of ADA accessible ramps at the streets intersections, road-base repair, underground utilities repair, removal of old asphalt surface and installation of new asphalt pavement.

… that the City has selected the street segments slated for resurfacing with motor-fuel tax funds. These selections were based on the “street’s condition ratings by the City’s pavement management consultant, aldermanic requests, citizen input and the Public Works Department field inspection,” according to the City. Here are the street segments whose repairs were approved last fall: Colfax from Marcy to Central Park; Dartmouth Place from Orrington to Sheridan; Darrow from Foster to Simpson and from Mulford to Kirk; Dobson from Grey to Dodge; Florence from Kirk to the dead end north; Forest from South to Keeney; Fowler from Greenleaf to Dempster; Grant from Ewing to Bennett; Grey from Cleveland to Washington; Hamlin from Maple to Sherman; Hartrey from Grant to Lincoln; Sherman from Madison to Main; Simpson from Green Bay to Wesley; Wade from the dead-end west to Leland (that description might be superfluous, since there is only one block of Wade and Wesley from Greenleaf to Crain.

From our readers: TG: Let me add my two cents in the snarky vs. soft issue.
Snarky wins the day hands down. I, too, thought the column was becoming way
too soft with only infrequent tough criticism.
As far as I’m concerned, The Traffic Guy is routinely the most important, informative column in the paper. It certainly has exposed so much of the irrationality in Evanston’s operations, requesting clarification when needed and calling aldermen and others on some of their questionable actions and decisions.
It is way past time for our absorption with political correctness to be challenged and modified. It appears to me that instead of creating a kinder and gentler community, it has backfired and led to angry, frustrated folks. There is absolutely no need for hurtful comments, but instead, realistic approaches … that may be snarky … make those responsible for poor management, sit up and take responsibility for their actions and, hopefully, reflect on why they were elected.
Keep up the snark! – Kathryn B. Mark

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that underground cables for utilities seem like a good way to go. Particularly for ComEd it makes sense, because a goodly percent of power outages here are caused by animals or tree limbs on the wires.