… that, through June 6, Kenny Construction crews, under the supervision of the City’s Utilities Department, will be rehabilitating the combined sewer on Central Park between Park and Colfax. According to the City, “this work is part of a larger project to improve the reliability of the combined sewer system in several areas. The City was awarded a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to fund this $1.4 million project, which will allow the City to complete the project without raising sewer rates.” (Sic.) They will install cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner inside the existing sewer mains. Folks may remember the City’s admonition that styrene used in the project has an unpleasant odor but “it is not dangerous at the levels at which people can detect it.” Again TG asks, “Is it dangerous at undetectable levels?” Questions can be directed to Mark Steinbuck, Sewer Division Supervisor, at 847-448-8198.

… that the City will use ADT Security Systems (now Tyco Integrated Security) to monitor City facilities. There will be a five-year agreement at $13,860 per year.

… that TG has heard some grumbling about the two left-turn lanes on eastbound (some call it northbound) McCormick at Bridge. It is puzzling, because the first one is only yards before the second one, so the typical driver planning to make the left turn onto Bridge will get into the first l-t lane, which disappears shortly, and then glide into the second one.

… that the City has adopted an intergovernmental “Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Agreement” with other municipalities and public agencies in Illinois who are members of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System. In addition, the City has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) for emergency equipment assistance if needed by the City of Evanston. This means that the City will be able to avail itself of “emergency-event-and-disaster response assistance through the use of DHSEM emergency equipment when local resources are insufficient to meet the response needs of the City of Evanston.” Let us all hope against that eventuality. 

… that NU has completed one of its lakeside behemoths, the music/communications building. What an enhancement to Evanston’s lakefront. 

… that the City has renewed its easement agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, “which will allow the City to maintain and
repair an existing 48-inch-diameter storm sewer along Poplar Avenue.” (In fact, the City notes called it “Popular Avenue,” but TG believes that name would fit only during
the commuter rush.)

… that, speaking of Poplar, the parking meters for the commuter lot have been replaced.

… that the City will pave the alley north of Leonard and east of Wesley. The City pays half the cost, and the adjacent property owners pay the other half.
… that another fast-food restaurant is coming to town: YoFresh Yogurt Café, to 635 Chicago.
And City Council has eased up on its limitation of hours for the convenience store at 555 Howard, allowing it to remain open until 10 p.m. – two hours later than previously allowed.
… that, continuing its digital frenzy (in the wake of Tweet-alongs with the police, a Tweet town hall and Tweets from ward meetings), the City held an Instagram contest, asking folks to send selfies – or other pix – from the beaches.  Anyone who uses Instagram is invited to join the contest, which is already underway and ends June 25. Participants must follow the City of Evanston (@cityofevanston) on Instagram, tag the location of the beach in their photos and use the hashtag #EvanstonBeach. One finalist will be selected each week based on the creativity of their photo. There are prizes, and any entries can be used by the City on promotional materials, including social media pages, flyers and more, with credit to the photographer.

… that Lincoln Towing crept into Evanston late last month and tried to tow a car that was legally parked on Dobson Avenue, according to reports in other media. The owner tried to stop the tow and even sat on her car, but to no avail. It was only the arrival of the police that made them halt and call their dispatcher to learn that the car to be towed was of a different make and color and located down the street. According to Patch.com, the car owner “has filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Commerce Commission, the station reports. A lawyer for Lincoln Towing, the company in question, said it is looking into the matter.” City Council groupies may remember that a few years ago Lincoln Towing made a bid to become the City’s official towing company, but the contract went to North Shore Towing on Oakton. At one City meeting where the Lincoln Towing proposal was discussed, a few aldermen broke into the 1972 Steve Goodman song about Lincoln Towing, “Lincoln Park Pirates.”
 … Way, hey, tow them away,
The Lincoln Park Pirates are we,
From Wilmette to Gary, there’s nothin’ so hairy
And we always collect our fee!

From our readers:
Hello Traffic Guy –
I was taking my pet to the Bramer Animal Hospital last Monday (5/12) and noticed the impending construction of a bicycle parking area in front of the Animal Hospital in the 1000 block of Davis Street. A great idea, but a very poor location for this block. People are frequently carrying in sick animals (often big, sick animals) or bulky animal carrying cases here, and the opportunity to potentially park out front
is a huge help, and is slated to be reduced by several parking spots. A bike lot slightly to the west could also serve well for those customers arriving on two wheels to the
bike shop.
Is there any chance for the City to correct this poor planning before it gets installed? Thanks for your help.   – Cathy Garra
From TG: RT staff forwarded your letter to City Public Works Director
Suzette Robinson.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… … that the City needs a friendlier atmosphere, not just for visitors but for residents. Chicago has “We’re glad you’re here!” signs, and even though the gladness may stem from dollar signs in the eyes from parking tickets, sales tax and tourism – and the sentiment is cheesy – it’s kinder and gentler than what we have here.