Photo by Shawn Jones

… that participants and spectators alike appeared to enjoy the parade. Here’s a pic of some politicians getting ready to ride: Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Governor Patrick Quinn and Alderman Ann Rainey.

… that, through Aug. 8, crews will be replacing deteriorated sidewalk slabs along some school walk routes and constructing sidewalk curb extensions to improve visibility, calm traffic and reduce crossing distances as part of the Safe Routes to School project. The schools whose walk routes will be upgraded are Dawes, Chute, Oakton, Washington, Dewey, Nichols, Lincolnwood, Willard, Orrington, Lincoln, Haven and Kingsley. The crews will install sidewalk curb extensions at the northeast corner of Dodge and Kirk, the northeast corner of Oakton and Barton, the southwest corner of Main and Florence, the northeast corner of Lincoln and Prairie and the east side of Wesley at Grove. Folks should watch out for temporary daytime “No Parking” signs. Those with underground sprinkler systems should flag them. The contractor is A. Lamp of Schaumburg, and Ciorba Group, a consulting engineering firm, will oversee the construction. Questions and concerns may be directed to resident engineer Jessie Singer at 630-770-4971. Questions about the Safe Routes to School improvement project in general should be directed to Rajeev Dahal, the City’s senior project manager, at 311.

… that grilling season is in full swing. The City’s BBQ Grill Ordinance (308.3.1.1: Open-flame cooking grills) states  in part, “The use of barbecues will be allowed on balconies or at ground level, provided the following regulations are complied with: …  (b) Read the owner’s manual for safety guidelines.” TG guesses there are a few scofflaws among this season’s grillers.
 
… that the folks at the consumer finance website nerdwallet.com have come up with “true costs” of speeding tickets. Nine of the 10 “most expensive [for speeding tickets] cities,” they found, are in Cook County.  They add the cost of a ticket to the likely increase in insurance costs over five years for a driver who gets a speeding ticket. They use the five-year period “because that’s how long insurance hikes in Illinois last.” An Evanston driver who gets a speeding ticket will in time shell out $577.40, but that’s not as much as the $588.75 for a resident of Vernon Hills with a speeding ticket – or the $1,000 for a resident of Harvey. Here is the place to get the full scoop: http://nerdwallet.com.

… that “Wasting Our Waters,” a new report by Environment Illinois Research & Education Center states that industrial facilities dumped 6.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Illinois’s waterways in 2012, making Illinois’s waterways the 13th worst in the nation. The report coincides with an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Illinois and across the nation. In the Great Lakes watershed, polluters dumped 8.39 million pounds of toxic chemicals into our waterways, according to the report. The public comment period on the clean water rule began the day before Earth Day and remains open.

From our readers: TG: The Traffic  Guy is wrong in his comment about bike bans on McCormick and Green Bay. Shortsighted survey suggestions notwithstanding, the only street with a bike ban is Ridge south of Emerson. – Andrew Madsen
     
TG: TG opines that “there is an increasing number of what TG would term “guerilla” bikers on streets, such as McCormick and Green Bay, where bicycles are prohibited.” TG should check his facts better. The City code prohibits bicycles on only one section of road within Evanston: Ridge Avenue between Howard Street and Emerson Street (sec. 10-1-9-6, refers to table XV(B) under section 10-11-15).
Bicycles are permitted on the entire length of Green Bay and McCormick within the city limits. – Don Piven

From TG: Thank you for the letters, Mr. Madsen and Mr. Piven. TG notes that on the website of the First Ward alderman there is this information under “Bicycle Safety Reminders”: “Bicycle riding is, however, prohibited on the following streets:
• The Central Business District designated as D1, D2 and D3 districts in the Evanston zoning ordinance or in any other district where signs prohibiting sidewalk riding are posted.
• Sheridan Road, between Chicago Avenue and Isabella Street
• Green Bay Road, north from Emerson Street to the Evanston city limits
• Ridge Avenue, between Howard and Emerson streets
• Main Street, between Chicago and Ashland avenues.”
Noting the apparent conflict, TG sought the advice of the City’s Corporation Counsel, who, thus far, has ignored the request for clarification.

The Traffic Guy thinks…
     
… that Evanston has a bit of work to do to keep up with New York. Earlier this month, New York City councilmen considered a bill that would allow cars to park on a street once it has been swept. Why not here? Residents can always tell if the street-sweeper has come and gone by either seeing the street-sweeper depart or looking for the streaks of water and debris in the middle of the street. Or folks in a car with a bullhorn could announce that parking is once again allowed, just as they announce that cars have to be moved lest they be towed.
A second law – this is in New York State, not city – would allow municipalities to prohibit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. With the hundreds of gas leaks here in Evanston, perhaps Council ought to get cracking and ban fracking, even on a back-yard basis.

… Come on down to Evanston this summer, where the music is free and the parking is expensive.

… that ribbon-cutting ceremonies have ballooned over the past two or three years, with celebrations marking grand openings, re-openings and “We’re still here’s.”