You “can” take it with you … this house is moving from Wilmette to Evanston.Photo by Mary Mumbrue

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… that for the next few days there will be one-lane only in each direction on Main at Dewey while crews cut open the street, install new water and sewer lines, then patch it back up. Drivers and pedestrians should be alert for parking restrictions and for flaggers pointing the way.

… that O’Hara Construction, Inc. of Skokie will get a $157,451 contract for renovating the interior of Fire Station #2, 702 Madison. The proposed renovations, according to the City, include replacing the kitchen flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops, cooking range and ceiling tiles, installing energy-efficient lighting, refurbishing the existing hood and painting the walls.

… that the City will purchase 224 trees from the Suburban Tree Consortium, have City crews plant 124 of them and outsource the planting of the other 100. The cost,  $53,683.76, will be covered by the Parks/Forestry Division budget and the “Replant Express” program which allows residents who pay the cost of the tree-plus delivery to jump ahead in the planting list.
 
… that some members of the Public Works staff evaluated 17 of the Union Pacific (UP) railroad viaducts here, omitting those on Mulford and Howard, for structural and aesthetic deficiencies. The UP owns the viaducts, the track, the platforms and the commuter stations and apparently is reluctant to do any work to improve appearances of the viaducts. The staff report says in part, “Generally, the UP makes efforts to repair crumbling walls along the stations and embankments on a case-by-case basis. However, in terms of comprehensive bridge work and cosmetic upgrades, the UP will not make repairs such as painting or replacing viaducts, unless the substructure is compromised or severely deficient.”
TG suggests that the deplorable state of these viaducts is not news to Evanstonians and wonders if “severely deficient” is in the eye of the beholder or the owners.
Here is the staff assessment of the UP viaducts: The paint is “OK” at Livingston and Green Bay, at Central and Green Bay and at Main and Custer. Repainting is “needed” on the viaducts at Lincoln and Green Bay, at Noyes and Green Bay, at Simpson and Green Bay, at Emerson and Green Bay, at Church and Maple, at Davis and Maple, at Grove and Elmwood, at Lake and Sherman, at Washington and Custer, at Madison and Custer, and at South/Callan and Chicago. Repainting is “required” on the viaducts and Greenwood and Sherman, Dempster and Sherman and Greenleaf and Sherman.  

… that the City will hold a “Pedal Bright” bike-light giveaway and installation from 4:40 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St., and at the Weber Arch at Northwestern University, Chicago at Sheridan. Teams of volunteers will install 400 free bicycle lights, distribute City bike maps, and provide a quick tutorial on the rules of the road for bicyclists. The lights will help increase the visibility of bikes as the daylight wanes. Illinois law requires that every bicycle when in use at nighttime be equipped with a front lamp capable of emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet, and a red reflector on the rear visible from 100 to 600 feet. Kudos to the sponsors: the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, the Evanston Bike Club, Wheel & Sprocket, Downtown Evanston, Active Transportation Alliance, Roycemore School and The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices.

… that SPAARC, the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee, has a new name, Design and Project Review (DAPR).

… that another fast-food restaurant, Doc Popcorn,  is coming to downtown, 1613 Sherman Ave.

… that Step By Step Learning Academy, a child day-care center,  is coming to 1909-1911 Howard St.

… that Teuber Veterinary Services LLC, an animal hospital, is coming to 1815 Central St.

… that NU has begun renovating Rocky Miller Park, its baseball field at Ashland and Isabella. The University plans to install artificial turf this fall. NU has also applied for a building permit for spring construction of buildings for a team clubhouse and concessions as well as renovations to the press box. Alderman Jane Grover also reports that lights will be coming to the field: “Architects for the University will also submit photometric plans for the field lights which will show the light ‘spray’ to the field for public review and the athletics department will submit proposals for when the lights would be used.  In addition, the City is working with the University to explore the installation of a new sidewalk on the Evanston side of Isabella along the north side of the ballpark and football practice field.”  

… that the time to pay the wheel tax is looming. Residents can begin to pay starting on Oct. 27, and the deadline is Dec. 15. Since residents no longer have to purchase stickers – they just pay the tax – the City will use license-plate recognition (LPR) technology to check vehicles for compliance. LPR stores the license plates of all vehicles registered to an Evanston address; scofflaws may get parking tickets. Residents can pay online or at the Levy Senior Center, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, Evanston-based currency exchanges and the Morton Civic Center’s revenue office.
The cost for a regular passenger car vehicle sticker is $75; the late-payment penalty is 50 percent of the fee, making the cost for a late-registered  passenger vehicle, for example, $113.

… that, according to information from Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois, September was 1.5 degrees cooler than average and 0.88 inches wetter than average for Illinois. Statewide, the average s temperature was 64.4 degrees and the average precipitation was 4.12 inches. The statewide average temperature for January–September was 52.3 degrees, 3.3 degrees below average and the sixth coolest January-September on record. The statewide average precipitation for January-September was 32.91 inches, 2.5 inches above average and the 31st wettest January-September
on record.

… that the City is inviting community residents to an open house/public meeting to discuss the Emerson/Ridge/Green Bay intersection improvement project and improvements to the Green Bay corridor, between Emerson and McCormick. This will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1818 Maple Ave. The City says folks can expect a presentation on concept alternatives for improvements at the intersection, a presentation on the concept alternative for improvements to the Green Bay corridor and an opportunity for community members to provide feedback on the projects. Project information and updates will be available at emersonridge.com.

…that the historic John S. Van Bergen house, 1318 Isabella, Wilmette was moved in 3 pieces to the parking lot of the former Dominicks grocery store on Green Bay Road in Evanston. The 87 year old house will remain there for a few weeks when it will be moved to a lot in Northwest Evanston.

From our readers: TG: I shop at the Main Street Marketplace mall on Main Street, just east of the canal, which has Sam’s Club and Food 4 Less, etc. The exit lane for cars turning left out of the mall at the light onto Main St. has a terrible bump where the lane meets the street. It causes all the cars leaving to slow down to a crawl due to the extent of the uneven pavement, and even at a crawl there is a violent lurch. It has been in this condition for years. Do you know of any plans to repair this nuisance?

From TG: This letter first appeared in the RoundTable’s online Community Forum. TG understands that the bump has been smoothed over and the traffic flow is much more efficient now.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that folks should remember to set their clocks back an hour soon: Fall Back Day is Nov. 2 (2 a.m.)

… that, or, hopes, rather, that everyone has a safe and fun Halloween.
And with Fall Back day come winter parking regulations. Watch out, folks.

… that Evanston gardener John Schroeder writes that he and his son, Michael, “got a lot of odd looks as we loaded our big pumpkins into the car” from their plot in the community gardens on McCormick. The larger pumpkin weighs 143 pounds, and the smaller, 79 pounds.