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… that the corner of Green Bay and Emerson was christened “Hecky Powell Way” on Nov 9, in recognition of Mr. Powell’s accomplishments. The honorary street segment is in front of his eponymous barbecue and take-out. Apparently something jammed during the unveiling. Luckily, HPW is just steps away from a fire station, so a fire truck was called over. Mr. Powell himself climbed the ladder to do the unveiling.
… that the City will hire three separate towing companies for its winter snow-towing exercises, December through March: Emergency Road Services on Dodge, North Shore Towing on Oakton and Monarca Towing on Dobson will have trucks on retainer with the City. The cost of this outsourced towing is not to exceed $60,000, according to the City.
As has been said in this column before, parkers must heed the signs, not the road conditions, if it appears a snow plow has already been through. Residents must not park in prohibited areas for the entire duration of the snow ban. So, even if a street looks plowed and treated by 2 p.m., another plow could be on the way to take a second pass.
The City has two types of snow crises. One is a ban on parking on snow routes (main arterial streets after 2 inches of snow); the other is a snow emergency (after 4 inches of snow, getting all vehicles off the streets, with the alternate-side parking). The City says it will plow snow routes during the night and residential streets during the day. And that is where residents have to be alert to signs, sirens and other indications of a parking restriction. Here’s what the City says: “As a part of this snow removal plan, cars that do not follow the [snow] parking regulations … are towed in an effort to remove snow from the City’s streets. … Once the streets are cleared the cars are returned to the original location and are assessed a towing fee.”
Here, (drumroll, please) are the fines: Snow route parking ban ticket, $55; snow emergencies fines, $150 if the vehicle is towed and returned, $55 if the vehicle is not moved.
And here is an easy way to learn about parking bans: text the word “snow” to the City’s non-emergency information number: 847-448-4311 and the response will be forthcoming. Community members are can receive text alerts automatically by texting “COE SNOW” to 468311 or by signing up online at cityofevanston.org/snow. The City’s Snow Awareness Week began Monday and ends tomorrow (Nov. 17-21).
In last year’s snow season, Dec. 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014, there were three snow emergencies and the City issued 1,202 citations. The City said the “potential revenue” was $180,300, and the contractor costs were $124,500.
… that, here is some good news for parkers: Again this year the City will offer free parking in the three downtown garages weekdays between 5 p.m. and midnight and all day Saturday between Nov. 27 and Jan. 3. This is one great incentive to keep tax dollars in Evanston. The soon-to-be-somewhat-free garages are the Maple Avenue garage, the Sherman Plaza garage, the one at Church/Clark/Chicago, and the one at 1234 Chicago Ave. The “lost” parking revenue for the free parking is estimated at about $45,000. Any sales tax revenue garnered by holiday shoppers and patrons will of course offset that projected loss.
… that, here is more news for parkers: The City plans to impose parking limitations – two hours only between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. – on the east side of Ewing from Harrison north to the restricted 30-minute space just off Central, except Sundays and national holidays. Seems the City surveyed the area last May and found the average occupancy rate in that area was 65%, with occupancy as high as 91% at one peak time. The City said of the 28 license plates recorded in the survey, “60% of the vehicles were registered out of the area, 21% were other Evanston residents, 11% were Harrison Street residents and 8% had no record on file to identify ownership.” So, residents had a poor chance of finding a place.
… that the converse will take place in the 800 and 900 block of Noyes, where the residents-only parking restriction will be lifted but the two-hour max retained. City staff conducted a five-day survey in July and found that the average occupancy rate was 67%, with a peak of 86%. Only three vehicles had a residential parking permit for that area and of those, only one was registered to the 800 block of Noyes.
… that O’Hara Construction, Inc., of Skokie will get the contract for rehabbing the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center Fitness Center and installing the new ceiling on the ground floor of the Morton Civic Center – all for just under $20,000.
… that the City continues its regulation on collection boxes around town. Seems the City “determined that unsightly collection boxes located on public or private property are a public nuisance, and that by regulating the placement of the boxes the City would be better able to provide proper maintenance of public streets and sidewalks and safe rights of way.” Now folks pay $75 per box, and TG assumes, payment of fees trumps “unsightliness” and “public nuisance” status. There are now 11 Clothes for Charity, six GAIA, three Helping Hands, and two USAgain “licensed collection boxes.” The others will either become licensed or be removed by the City.
From our readers:
TG: Traffic Guy says the City’s wording of a liquor license summary (“This license will permit Company to retail … liquor in original packaging only for consumption off the premises until midnight.”) is “inartful.” I think the summarizer was just following the RoundTable’s style book, the one where it says “Letters of 350 words or fewer and announcements of 200 words or fewer must be received eight days before publication.”
Fortunately I am writing you more than eight days before publication, else I would have to stretch this comment beyond 350 words. – Chuck Metalitz
From TG: Thanks, Mr. Metalitz.
TG will pass your comment along to the RT grammar police. Presumably they will amend the wording to ensure that short letters can be received closer to publication. Or perhaps you’d like to join them?
TG: The bike lanes on Dodge in the Dawes/Levy block are erased in significant areas. Any plans for repair? Also, a commercial billboard has been on top of 800 Hinman for six months, maybe even a year. Is this a Wynne Variance? We have lots more space atop 515 Main than that building does. Any limits on content? Viagra? Target? Blu? Beer? Ours could be lighted with current technology.
Finally, have you ever considered offering an axle-buster location list in each issue? That could save some of us from heavy damages and also reveal how long the City takes to act. Thanks for considering. – Joy Hebert
From TG: What a lot of interesting questions, Ms. Hebert. TG notes that City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz responded to you, saying, “The markings will be replaced when the protected bike lane is installed in 2015. In the mean-time we will place temporary tape on the roadway to replace the missing markings. It will take us a couple of weeks to get this done due to leaf season.”
Now, as for the axle-busters, TG welcomes submissions of that sort from readers.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the City should keep the ADA ramps to streets in good repair. These, for the most part, are not in front of anyone’s homes, so they should be wholly the City’s responsibility.
… or, rather, hopes, that everyone is enjoying the latest RT magazine, “Evanston Is … In the Details.” TG, having seen some of the proofs of the magazine, has noticed that, around the Ecology Center, along McCormick there are fish cast into almost every storm sewer drain – one fish on those on the south side and two fish on those north. Did Dr. Seuss ever live here?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May the tree-lighting be magical and the shopping, dining and entertainment experiences around town delight one and all.