A maze of City carts in the old recycling center.RoundTable photo

… that through next Thursday there will be a temporary traffic control plan on Ridge between South and Oakton. During work hours – 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – northbound Ridge will have one lane of traffic there. Drivers are cautioned to look out for workers.

…that AT&T will restore the street surface on Davis between Sherman and Elmwood, with crews working from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27-May 1. Although there will be temporary lane closures on Davis, westbound traffic will be maintained. The parking meters 820, 828 and 830 Davis will be hooded. As always, caution is urged.

… that, relatively speaking, the April 9 storm was pretty easy on Evanston. Less than two inches of rain – 1.72 inches recorded at the water plant – fell on the City, causing street flooding in 45 spots, and three flooded basements – two from water backups and one from overland flooding. There were only two calls about major tree damage, one at Wesley and Crain; the other at Grant and Grey.

… that last week the Evanston Police Department cracked down on distracted drivers as part of the nationwide U Drive, U Text, U Pay campaign. “Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving. It creates the proverbial ‘perfect storm’ for a crash, and no one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that,” said Evanston Police Traffic Bureau Sergeant Tracy Williams.

… that the Design and Project Review Committee has recommended non-conforming signs for Whole Foods Green Bay at Isabella but opposed non-conforming ones for Panino’s in Evanston (Dempster-Dodge) Plaza. Whole Foods Green Bay, 2748 Green Bay Road, revised its proposals so that the height of the signs on the north and south sides are mounted at 13 feet, rather than the 15.5 feet requested. The sign on the south wall will be back-lit and both signs will be turned off when the store is closed. The committee would like the Whole Foods folks to return after the store has been open for nine months, for an evaluation of whether the lights needed to be further dimmed. Panino’s did not fare so well in its bid for a wall sign, which are permitted only of façades facing a public thoroughfare, and Panino’s wanted its wall sign to face west, to attract patrons traveling eastbound. Panino’s will replace its two signs, changing the wording to “Pizzeria” from Café & Bar.”

… that CDM Smith of Chicago will rehab all the 1914 and one of the1924 clearwells at the water plant for about $77,000. The eight clearwells in the water plant were constructed between 1914 and 1964. The clearwells have to be repaired this year so they can be in service when the 1934 is taken out of service and replaced beginning in 2016.

… that Filotto Construction of Crest Hill will replace the roof of the animal shelter for about $21,000. The entire roof must be replaced because some of the asphalt shingles have deteriorated, some gutters leak and some downspouts have open seams.

… that Access Community Health Network will be putting an office at 1719-1723 Howard, with fewer parking spaces (19 instead of 23) than required. Access says those spaces will be adequate for staff parking, and there is adequate street parking nearby.

… that, in addition to the lid room in the former recycling center – pictured in last issue with a suggestion that the lids be turned into sleds – the main area of the 13,000-square-foot place is filled with unused garbage carts. About half the place is packed floor-to-ceiling with them. The City says it has plans to deploy them before the place is turned over to a developer.

… that, at street level, A. Lamp Concrete Contractors Inc. of Schaumburg will be resurfacing streets here again this year. The contract is for $1.4 million. The money will come from motor fuel tax fund – amounts remitted to municipalities from the sales tax on motor fuel collected locally. The selections of street segments to be repaired were, according to the City, “based on the streets’ condition ratings by the City’s pavement management consultant, aldermanic requests, citizen input and the Public Works Department field inspections.” The targeted areas are Davis from Fowler to Pitner; Elmwood from Crain to Dempster; Hartrey from Cleveland to Washington; the Otto Lane cul-de-sac to Highland; and Ridge from Garnett Place to Noyes and from Central to Isabella.

… that, speaking of streets, the City will purchase $50,000 of Unique Paving Material (Cold Patch or UPM) from Peter Baker & Son of Lake Bluff for “street maintenance activities.” The City says Public Works uses UPM “for the maintenance and repair of the road surface after water main breaks, potholes and general street repairs.” UPM is a “specific proprietary formulation of cold asphalt that can only be acquired at a limited amount from suppliers,” and its formulation “generally allows Operations and Maintenance employees to fill holes only once per season and has proven to last multiple years in many spots,” according to the City.

… that Carquest Auto Parts, located on Main Street, will get a $60,000 contract from the City for the purchase of general auto parts – and the City will receive a nice discount.

… that the City will purchase 294 trees and planting services for 150 trees from Suburban Tree Consortium for $81,000. The trees come from Beaver Creek Nursery, Inc. of Poplar Grove, Goodmark Nurseries, LLC of Wonder Lake and Possibility Place Nursery of Monee. Pugsley & Lahaie, Ltd. of Lake Zurich will do the outsourced planting.

… that Home Town Electric will upgrade and modernize the traffic signals along Dempster from Fowler to Ridge: Fowler, Hartrey, Shopping Plaza Drive, Dodge Asbury and Ridge. The $1.2 million cost will be shared 80/20 by the fed and the City.

… that the City will execute a right-of-way agreement with Unite Private Networks-Illinois, LLC (UPN) of Liberty Mo., for the construction of a dark fiber communications network in the public right-of-way to be leased by School District 65. The network will be a wide area network (WAN) service via fiber optic cable. UPN is to construct and maintain the fiber network in the City right of way and the district will lease the service from UPN. The scope of this project includes running both aerial and underground cables – about 58,000 feet of underground and aerial fiber-optic cable – to provide 10 GB Ethernet service for District 65. By law the City can impose a 1% fee of annual gross. For the seven years of the contract, the City will waive the annual $13,438.50 change in exchange for in-kind services.

… that earlier this month, Friends of the Chicago River installed an 80-foot post with an osprey nesting platform on it at the Skokie Lagoons to help local osprey thrive – the first of at least four planned by the Friends along the Chicago/Calumet river system. Executive Director Margaret Frisbie said, “One of Friends’ fundamental goals is to help restore wildlife habitat in and along the Chicago River.” This project is part of a larger habitat restoration project that, over the next three years, will include the construction and installation of six bat large colonies and 50 acres of turtle nesting ground restoration. The Skokie Lagoons site was chosen because male osprey have already been spotted there by Forest Preserve staff, according to the Friends. Osprey are listed as an Illinois state-endangered species, and while they are often seen during spring or fall migrations, few have remained in Illinois.

… that a convenience store and fast-food restaurant, Ad Val’s Sweet, will be coming to the 900 Chicago building. The convenience store will have vending machines, prepackaged food, coffee, an ATM and general convenience items. The restaurant will feature Indian and Pakistani bakery items such as pastries, cakes, and samosas baked at a wholesale location in Chicago and then reheated and sold at Ad Val’s.

From our readers:
TG: As a long-time Evanston resident, I thought this news might be of interest to The Traffic Guy. http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/04/los-angeles-just-solved-the-street-parking-sign/389853/. – Thomas Witt

From TG: It was very interesting, Mr. Witt. Thanks for sharing the story about how Culver City, near Los Angeles, has replaced its parking “poles” – some of which had signs stacked up as high as 15 feet – with a pretty simple and clear diagram of when to park, when not to park, and why.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that perhaps the City should rethink its infrastructure and redo its surface parking lots with permeable pavers. TG knows this would cost money, but perhaps all those businesses asking for zoning relief from the City – particularly for parking relief – could contribute to a permeable paver fund to help offset the cost. Maybe someone can come up with something similar for sidewalks. Many are in terrible shape, and if there were a way to get rainwater into the ground instead of the sewer …

Happy Earth Day (one day late), everyone. What if everyone in the community filled one trash bag full of park or parkway detritus as part of Saturday’s community-wide cleanup?