… that Evanston will soon have a new street, albeit a private one: Dryden Place. This road is in the development at Ridge between Dempster and Asbury, around and including the Dryden mansion. The mansion was built in 1914 by architect George Washington Maher for George and Ellen Dryden. Mrs. Dryden was a niece of George Eastman. That’s a lot of Georges. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places. Dryden Place will provide access to the single-family homes that are there now – for postal deliveries and fire and police services. The access from public streets will be from Asbury just north of Dempster.

… that the City will renew its contract with SunGard Public Sector of Lake Mary for the Police Department’s CADS (Computer Aided Dispatch System) software. The year-long renewal for software and service will cost $75,000, a couple thousand dollars more than last year.

… that the City will purchase 500 tons of modified hot mix asphalt at a cost of $52/ton and 300 tons of modified hot mix binder at the cost of $44/ ton from Arrow Road Construction, dba Healy Asphalt of Mt. Prospect, for about $39,000.

… that, speaking of streets, or street stuff, the City will buy $50,000 worth of pavement-marking services from Superior Road Striping of Melrose Park, through the Suburban Purchasing Cooperative of the Northwest Municipal Conference. Readers can look for new markings on 152 crosswalks and stop bars adjacent to schools, 55 crosswalks and stop bars along safe routes to schools, and on various streets, (centerline and skip dash markings). City crews will refresh markings on speed humps and bike lanes on various streets.

… that the City will purchase two new vehicles, a Ford F-250 4X4 w/Tommy Gate and a Ford F-150 4X4 to replace a Dodge Ram 4×4 pick-up and a Ford F-250, both said to be in “very poor” condition. The cost of the new vehicles is $62,000.
According to the City, “The Ford F-250 will be powered by B-20 bio-diesel and the Ford F-150 will be fueled by 87 octane gasoline. Both engines are equipped with the latest available vehicle emission technologies in the market place at this point in time.”

… that Schroeder & Schroeder of Skokie will get a $357,000 contract for the
City’s sidewalk replacement project. The bid is an estimate, according to the City, because they do not know yet how many residents will participate this year in the 50/50 cost-shared replacement program. “Sidewalk sections damaged by tree roots in the parkway are replaced using City funds. This year’s program also includes replacement of sunken sidewalks to address icing and ponding issues as requested by several residents,” the City says.

… that the City will pay Duncan Solutions of Milwaukee and Passport Solutions $190,000 to cover the “fees associated with parking meter and pay-by-cell operations ”according to the City. Information from the City says the new parking meters come with a monthly fee of $7.25 for back-office support, which works out to be a monthly charge of $12,535, based on “the current inventory of 1,729 parking meters.” So that goes directly to Duncan. Passport Parking, the third-party vendor for Duncan Solutions, deals with pay-by-phone operations. That company charges a 35-cent transaction fee. The City estimates those charges at $3,200 per month based on approximately 9,142 transactions. Whew! Does the City make any money on the parking meters?

… that the City granted sidewalk café licenses to the following places: Freshii, 1596 Sherman; Tapas Barcelona, 1615 Chicago; Patisserie Coralie, 600 Davis; and Boltwood, 804 Davis.

… that the City will soon sell a few old vehicles at public auction though America’s Auto Auctions of Crestwood: a 1990 Pierce Arrow fire engine, a 1998 Chevy Blazer and two Ford F-350s.

… that Livablility.com named Evanston #10 in its list of “Top 10 Best Downtowns, 2015.” Livability.com, which gives the City high rankings in other categories, said Evanston “offers residents and visitors alike lively entertainment options and dynamic arts and cultural attractions… More than 25 galleries, museums, concert halls, and museums in downtown Evanston provide a rich cultural scene and attract a high percentage of those in the ‘creative class.’ Three public transportation options, including light rail, and ample, inexpensive parking make getting in and out of downtown easy.” Evanston squeezed in at #10, with Pittsburgh first, followed by Indianapolis and Minneapolis; Somerville, Mass. was #9.

… that, for this year and the ensuing three years, the City will absorb the parking-revenue losses to maintain the parklet at 810 Dempster, originated and managed by Hewn Bakery – about $400 each year for each of the two spots taken up by the parklet. Here’s a bit of background from the City: “A parklet is a structure constructed for a permanent or seasonal period of time that extends the public sidewalk/domain into one or multiple public parking spaces. Parklets throughout the country are designed to foster unique place-making in business districts and encourage the gathering of people in an area.”

… that ComEd crews are going to be in several places in the north part of the City through much of May and some of June. From May 7 through June 5, ComEd will be replacing cable in the area bordered by Lincoln, Emerson, Ridge and Sheridan. Work-times are scheduled 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On May 14, HBK Engineering will complete a manhole inspection in the alley east of Darrow and south of Emerson. This could take the whole day, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From our readers: TG: On 4/22/15 I parked at a metered space in front of the main library. I put a quarter in the meter, but the meter did not register 15 minutes.
I called Evanston 311, told my story, identified the meter, and the operator said a “tech” would be sent out to see what was wrong.
I asked, “Might I still get a parking ticket if I stayed in the space?” The answer was “yes,” a parking ticket could still be issued.
I expressed my dissatisfaction with the policy, telling the operator that I doubted that one would lie about a malfunctioning meter to “save” a quarter.
I then asked: If the tech confirmed that the meter was not working, first, would I get my quarter back? The answer was “no.” If not, then could I designate a charity to which my quarter could be given? The answer was “no…”
My story should make it clear to the casual reader that something is
amiss with the City’s response.
– H. Waller

From TG: Dear H. Waller: TG heard recently of a similar situation in which the caller received a different and more gracious response: The 311 operator asked for the license plate of the car as part of the documentation, asked for an email address to respond. The operator did tell the driver that a ticket could be issued but suggested that the verification of the call could be used as a defense. Clearly, there is a discrepancy that needs to be cleared up. TG hopes the earlier incident, rather than the Waller incident, describes City policy.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that kudos goes to those hardy Evanstonians who braved the raw weather on April 25 to clean up the City.
TG, on walks along the canal, has noticed a lot of trash thrown over the fence, such as this collection at the overlook at Harbert Park.