… that these sweet, beautiful shells have been found in the RT neighborhood.RoundTable photo

… that the CTA’s pilot program testing the feasibility of evening round-trips on the Purple Line is scheduled to run through July 10. A southbound train from Linden will leave Davis at 8:05 p.m. and Howard at 8:12 p.m. Loop stops will be Clark/Lake at 8:48 p.m.; Adams/Wabash at 8:54 p.m.; Washington/Wells at 9 p.m. then back to Howard at 9:37 p.m. and Davis at 9:44 p.m. The City says it expects “468 daily weekday customers round-trip” on this train.

… that Vogue Fabrics, 718 Main St., recently celebrated 70 Years in Evanston.

… that the Police Department has a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician on staff. This is a wonderful resource for the community; families can make sure their children’s car seats are installed safely. EPD urges “all parents and caregivers to have your car seat checked by a certified technician” and says last year the department inspected or installed, or both, 346 car seats.

… that the City will pay $31,000 to Total Parking Solutions of Downers Grove to “cover the fees associated with 21 parking meter terminals.” Seems these new “parking meter terminals” (“pay stations” in the vernacular) cost the City the following amounts: $1,500 annual support; $780 per unit for back-office support, web-office CMS monitoring; and $720 per unit for maintenance, which includes parts, labor and quarterly preventive maintenance and cleaning.

… that the City will continue its agreement with GSG Material Testing of Chicago for its services in, yes, material testing for street resurfacing, alley paving, signal projects, curb and sidewalk projects, CCDD material disposal and testing and City park projects. Specifics include field quality-control services, Portland cement concrete testing, hot mix asphalt testing, earthwork and foundation system testing and inspection, masonry testing, structural steel field inspection, environmental testing /monitoring, soil testing and laboratory testing as required. This year’s cost will be $136,000.

… that CCDS of Morton Grove will get the $193,000 contract to replace the greenhouse/classroom at the Ecology Center. The Evanston Environmental Association is chipping in $43,000 for naming rights to the classroom. The greenhouse will be removed and there will be only a classroom, but a bigger one.

… that a couple more sidewalk cafés will be coming soon: Bangers & Lace on Grove and Wine Goddess on Main.

… that the City has extended for three years its license to Comcast for the building and fence just north and east of the Levy Center. Under the new agreement the charge to Comcast will be $1,597.05/month the first year, with annual increases totaling $60,000 over the three years of the contract.

… that the City will resurface five street segments: Forest from Kedzie to Main; Foster from Ridge to Maple; Seward from Barton to Custer; Kedzie from Sheridan to the cul-de-sac; and Sherman from Crain to Dempster.

… that the Transportation and Parking Committee has recommended that the City make the following areas “residents-only” parking: 1800 Ridge (added to the existing district); the former Kendall College area (expanding the district to keep out NU students and others); Greenwood to Lake along Dodge (extending the district already there); and overnight residents-only in the area around St. Francis Hospital: “Custer Avenue to Ridge Avenue from the CTA right of way to Mulford Street to and including Mulford Street, Case Street and Elmwood Avenue north of Case Street to the rear entrance of Saint Francis Hospital.”

… that members of the Design and Project Review Committee got a look at the design for new headquarters for Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) at 1911 Church. Architects Doug Snider and Thomas Ahleman said the new 12,000-square-foot building, almost across the street from ETHS, will have meeting spaces, program spaces, a kitchen and a maker’s room on the first floor and offices on the second floor. The building will meet parking and accessibility requirements, and Y.O.U. is in the process of raising funds for the building.

… that the Evanston Art Center would like to install a wall sign on the east side of its new quarters at 1717 Central, a 21,000-square-foot 1955-era building. They would like to have the sign mounted 17 feet above the canopy. Although City Council has ultimate authority, the committee recommendation was that the sign be allowed, even though it is a little higher than permitted, and that the lights behind the sign be turned off at 10 p.m. The building is in the growing East of the Tracks business area.

… that Bank of America on Greenwood plans to increase the lighting on the building and in the parking lot. They will use LED lighting, which, by state statute, has to be on from dusk till dawn if it’s for safety.

… that, speaking of Greenwood, farther west, at 1900-08, Andy Spatz plans to adapt the warehouse, built in the 1940s, for office space. The plans call for nine office spaces and eight new parking spaces, but that could change. The City would like to have the sidewalk on the south side of Greenwood extended to Dodge, which would limit or eliminate the parking.

… that Brue Coffee is coming to the Main/McCormick shopping plaza, taking over the former Starbuck’s site – since that Starbuck’s migrated to Dempster near Dodge. And speaking of Dempster/Dodge, Play It Again Sports will soon open in Evanston Plaza there.

… that the City hopes to begin construction at Baker Park in mid-August, renovating the playground, pavements, basketball court, baseball dugout and lighting. The fountain and the playground surface will be ADA-compliant. Sounds like it’s going to be very pretty and usable.

… that, speaking of park renovations, now that Chiaravalle Montessori School has completed its renovation and new construction, the City will renovate Currey Park. G.A. Johnson & Son, located on Foster Street, will get the contract for $278,000. The work will include reconstructing the two basketball half-courts, replacing the baseball backstop, installing concrete pathways and a drop-off lane on Hinman, and, of course, new sod and landscaping.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that it is one of life’s finer little ironies that Northwestern is helping out with a bird sanctuary along the new driveway that leads to the new parking lot/visitor center and the new boat house. NU, readers will recall, cut down the lovely trees at a quiet intersection there, just north of Clark Street Beach, to put in its new highway and new buildings, and the “help” comes in the form of repayment for the trees it cut down. Only one of the new buildings, TG hears, has bird-friendly glass. The other behemoths have windows against which birds can knock themselves out. Maybe they can recuperate in the bird sanctuary.

… that, as a stalwart Evanstonian has suggested, the City should rent the top floor of NU’s new parking garage/visitor center and operate a restaurant there, maybe called “The Lot.” NU should lease it to the City for $1/year, and then the City could in turn lease it to a fabulous restaurateur – there are already several wonderful chefs here – so Evanston could have dining on the lake.