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The City of Evanston’s Streets & Sanitation Division has implemented a new process to better maintain the city’s alleyways.

Each year, starting in April, the city’s 316 gravel alleys are periodically “graded,” or smoothed out, by City of Evanston Streets & Sanitation staff to eliminate high and low areas created by vehicles, weather and other factors. This process improves travel, eliminates puddles, and helps reduce flooding.

New this year, Streets & Sanitation crews have been grading alleys according to a set schedule, similar to the City’s process for street sweeping, rather than by 3-1-1 request. This systematic approach was created to ensure that each alley is graded three times per season, resulting in a more efficient and effective maintenance program and better-maintained alleys citywide.

Results so far this season have been reasonably successful, as all alleys have been graded at least twice. On August 31, City crews began the last round of scheduled alley grading, which will end in mid-October. Spot grading on highly traveled alleys will continue on an “as needed basis” until the ground freezes.

To find out when an alley is next scheduled to be graded, community members are encouraged to contact the City’s 311 Service Center by calling or texting 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston. The 2015 alley maintenance schedule for fall is also posted online at cityofevanston.org/public-works. Note: alleys in zone 9 on the map are paved and are not graded.