Work has begun on the controversial eight-foot-wide asphalt path in the Ladd Arboretum.

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… that work has begun on the controversial asphalt path in the Ladd Arboretum, an eight-foot-wide asphalt path. Also, according to the City, “other necessary site restoration. The new path will provide year-round use and ADA Accessibility to the pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.” There will be a vegetation buffer on each side, possibly up to four feet in all.  
Readers may remember that there was quite a controversy over this path: To save about $75,000 the Council decided on asphalt rather than the crushed stone that City staff recommended and the Evanston Environmental Association said it could live with (having preferred an even more environmentally friendly surface). Having a year-round and accessible path through the Arboretum is of course vital to the community. Putting in an ugly path that will destroy the tranquility is absurd. TG hopes that the path, interrupted at times, nearer the canal, will be kept for passive enjoyment.  The project is expected to be completed by the end of October, and until then the Arboretum path will be closed.

… that tomorrow will be the last day of ComEd’s installation of a conduit underneath Sheridan at Noyes to allow future cable work in the area.

… that construction of the walkway at the Morton Civic Center is also scheduled to end tomorrow.

… that, on Central Street, however, between the two legs of Prairie, crews will be constructing vaulted sidewalks. Seventh Ward Alderman Jane Grover reports the scope of the work includes “constructing a retaining wall under the sidewalk, accommodating underground utilities, filling the old coal vaults, replacing the existing sidewalk with a new concrete sidewalk and a brick border, installing new roadway curbing, and constructing new tree pits with frames and grates. And … there will be considerable disruption and inconvenience until construction is completed in October.” Traffic will be one lane in each direction, and patrons of the shops there should be alert for “No Parking” signs, which will be posted 48 hours prior to the start of the work. Street-sweeping and neighborhood parking restrictions  will be waived for a one-block radius around the construction zone.

… that Radio Television Digital News Association reports that the free-flight, orbiting or hovering drones used by news media and news-gatherers may soon have another type of aerial companion, the tethered drone. Henry H. Perritt, Jr. reports. “Many in the news business, most notably including CNN and a major satellite news operator, also are interested in another type of drone, one tethered to the ground by a lightweight cable that not only holds it in place but also delivers electricity and collects high-definition video in real time.” A tethered drone can be kept in the air “for hours to cover breaking news such as a fire, a major vehicle accident, a natural disaster, or a police standoff.” This could be much more convenient, all other things being equal, than using a helicopter or a free-flying drone. Helicopters have to be refueled, and free-flying drones need to be recharged regularly. Also, tethered drones are “inherently safer,” Mr. Perritt reports.

… that Sept. 19 is PARK(ing) Day. According to ParkingDay.org, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event where artists, activists, and citizens independently (but simultaneously) turn metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks and other spaces for people to enjoy. PARK(ing) Day is a non-commercial project, intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play. TG looks forward to Evanstonians’ ingenuity for that day. One place to look is in front of the Rotary Building, 1560 Sherman Ave.  
Speaking of Sept. 19, it is probably no coincidence whatsoever that it is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Founders Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy (John Baur and Mark Summers most of the time) offer pirate talk from A to A (Ahoy!, Avast! Aye! And the multi-purpose Arr!), pirate advice and pirate happenings on their website, talklikeapirate.com. Their caveat: “Before we go any further, there’s something we need to be clear about. Pirates were and are bad people. Really reprehensible. … We aren’t for one minute suggesting that real, honest-to-God pirates were in any way, shape or form worth emulating. … What, you’re wondering is the point? … The point is, there is no point.” And those who also note that Punctuation Day is looming may benefit from knowing that those pirate words come with exclamation points.

… that a partial eclipse of the sun on Sept. 13 will be visible only from the southern part of Africa. A fortnight later, though, folks in North and South America will be able to see a total eclipse of the year’s closest supermoon, on the night of Sept. 27-28.

… that Delta Dental of Illinois, having analyzed expected income from the Tooth Fairy, projects, “If today’s 6-year-olds in Illinois invest all the money they receive from the Tooth Fairy, they could be sitting on a combined total of roughly $1.9 billion by the time they reach 67, the traditional retirement age.”

From our readers: TG: I think that some bicyclists should be cited for “Contempt of Pedestrian.” A little while ago, I walked to Jewel on Chicago Avenue from Greenleaf. I noticed the stencil on the sidewalk heading north telling bicyclists to walk their bikes on this block. A little while later a young lady behind me politely asked me to let her pass. I turned around and saw two young ladies riding their bikes on this sidewalk. I told them I would not let them pass on their bikes; rather, this sidewalk was posted and that they were supposed
to walk their bikes or ride in the street. They dismounted and soon went to the northbound side of the street to continue their trip legally. A few seconds later
a guy on a bicycle, also riding north in
the street, called out to “inform” me that unless there’s a sign banning bike riding
on a segment of sidewalk, it’s legal in Evanston. I shot back to him that I knew that, but that this block of sidewalk was posted against bicycling.
There are some places where it’s easier to ride on the sidewalk. … I figure pedestrians always have the right of way over bicyclists, even if they’re jerks. Funny how I’ve never had trouble with pedestrians here, with my rules.
As a bicyclist, I’ll ride in the street even if I’m not sure if a segment of sidewalk is posted, if it just is too busy with pedestrians at the time for safety. How much common sense does a bicyclist need, next to a street which is a legal option?
For a bicyclist to obey the law when a pedestrian tells him what it is and insists on compliance, but to do it with a hypocritical smile, is contempt. Given the many experiences I’ve had with scofflaw bicyclists, I don’t think there’s any hope of increasing compliance with the laws until they are issued many traffic citations for their violations. On that segment going by Jewel, you could just sit a cop in a sling chair one fine day to grab the bikes of the violators to give them tickets. – Jean Smiling Coyote

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that tomorrow is a solemn day, even these 14 years after the terrorist attack on our country. It seems that hatred and killing are on the upswing around the globe. TG is grateful that the light still shines here in Evanston.