The RoundTable’s Nora Fiffer, pictured with daughter, Rutsi, distributed reusable bags at the final Ridgeville Farmers’ Market of the season.RoundTable staff will distribute these fine bags at the Halloween Fest, 9-11 a.m. on Oct. 31 at the downtown Farmers’ Market.

… that a document outlining potential new street sweeping and snow parking signage was included in City Council’s packet for the Oct. 12 meeting. The concept is to address four issues: signage is difficult to read; signage does not clearly state the schedule; seasons shift and additional street sweeping is necessary later in the fall; and compliance with parking regulations is difficult in multi-family neighborhoods. (TG would add to the list, the City should not ban parking on all Tuesdays in a month if they only sweep on one Tuesday in the month.) The presentation provides some examples of new signage, and proposes to install the new improved signs for the coming winter and to expand the period of street sweeping from April 1 – Nov. 30 to March 1 – Dec. 15.

… that a temporary traffic control plan has been in place on Davis between Maple and Oak from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Oct. 23. During this time, two traffic lanes on Davis will be reduced to one lane. Wilmette’s Lucke Plumbing, Inc. has been installing water and sewer services to the new building at 1026 Davis St., which will house Taco Diablo, an updated, revitalized LuLu’s, and an outdoor rooftop dining terrace and beer garden. The beer garden may be the largest in the Chicago area.

… that City Council approved replacing the sidewalk at Central and Stewart for the second time in six months, this time with a new contractor. The City initially contracted for sections of the sidewalk to be replaced in April 2015, but when the original contractor completed the work, the sidewalk immediately began to deteriorate, according to City staff. The City withheld payment. The cost of the rework, $33,200, is to be split 50/50 with adjoining property owners.

… that the scope of the Civic Center Sustainable Parking Lot Reconstruction project has been expanded to do three things: 1) The City will install electric vehicle charging stations in the Civic Center lot to support three all-electric vehicles recently added to the City’s fleet; 2) Parking lot No. 27, located on Oak north of Davis, will be completely rehabilitated, and the City will install permeable pavement that will provide site drainage without installing a sewer system; and 3) as part of the parking lot No. 23 rehab, water service will be provided to a new restaurant being opened adjacent to the parking lot. The owner of the restaurant, Barn Investment LLC, will pick up about two-thirds of the cost to install the water service.

… that a 3-Way Stop is coming to the intersection of Dewey and Seward. Residents submitted a petition asking for the stop signs, expressing concerns regarding cut-through traffic and pedestrian safety. School children use the intersection on their way to and from Dawes and Chute schools.

… that City Council introduced an ordinance to borrow up to $1.1 million from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Water Pollution Control Loan Program for the construction of the Large Diameter Sewer Rehabilitation on the Mulford Street right-of-way extension west of Dodge.

… that the City’s Transportation and Parking Committee supported a proposal to work with a Northwestern University student to develop a standardized set of hand signals that bicyclists can use to let drivers of motor vehicles know what they plan to do next and promote safer use of the streets. The proposal is to test signage that would be placed on a road or an intersection that would display a cyclist’s hand signals and an indication of what the signals mean, e.g., right turn, left turn, slowing down. TG is interested to see the signals for “I’m going to blow through this stop sign,” and “I’m going to go in circles and then cut in front of a few cars and make a zig-zag left turn through a four-lane intersection.”

… that the 2013 Parking Meter Project has been expanded to include the purchase of 153 additional parking meters. Staff says the extra parking meters are necessary because a survey showed that the community favored parking meters over the parking pay boxes. The change order brings the total cost of the contract to $1,170,140.

… that, speaking of parking meters, it seems residents continue to be bewildered by the application of some parking rules – assuming they are rules. Here’s the latest:

TG: Last Thursday I got a $35 parking ticket for parking too long in a restricted area.  I had a morning OLLI class on Church and was parked on the west side of the 1700 block of Sheridan. After lunch I came back for my afternoon class and parked on the east side of the same block.  After my class I was quite surprised to find a ticket. I went immediately to the police station to get it rectified only to learn that I needed to go to City Hall. This is what I learned from the clerk at City Hall:
When there is restricted parking, that
is the maximum time you can be on that block during the posted period (9 a.m., 6 p.m.). It does not matter which side of the street you are on. And then things get more interesting. ..
If you are at a meter for the limit and need to move your car, you need to go to a completely different block.
And… If you are at a meter for 20 minutes in the morning (and the parking service vehicle registers you) and come back in the afternoon to the same block and are again registered, you are in violation and will receive a $35 ticket for exceeding the time limit. The same applies to a residential area with 2-hour parking.
Assuming this is the intent of the parking laws, it needs to be clearly stated on
the website and in street signage. It is one thing to know you are in violation of a restriction and another to get totally surprised. Without proper signage I expect visitors to our City could be surprised and may not return to the restaurants and shops. These rules are especially onerous on Central Street, as many drivers use the same block at various times of the day.
For the record, I have paid the ticket and know how to avoid this in the future.
– Fred Gleave

From TG: TG could not find any warning on the parking meters about the need to move a car to a new block if your time maxed out at your parking space. One section in the City’s Code, Sec. 10-5-4 (C), says, “No person shall park a vehicle in any such parking meter space for a consecutive period of time longer than that limited period of time for which parking is lawfully permitted in the parking meter zone in which such meter is located, irrespective of the number or amounts of the coins deposited in such meter.” Gulp. That section is about as clear as some of the street signage the City plans to replace. That section, though, seems to say drivers cannot park their cars in “such parking meter space for a consecutive period of time” longer than permitted, even if they feed the meter before the time was about to expire. It does not appear to prohibit a driver from moving his or her car to a different parking space on the same block, or from leaving the block and returning to the same parking space – which would then appear to be “a non-consecutive period of time.”
So, is there a law banning reparking a car on the same block? The RoundTable asked the City’s legal staff it there was such a law, and received no response.

… that Halloween finds its roots with the ancient Celts. About 2,500 years ago, the ancient Celts kept a close eye on the night skies to prevent the dead from causing starvation and other havoc, says Dayna Thompson, assistant director of the Charles W. Brown Planetarium at Ball State University. Across northern France through England and Ireland, the various tribes looked at the star cluster called the Pleiades. The last day of October marked the end of summer and harvest season, opening the door to a cold, dark winter and the return of the dead who could damage food stores.
“The Celts were the first to have what we now call Halloween,” Ms. Thompson says. “On Halloween, or Oct. 31, Celts would recognize this time with a festival called Samhai – meaning ‘summer’s end.’ When the Pleiades was directly overhead
at midnight, they knew it was time to celebrate Samhain.”

… From the ancient skies, back to earth. BBC Earth ( factual content brand, commissioned a study with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, that is estimating the amount that nature contributes to the global economy. Some of the findings are coral contributes $9.9 trillion to the global economy, bees provide $170 billion, and vultures $2.6 billion. Here’s how: Coral reefs offer vital protection from storms, support multi-million dollar tourism industries, capture and store vital carbon, and provide nurseries for important fish species. Bees are vital to crop pollination worldwide. Vultures clean and remove animal carcasses.

… that the Evanston Police Department was recently advised it will not receive funds from the Department of Justice to pay for body cams. That may delay outfitting Evanston’s finest with body cams, but the plan to do so is still in the works.  

… that National Lead Safety week is the last week in October. Health experts estimate that about 500,000 children, ages 1 to 5, have dangerously high levels of lead in their bodies, and that 40 million homes in America still contain lead paint. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, nervous system, kidney, hearing or other damage. This is serious stuff.

… that the CTA says it will start replacing damaged tracks for the Yellow Line this week and run test trains on Oct. 26. Service should be back on Oct. 30.

The Traffic Guy thinks…
… that the City should check if its practice of giving parking tickets is con-sistent with City Code, and if so, give parkers better warning.

… that the Cubs had a great run this season. With the paper going to press
before game four against the Mets, TG hopes for a miracle.
Go Cubs, Go!