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… that as part of the upcoming improvements to the Emerson/Ridge/Green Bay/intersection, many existing streetlights will be removed and replaced with new ones. The new streetlights will be about 14 feet high with a holophane light fixture on top that will focus light on the streets. On Nov. 30, City Council decided to add pedestrian lights that will be attached to the same pole but on an arm about eight feet high and that will focus light on the sidewalks. The pedestrian lights will also be holophane light fixtures, which City staff say is a “contemporary style.” The lights will have a “similar look” to those on Dodge Avenue in front of Evanston Township High School. The cost to add the pedestrian lights is about $11,000.
… that Council authorized rehabbing a 3,330 foot, 18-inch diameter water main along Sheridan between Chicago and Lincoln at a cost of $3.7 million. The water main, more than 100 years old, is reaching the end of its useful life. The rehab will be done by installing cured in place pipe (CIPP), in which a plastic liner is drawn through the original pipe and cured by flushing hot water through. The CIPP process enables the work to be done without digging trenches along the entire length of the water main and has been used in many other areas of Evanston. This project also includes replacing approximately 1,400 feet of water mains of various diameters at the cross streets. Work is expected to start in 2017.
… that City Council adopted an ordinance that prohibits parking on both sides of Barton from Howard north to the first alley. In addition, Council created a resident-only parking area on Barton north of the first alley to the CTA right of way and on Dobson, west of Ridge to the dead end. Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey made the request. Apparently many Chicagoans were parking their cars overnight on Barton, and residents on the street complained. In one survey, only 27 of 57 cars parked on Barton were registered to Evanston residents. To avoid transferring the problem from Barton to Dobson, the City added Dobson to the resident-only parking district.
… that the City’s snowfall on Nov. 20-21 was only about 3 inches, with O’Hare’s measuring 11.2 inches and some surrounding areas as much as 16 inches. Speaking of snow, City crews begin preparing for a snowfall by applying anti-icing liquid to all major snow routes and near schools approximately eight hours before the snow is expected to start. The liquid is an “earth-friendly mixture of salt brine and organic ‘beet juice’ and calcium chloride,” according to the City. This concoction helps to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, thus making plowing easier and reduces the amount of salt the City needs to spread on the streets.
… that James Maiworm, Bureau Chief of Infrastructure Maintenance, laid out the City’s snowplowing goals for City Council on Nov. 3. For main roads (snow routes) the plan is to clear curb-to-curb 4 hours after a snow ends; for residential streets the plan is to clear curb-to-curb within 8 to 10 hours after a snow ends; for parking lots, the plan is to have them open and passable within 6 hours after snow stops, and cleared edge-to-edge within 12 to 24 hours; and for all public sidewalks adjacent to City property, the plan is to clear snow within 24 hours after snow stops. Much better than the “let it melt” theory.
… that, as part of statewide “Click it or Ticket” initiative, the Evanston Police Department conducted enforce-ment stops between Nov. 16 and 29, reminding motorists to buckle up and not drive while impaired. During the mobilization, the Evanston Police Department issued 57 citations for seat belt violations, 1 DUI arrest, 3 citations for driving with a suspended/revoked license, 10 citations for lack of insurance, 18 speeding citations, 34 distracted driving/cell phone citations, 1 possession of cannabis arrest, and 26 other traffic related citations. The annual Click It or Ticket mobilization may be over in Evanston, but police are still monitoring the streets. Our officers are out all year long. If you or your passengers are caught not wearing a seat belt, day or night, you will be cited for the safety violation,” says Sgt. Tracy Williams, traffic bureau supervisor. The recent law enforcement mobilization was funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation.
… that property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after a snowfall of 4 inches or more. When shoveling a sidewalk, residents are asked to clear a path that is at least 36 inches wide to allow everyone, including children, people with disabilities and the elderly, to travel freely using the sidewalks instead of the streets. Landlords are responsible for keeping sidewalks, parking lots and all common areas, including open stairwells, free from all hazardous conditions at all times. Anyone wishing to report a snow-removal violation should call/text 847-448-4311.
… that anyone who needs assistance shoveling or who would like to volunteer to help elderly and disabled neighbors with shoveling may sign up for the City’s Volunteer Snow Shoveling Program.
… that the City does not plow alleys, so residents are encouraged to clear snow in their alleys. Residents are also asked to clear snow from fire hydrants.
… that Mr. Maiworm issued these predictions for this winter: Expect below normal snowfall (30” of snow or less), warmer than normal temperatures (2 or 4 degrees above normal), maybe one or two larger snow events of six to eight inches, and roller-coaster temperatures. Roller-coaster temperatures seems like a safe bet.
… that everyone can get into the holiday spirit and ride on the Sprint CTA Holiday Train, which will make stops on Evanston’s Purple Line on Dec. 16, 18, 19 and 22. The outside of the six-car train is adorned with holiday seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with additional lights running across the tops of the cars. The train generally operates from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends, and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select weekdays, and will make stops at all stations along the routes. Normal CTA fares apply. Santa and his elves will ride the train passing out candy canes and season’s greetings. Interiors of the cars are decked out with thousands of multi-colored lights, red bows, garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes. As the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar carrying his reindeer and decorated holiday trees.
… that the City makes its final pickup of yard waste collection today. After today, leaf blowers are prohibited through March 29, 2016.
… that the City will complete its final week of street cleaning operations on Dec. 4. This week City crews have been concentrating on clearing storm drains and areas where large amounts of leaves have collected.
… that the young Asian carp are now 66 miles closer to Lake Michigan than at the start of the year, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will take at least three more years to study and recommend a plan for stopping the Asian carp. By then they may need a plan on how to remove the Asian carp from the lake.
From Our Readers: TG received the following letter explaining why southbound traffic on Sheridan Road is routed past Lincoln Elementary School, a concern expressed by a reader in the last issue of the RoundTable:
TG: Since I have lived most of my life at Sheridan and Lee and three generations of my family attended Lincoln School, I can tell you why Sheridan Road traffic is routed by Lincoln School. There is no Sheridan Road between Burnham Place and Davis Street, so traffic has to go elsewhere. Originally southbound traffic went on Lake Shore Boulevard. from Church Street to Lee Street, where it jogged back to Sheridan. But in the ‘50s Lake Shore Blvd. was blocked off between Church and Dempster because someone with clout didn’t like traffic between his house and the lake (or so we heard). So the southbound traffic was diverted to Forest. Meanwhile northbound traffic stayed on Sheridan until Burnham, when it goes back to Forest. I suppose you could reroute southbound traffic back down Burnham to Sheridan, but it would be a mess with all those cars turning left on to a narrow street. – Cherie Weil
From TG: Thanks for the information.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… Evanston has many great retail shops and restaurants. Parking is free in City parking garages during much of the holiday season. Support Evanston’s businesses and shop and dine in Evanston.