Drivers southbound on Poplar to Central will hook east over to Broadway first.RoundTable photo

… that the intersection of Poplar, Broadway and Central is being realigned. The north leg of Poplar will no longer have direct access to Central, but it will jut over to Broadway just north of Central, and Broadway will continue to connect to Central. The intersection is heavily used by pedestrians, school children, transit users and commuters, with the Central Street Metra station and a bus stop located at the intersection. The City says the new configuration will ease congestion and increase pedestrian safety because of the single entry onto Central.

… that beginning New Year’s Day, people who pay cash to ride PACE buses will have to deposit an extra 25 cents, or a total of $2, in the farebox. There will be no extra charge for those using Ventra, which PACE says is used by 80% of its riders. The higher cash fare is designed to discourage customers from paying with cash, which costs PACE money to collect, handle and process.

… that on Dec. 21, the average retail gasoline price in Chicago was $2.13 per gallon, or 43.4 cents lower than one year earlier, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,437 gas outlets in Chicago. This compares with the national average of $1.99 per gallon.

 … that State Representative Laura Fine is encouraging residents to sign up with the Secretary of State’s Office to receive email reminders to renew their vehicle registration stickers. In light of budget impasse, the Secretary of State’s Office announced several months ago, it would stop mailing vehicle registration renewal reminders to drivers to save on the cost of postage. The Office will, however, continue to mail out other items including renewal stickers, titles, and license plates. People may sign up for email reminders at https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail/ using the registration ID and PIN number on their current registration card.

… that in the last few weeks, police made two routine traffic stops, and found loaded handguns in the vehicles. On Dec. 15, in a traffic stop in the 1400 block of South Boulevard, police found a loaded Taurus Millennium .45 caliber handgun with the serial number obliterated. Two days later, in a traffic stop in the 400 block of Ridge Avenue, police found a loaded Ruger .357 Magnum handgun, with 11 rounds of ammunition. In each case, an Evanston resident was charge with multiple felonies.

… that City crews will pick up holiday trees through Feb. 5. Trees will be picked up on the same day of the week as residents’ normal refuse and recycling collection. All trees should be placed on the parkway, between the street and the sidewalk. Trees will not be picked up from alleys or from private property. Residents are asked to remove all lights and decorations from trees, and to not place them in plastic bags. These materials can damage the equipment used to convert trees into mulch.

… that Epic Burger plans to open its first restaurant in Evanston next month at 1622 Sherman Ave. The chain has six restaurants in Chicago and one in Skokie at Old Orchard mall. On its website, Epic Burger  touts that it serves a “more mindful burger” – one “without drugs, artificial colors and flavors, nitrates, phosphates, preservatives and numerous other additives found in our everyday foods.” It brings to mind the “socially conscious chicken” served at Leghorn in Chicago. Epic Burger may give Edzo’s, located a block away, a run in the next competition for Evanston’s best burger. Edzo’s offers burgers using locally raised beef as an upgrade option, it offers burgers made from beef purchased from local farms that “adhere to humane, sustainable, and natural practices, [and that] do not contain any growth hormones or antibiotics.”

… that Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Knoxville, Tennessee Mayor Madeline Rogero have bet on the outcome of the 30th Anniversary Outback Bowl scheduled for Jan. 1 in Tampa, Florida. The Northwestern University Wildcats take on the University of Tennessee Volunteers from Knoxville. Mayor Tisdahl bet a bottle of FEW Spirits Bourbon Whiskey that NU will win, while Mayor Rogero wagered a bottle of Old City Heirloom Corn Whiskey from Knox Whiskey Works on the Tennessee Volunteers. “I appreciate Mayor Rogero’s good sportsmanship in putting up authentic Tennessee whiskey against the world’s best bourbon,” said Mayor Tisdahl. “It will be my pleasure
to toast the Wildcats with some of Tennessee’s finest after Northwestern hands
it to the Volunteers.” Go Wildcats!

… that the best viewing time of the Quadrantids Meteor shower will be after midnight and before dawn on Jan. 4. Viewers should look near the Big Dipper in the north-northeastern sky. While the Quadrantids can produce over 100 meteors per hour, the sharp peak of this shower tends to last only a few hours and will be greatest at northerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, according to earthsky.org.  

From Our Readers  TG: This reader is wondering if there is a maximum decibel level for vehicle horns. With the number of drivers now using their horn to signify that the vehicle’s doors are locked, it can be unnerving and startling for pedestrians to be walking by a vehicle when its horn goes off loudly. Although it would be preferable if this practice were to be prohibited, the most egregious situation is the loud ones. After all, this practice of horn-honking did not used to be a “necessity” for drivers.
Thanks for reading. – Margaret Schott

From TG: The short answer is “vaguely.” Section 10-12-2 of Evanston’s City Code deals with “Violations of the Illinois Vehicle Code,” which the City appears to have adopted or incorporated. Subsection U of the City code refers to ILCS 5/12-601: Horns and warning devices (State law.) Subsection (a) of the State law says, “Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonable loud or harsh sound.” So, there is no stated maximum and “unreasonably loud or harsh” may be in the ear of the hearer. Still, it may be worth bringing up to your alderperson.  

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that everyone should consider celebrating the New Year by attending First Night Evanston, which offers a family-friendly event featuring more than 40 performances, including Grammy-award winning entertainment, live music, poetry, dancing and more, at a variety of indoor Evanston venues surrounding Raymond Park, located at Chicago Ave. and Lake St. Special kids’ programming for children ages 2 to 11 years will take place between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Evening entertainment for all ages begins at 7 p.m. and ends with a midnight ringing-in of 2016. Food trucks will be available throughout the evening at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.

… It’s looking kind of dim right now, but the wish for the New Year remains the same: Peace On Earth.