And ... by March 8 the signs were all gone.

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… … that Sheridan north of the curve at Chicago is one lane in each direction because of the water main replacement project there. Drivers should expect delays on Sheridan and difficult-to-impossible turns onto and from side streets.

… that the stoplight at McCormick and Bridge, by the Ecology Center, is functioning again.

…… that the City has finally found a way to get rid of some of those garbage carts piled floor-to-ceiling in the former recycling center: Along with replacing damaged and older-model yard-waste carts, the City will replace damaged refuse carts at its discretion. The yard-waste cart exchange, which the City says is free and one-time-only, will take place sporadically through May. The City advises, “Residents who live in the Wednesday refuse pick-up zone are asked to leave their yard waste and refuse carts in their normal pick-up spot, accessible to City crews. Additional program phases will be announced and posted online at cityofevanston.org/yardwaste as the program progresses.”

… that the City is gearing up for summer, checking out organizations that are proposing summer fundraisers, celebrations and the like. In addition to the Ethnic Arts and Lakeshore Arts festivals and some Starlight concerts, there could be four new events at lakefront parks this summer: a Unity in Community Walk for Good News Partners;  Chicago veterans’ Honor the Fallen, soldiers stricken with PTSD; Man Up! Health Initiative, encouraging men to live a more healthy lifestyle; and the Dajae Coleman Foundation’s Unity 10 Mile Run/Walk.

… that Pi Day, many mathematicians’ favorite, is coming: 3.14. Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, pi will be the same. Time also to eat pizza or other pie, measure circles or read “The Life of Pi.” The website piday.org has a lot of information and music about Pi, including a parody of American Pie and a Pi fugue.

… that Saturday night it will be time again to Spring forward. According to the website www.telegraph.co.uk/, the idea for what is now called Daylight Savings Time (DST) was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin when he was serving as ambassador to France. The Telegraph says he “wrote an essay called ‘An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light’ to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784. In the essay, he suggested that Parisians could reduce candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.” Later, in 1907 William Willet introduced British Summer Time (AKA DST). “He was keen to prevent people from wasting vital hours of light during summer mornings. He published a pamphlet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the nation’s clocks. Willett proposed moving the clocks backwards and forwards by 80 mins, setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on each of the four Sundays in September, a total of eight time switches per year. Willett then spent the rest of his life trying to convince people his scheme was a good one,” according to the Telegraph website.

…… that according to the Charm Index launched by Rent Lingo, an apartment search site, Evanston ranked as the 13th most Charming Small City in the U.S. Rent Lingo says it  looked at cities with populations between 75,000 and 200,000 and then ranked each city by its overall charm score. “Evanston peaks with a 93 Charm Rating due to its high concentration of local businesses and cafes and low crime ratings. Nearby Northwestern University adds a notable impact on the city’s charm,” says Rent Lingo.

… that, when  on Feb. 24, detectives in the juvenile bureau of the Evanston Police Department conducted a tobacco compliance check operation of 24 retail stores throughout the City to see if they were selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 21 in violation of the City’s ordinance, no violations were found – something for which we can all be grateful.   

… that the City plans to enforce its ban on putting political campaign signs in right of ways and on public property, including street corners and the area between the sidewalk and the street. The City’s Public Works Agency will remove these signs, but give them back if violators call /text 847-448-4311 to arrange for pick-up. Wonder if that’s a trick and the City will hand citations to the violators when they pick up their signs. So, aren’t the spaces in traffic circles public property?

… that this area may have hit the bottom in retail gasoline prices, which rose 13.9 cents in the week of Feb. 22, averaging $1.91 a gallon. “We knew it was inevitable. The eight-month decline in prices at the pump that brought the national average as low as $1.67 has come to an end,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “The ‘plateau’ or pause in price movement is now behind us as we’ve had a full week in which the national average has climbed steadily.”  While prices are on the rise, they were still 66.4 cents per gallon less than one year ago.

… that soil temperatures in Illinois have been above normal for most of the winter, says Jennie Atkins, at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois. For the period Dec. 1 through Feb. 21, soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 36.7 degrees F across Illinois, 2.6 degrees above the long-term average and 2.9 degrees higher than last winter.

… that the average temperature in Illinois for February was 33.2 degrees, 2.3 degrees above average, says Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois. Illinois’ warmer winter weather for the three months of December, January, and February was the seventh warmest on record. The average statewide temperature was 33.5 degrees, 4.4 degrees above average. The statewide precipitation during the winter months was 8.94 inches, 2.12 inches above average and the 11th wettest on record.

… that Evanston Township High School plans to speed up its installation of new signs, and it is expected to begin sign installation on June 6 with a goal of completing all interior signage and room number changes to Floors 1-4 before freshman orientation begins on Aug. 15.

… On Feb. 24, the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”), by a unanimous vote, initiated a proceeding to investigate Lincoln Towing’s commercial vehicle relocator license. “This investigation will examine the company’s management and conduct, and whether it is in fact fit to hold a license to operate in Illinois,” said Commissioner Miguel del Valle. A date
for the fitness hearing has not yet been set, but people may visit the Highlights section of the Commission’s website for updates at www.icc.illinois.gov/. Any person wishing to file a complaint regarding Lincoln Towing or any other commercial towing company may contact the ICC Police at 847-294-4326. Steve Goodman would be proud:
“To me, way, hey, tow them away
The Lincoln Park Pirates are we
From Wilmette to Gary,
there’s nothin’ so hairy
And we always collect our fee!
So it’s way, hey, tow ‘em away
We plunder the streets of your town
Be it Edsel or Chevy, there’s no car too heavy
And no one can make us shut down.”

From our readers: Please pass along my compliments to TG. I nearly inhaled my coffee this morning when I read his last paragraph about circling the same level in the Maple Street garage. I found myself doing that a few years back and only discovered my error when I began to recognize the cars I was passing!  Very funny,
– Galen Burghardt

From TG: Thanks for the support.
TG has heard that some folks who do not live in Evanston have refused to come downtown again because of that garage.

TG: By my observation it appears that the new paved walkway is being used more by students and walkers now that it is cleared and not flooded at all times of the year. I am happy to say that far fewer students are walking on McCormick to
and from school.
– Donna Cascarano

From TG: Good to hear, Ms. Cascarano. It’s not good when folks find streets preferable to sidewalks for walking.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that it’s getting to that time of year when the snow (such as it was this winter) will be gone and trash will surface. It would be nice if folks would clean up the debris on their parkways and in their alleys or where ever.

… that early voting continues through March 14, and Election Day is March 15. Get out and vote early or on election day.

… that March is the best month this year to see Jupiter. The best day was March 8, when the earth’s orbit took it between the sun and Jupiter, but other days this month will be good as well. Jupiter not only shines all night long, but beams at its brightest best for the year. Jupiter rises in the east at sunset, climbs highest up for the night at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise. Although Jupiter ranks as the second-brightest planet after Venus, Venus is only visible for a short while before sunrise. Two other planets, Mars and Saturn, are in good view in the morning sky and best in dark hour before dawn.