… that new no-parking signs are being installed throughout Evanston to reflect the City’s updated street cleaning schedule. Parking enforcement for the 2016 season will begin on May 2 to allow for installation of the new signs. The 2016 street cleaning map and schedule are available online at cityofevanston.org/streetcleaning.

Here’s what’s new:
• The Signs – The new signs will be placed at both ends of a block and list the specific days and times parking is restricted (e.g. the 1st Thursday of Month, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• There are Shorter Windows for Parking Bans – Residential streets with parking on both sides will now be cleaned from either 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from noon to 4 p.m.
• Residential Schedule – Most residential streets will now be cleaned once per month.
• Primary Routes Schedule – Streets designated as Primary Routes will be cleaned twice per month, rather than every two weeks. This minor adjustment allows signage to communicate specific cleaning days.
• Extended Season – The street cleaning season has been extended from March 1 through Dec. 15, except enforcement this year will begin on May 2.
• Residential Special Zone 4 “S” Areas – A new residential street cleaning zone was created to provide additional cleaning for high-density areas in south Evanston. Residents who live in the Residential Special Zone 4 “S” areas according to the map and who wish to receive text or email notifications for street cleaning should sign up for the “Residential Streets – Special Zone 4 ‘S’ Areas” list for residential street cleaning notifications, and the “Primary Routes – Zone 4” list for primary route (main roads) notifications.
Here’s what’s the Same:
• Schedule for Downtown and Streets with Parking on Only One Side – The new signs being posted will look different, but parking bans will remain the same.
• Text Alerts – Text message and email notifications to remind residents of street cleaning continue to be available. Residents who previously signed up for text/email notifications for street cleaning and live at the same address do not need to take any action, with the exception of those living in new Residential Special Zone 4 “S” areas (see above). Community members can find their street cleaning zone and sign up for alerts at cityofevanston.org/streetcleaning, or by calling/texting 847-448-4311. Text and email notifications for the 2016 season will begin when signage installation is completed in April.

… that new signs are popping up around town with instructions for pedestrians about how to interpret various symbols that tell pedestrians if they can walk, if they can keep walking if they have started, what the declining numbers mean, and if they should stop. Really?

… that traffic restrictions are planned on a trial basis for the Ridge/Grove intersection beginning April 13 and continuing until October 2016. Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the following traffic restrictions will be enforced as follows:
Both northbound and southbound traffic on Ridge will be prohibited from making left turns onto Grove.

Everyone traveling on Grove (that means both eastbound and westbound) will be required to turn right onto Ridge. This means motorists will not be allowed to make left turns or to travel straight through the intersection.

Traffic signs will be posted. The trial will allow the City to evaluate whether these modifications improve the safety and operations at the intersection before proposing permanent changes.

… that the temporary Traffic Control Plan in effect between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for Green Bay between Emerson and McCormick Boulevard will continue possibly up to April 14. AT&T has hired a contractor to dig several test holes on its facilities, which requires shifting lanes on Green Bay in order to access AT&T manholes and duct runs that are mainly located in the northbound lanes of Green Bay Road.

… that during the recent St. Patrick’s Day crackdown, Evanston police made one drunk-driving arrest, and reported a variety of other violations including the illegal transportation of alcohol, seat belt violations, cellular phone violations, and speeding violations.

… that the City’s Dog Beach will open no earlier than May 1. During the last 30 years, Lake Michigan’s water level has fluctuated by more than five feet, and because the water level cycle is now returning to a higher lake level, much of the previous dog beach area and the Greenwood Street swimming beach are now under water. According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Michigan is five inches above the water level a year ago. The City is investigating whether to move sand to the area to create a larger beach space. Dog beach patrons who wish to receive text or email updates should sign up for dog beach messages at cityofevanston.org/newsletter.

… that the City’s contractor, Kenny Construction Company, is scheduled to start a $625,000 project to rehab the combined sewer that follows the Mulford Street right-of-way starting at Dodge and extending west to the southwest corner of James Park. The work will include above-ground piping and pumps to bypass sewage around the sewer segments that are being rehabilitated. The bypass piping in the street will impact traffic and require parking restrictions near the intersection of Dodge and Mulford for  one or two weeks while sewer-lining is in progress. Watch for no-parking signs. Access will be maintained at all times to the Levy Senior Center and James Park. The project is expected to be finished in May.

… The City’s weekly yard waste pick-ups began on April 4 and will continue on residents’ regular refuse collection day through Dec. 1.

… that the City of Evanston’s Public Works Agency has announced its 2016 alley maintenance schedule. The City begins in the spring to grade its more than 300 unpaved alleys in an effort to eliminate potholes and ruts. The goal is to grade each alley three times per season, and heavily traveled alleys may receive spot grading on an as-needed basis. Those wishing to find out when an alley is scheduled to be graded can check out the 2016 Alley Maintenance Map on the City’s website, cityofevanston.org, or call 311.

… that when Smylie Brothers Brewing Company won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their Purple Line beer, the beer was no longer on tap at the brewpub because it is a spring/summer seasonal. Since spring has returned to Chicagoland, the Smylie Brothers’ 2016 Purple Line beer will debut again on April 15. Taxpayers can file their returns and then cry in their beer.

… that, as of March 27, Nona, the mother of most peregrine falcons at the Library, had laid two eggs.

… that as of March 28, average retail gasoline prices in Chicago were 29.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, according to GasBuddy’s survey.

… that the City reports that ridership on the Purple line increased between 2005 and 2014, on both weekdays and weekends. There is higher weekend travel on the Purple Line, “with an  increase of over 40 percent at the South Boulevard and Main Street stations and over 50 percent at the Dempster Street station from 2005 to 2014,” according to the City. The City has compiled graphs of the City’s average daily ridership from 2005 to 2014. These are available from Katherine Knapp, Transportation and Mobility Coordinator for the City: kknapp@cityofevanston.org or 847-448-4311.

… that starting today, when you visit local retail liquor stores, you may see signs posted saying, “Your Actions Matter!” These signs are being put up by the Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition as an Alcohol Awareness campaign, a statewide initiative sponsored by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, to help prevent underage drinking. Volunteers will be visiting Evanston businesses to deliver and post “YOUR ACTIONS MATTER!” Alcohol Awareness campaign materials reminding patrons to “think, decide, prevent” before purchasing alcohol for underage consumption.

… that Business Insider reports that soon there will be “more elderly people than young children” in the world, for the first time in recorded history.

From our readers: TG: As a resident of southwest Evanston, I’m a bit miffed about a couple things the City has just announced in the 2016 street cleaning schedule. First of all, it’s now planned for only once a month (seems like not long ago it was twice monthly, then every 3 weeks). And because one street cleaning is on fourth Thursday/Friday, we will have only 8 cleaning days (one of which has already passed) while the rest of residential areas in the City will have 9 or 10. Why is our zone the only one without a December cleaning, especially since we don’t get a November one because of Thanksgiving?  Hmmm…      – Peg Forbes

From TG: Thank you, Ms. Forbes. Perhaps your residence is in the special 4-S zone. If not, perhaps you and your neighbors should contact the public works bureau chief, James Maiworm, at 311 or cityofevanston.org.

TG: Tennis is no picnic. Get that table off the court. The net is up. The weather’s warming. Who stuck that picnic table on the courts at Leahy Park?

From TG: Perhaps the picnic table served as bleachers for fans of winter
tennis players.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that this beautiful but off-and-on spring weather should inspire everyone to get rid of the winter’s detritus on lawns and parkways and in streets.

… that smart phones may be the new opiate of the masses.