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… that there have been some serious run-ins between cars and bicycles lately. On May 9, a 12-year old boy was riding his bike westbound on the south side of Oakton when he was hit be a car pulling out of the parking lot of Little Beans Café to go eastbound on Oakton. The young boy, who had no obvious signs of injuries, was taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital for evaluation, said Fire Department personnel. The driver of the car, a 59-year-old woman from Glenview, was cited for failing to yield the right of way. Just a few days later, on May 12, a 38-year-old woman from Skokie was riding her bike southbound on Orrington when she was hit by the passenger side of a car that was crossing Orrington to enter a driveway. The cyclist was thrown from her bike and taken to Evanston Hospital, reportedly suffering a dislocated shoulder. The driver of the car, a 50-year-old Waukegan man, was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

… that the long-planned reconstruction of the intersection of Emerson, Ridge and Green Bay has finally begun. The project includes roadway resurfacing and reconstruction; installation of new water main, storm sewer and drainage structures; replacement of curbs and gutters; traffic-signal modernization; new street/viaduct lighting; pavement markings; and landscaping. The project “will improve traffic safety and traffic flow while allowing for a more pedestrian/bicycle/transit friendly route which will also enhance the aesthetics,” say City officials. The project will be completed in four stages.
Stage 1 construction will began this week by removing the medians on Ridge south of Emerson and on Green Bay north of Emerson.
Stage 2 will close the west side of Green Bay from Noyes south to Asbury and Emerson, the north side of Emerson between Asbury and Green Bay, and the west side of Ridge between Emerson and Garnett.
Stage 3 will be the mirror image of Stage 2 with closures on the opposite sides.
Stage 4 will have partial closures at the intersections within the project limits to allow for traffic signal work and final construction.
The project is expected to be completed by early November. During construction, one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained on Emerson, Ridge and Green Bay. The actual date when construction is planned will be noted on the temporary “No Parking” signs posted 48 hours prior to the start of the work. The construction activities will create some inconveniences for the nearby businesses and residents, but workers will attempt to minimize these issues, say City officials. The street sweeping and/or neighborhood parking restrictions will be waived for a one-block radius around the construction zone. Construction zone parking bans will be in effect on Green Bay between Emerson and Ridge for the duration of
the project.

… that City staff have divided the City into five geographic sections, and, on a rolling five-year basis, the pavement in one of the sections will be marked with center lines, etc. Pavement in most cases is marked with thermoplastic, which generally has a four- to five-year life expectancy, fitting in with the City’s plan. For 2016, the City has contracted with Precision Pavement Markings, Inc. to do a section of the City essentially between Lake and Main. In 2017, the area south of Main Street is on the schedule.

… that City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a contract with Elanar Construction Company to move ahead with renovating Penny Park at a cost of $478,400. Readers will likely recall the general uproar a couple of years ago when the City hired Leathers, Inc., the company that helped with the original park, to renovate it. Some of Leathers’ suggestions, such as replacing the wooden structures and dividing the park into age-specific areas, did not fit well with neighbors, so it was back to the drawing board for the Parks and Rec Committee and the Council. Elanar has been contracted to renovate/rehabilitate the playground equipment “to, where feasible, bring it into compliance with current ASTM and CPSC standards and ADA requirements; use replacement materials similar to existing (natural wood).” Other aspects of the park rehab are “resilient surfacing and containment system evaluation and replenishment; pavements and wall systems examination and repair; site furnishings review and repair; plumbing system replacement; landscaping examination and enhancement ($25,000 allowance); and other improvements as determined through the public engagement process.”

… that Homestead Meats on Chicago will have a sidewalk café.

… that the City will purchase a new International Harvester Truck with an aerial bucket device, at a total cost of $158,975, to replace one that has been in use for about 16 Years. “The International Harvester (# 581) will be capable of operating on B-20 bio-diesel fuel and is equipped with ‘exhaust gas recirculation’ (EGR) systems which emit only harmless water vapors with no particulate matter,” the City says. Not bad.

… that at the suggestion of Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, the City Council is replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October. This holiday celebrates the contributions of Indigenous people throughout the world, and acknowledges the many tribes who lived across America long before Christopher Columbus and waves of immigrants came to America. Evanston was once home to tribes including the Ho-Chunk, Ottawa, Miami, and Potawatomi, and continues to be a home for Indigenous peoples with more than 40,000 Native Americans currently living in the Chicago metropolitan area, representing over 150 different tribes. By adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Evanston embraces its history and the multicultural community it has become today. “The leadership at the Mitchell Museum suggested we use the term Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I believe it is the right thing to do and thank them for their work on this issue,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Nonetheless, while making this gesture, Evanston continues to be named after John Evans, whose name is tainted in some people’s eyes for his association with the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864.

… that National Nurses Week was May 6 -12, honoring contributions made by the women and men of nursing. Presence Saint Francis Hospital held a series of activities to honor more than 300 dedicated and compassionate nursing professionals at the hospital.

… that a duck hatches her eggs every spring in the courtyard at Chute Middle School. The kids are delighted, but the staff has to figure out a way to protect the ducklings during the graduation ceremony.  Last year they fenced them in, or maybe fenced the kids out.

… that colder temperatures in the first half of April in Illinois were nearly canceled out by warmer temperatures in the second half of the month, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois. The average temperature for Illinois in April was 52.7 degrees, just 0.1 degree above the statewide normal. The statewide average rainfall for April was 3.30 inches, 0.5 inches below normal.

… that the average retail gasoline prices in Chicago rose 10.6 cents per gallon in the last week, and 36.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, but they were still 29.1 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago. “Americans appear ripe to consume near record levels of gasoline, if not the highest levels ever this summer with some of the lowest summer prices seen in ten years or so,” said Patrick DeHaan, a Chicago-based senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

… the Evanston  Department has a “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt campaign through Memorial Day weekend.

From our readers: TG: Many of the main streets in Evanston are in terrible disrepair. What’s with that? Also, we have become so polite and courteous to pedestrians by giving them the right of way everywhere. I feel this will backfire. People are learning that they don’t have to look out for cars. I am totally against giving pedestrians the right of way. If by chance a car doesn’t see a person or something goes out of control with the car, the pedestrian can be killed. The person in the car most likely, except for a severe emotional reaction, won’t be hurt. People need to understand that cars can kill, and it is their responsibility to watch out. Also, people cross intersections against the light, which isn’t all that bad if no cars are coming. What I am upset about is when people cross against the light and a car is coming. I think people who cross against the light should get a ticket. A police officer should stand at the intersection of Sherman and Church. It’s really bad.
Additionally, there is a sign that says something to the effect that cars should watch out for people on bicycles. Shouldn’t it also say that bike riders should watch out for cars? It’s equally their responsibility. Bikers go zooming through intersections because they think they’ve got the right of way with the bike paths.
I’d love to hear from you about these issues.  – Penny Doyle

From TG: TG agrees with you that there are heedless pedestrians and bicyclists, but some drivers are not the sharpest thorns, either. Everyone should show a little more respect for other people using the roads, and follow the laws that apply to them.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that there was some hope when TG heard about Brew Bike, a Northwestern student run coffee shop on wheels. At first glance, TG thought Brew Bike might be distributing Evanston-made beer in a unique fashion throughout the town. But, alas, ’twill be only coffee.