… that it is utility work, not the Emerson/Ridge/Green Bay intersection work, that has narrowed traffic on Green Bay between, roughly, Emerson and McCormick to one lane in each direction.

… that Capitol Cement Company Inc. will be paid about $1.4 million for its work under the Howard Street Traffic Signal & Street Resurfacing Project, a project that seemed to rise up out of a desire to squeeze the last dollar out of the Howard/Hartrey TIF so there would be no surplus left to share with the other taxing bodies, like the school districts. The project includes resurfacing the north side of Howard that runs from the east access road for the shopping center occupied by Target, Best Buy, and Jewel/Osco  all the way to the bridge over the North Shore Channel (Skokie will pay the cost of resurfacing that portion of Howard under its jurisdiction, and the City of Chicago will resurface the south portion of Howard at a later date). The project also includes improving and realigning the access drive near the Jewel/Osco store, and widening the sidewalk along the west side of that access drive. A new traffic signal will be installed at the access drive near Target (much needed), and the one at the access road near Jewel/Osco will be upgraded (maybe with better timing). Engineering services will be provided by ESI Consultants, Ltd. for about $143,000. Construction is expected to start around June 13, 2016 and be complete by Oct. 28.

… that this little peacock is nestling in some shrubs along Noyes.  

… that J.A. Johnson Paving Company will do the work called for under the 2016 MFT Street Resurfacing Project, for  $1,057,750. The project includes repair of concrete curbing, replacement of sidewalk curb ramps as needed, base repairs, asphalt resurfacing and related parkway restoration of four streets: Brown from Cleveland to Washington; Chicago between Dempster and Grove; Crain between Florence and Asbury; and  Ewing between Colfax and  Harrison.  This project is scheduled to begin in June and be completed in August.

… that Schroeder & Schroeder Inc. will perform the work called for under the 2016 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement Program for about $200,640. Under the 50/50 program, homeowners and the City share the cost of replacing deteriorated sidewalks, but the cost of replacing sidewalk sections damaged by roots from parkway trees is borne wholly by the City. About 25,000 square feet of sidewalk will be replaced under the 50/50 program.  

… that Beth’s Little Bake Shop, 1814 Central St., will have a sidewalk café in the parkway along Poplar, with three tables with four seats and two tables with two seats. The café will sit atop some cool brick pavers, bordered by landscaping and groundcover which the owner will maintain. The café is being proposed along Poplar Avenue because a bus shelter is proposed on the Central Street side.  

… that the City will lease 50 parking spaces in the 525 Church St. garage to NU for one year at $85 per month per space.  NU wanted to lease 100 spaces, but the City’s Parking Committee recommended leasing only 50 spaces in light of potential demand for spaces at the garage, which currently has an occupancy rate of only 50% for its 600 spaces. City staff says, “There is a plan to develop a bicycle lane on Chicago Avenue from Davis Street to Sheridan Road. According to Traffic Engineering, the plan would eliminate an estimated 52 parking spaces from Chicago Avenue and therefore push additional traffic into the garage.”

… that speaking of bikes, just after noon (starting at 12:30, to be exact) on June 12, a lot of bicycle mavens will be at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington. Here’s what the Library says: “Learn how to be sure your bike is road-ready from The Recyclery, the ‘educational bike shop’ just south of Evanston. Learn how to beat thieves and avoid crashes from Dave ‘Mr. Bike’ Glowacz, local author of Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips. Learn about leisure riding in the North Shore and beyond from the Evanston Bike Club. Learn about City of Evanston initiatives like the Divvy Bike Sharing program and the Dodge Avenue protected bike lane from Katherine Knapp,  Evanston’s Transportation & Mobility Coordinator.” Folks are asked to register at epl.org or 847-448-8620.

… that Bike the Drive took place on May 29,with Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive shutting down to car traffic and opening up only to bicycles. The full route stretched for 30 miles, and the turnout exceeded 20,000 cyclists.

… that gas prices are continuing to inch up. As of May 23, gas prices were up 15.1 cents more than a month ago, but were still 54.9 cents lower than the same day one year ago, according to Gas Buddy.

… that GDS Acquisitions, LLC, plans to construct a four-story, mixed-use building with 44 dwelling units and ground floor commercial space, at 824-828 Noyes St. The proposed development also includes 35 on-site parking spaces. See accompanying photo above. A community meeting was held to discuss the proposed development on May 31.

From our readers: TG: Have any provisions been made to the Emerson, Ridge, Green Bay rework to accomodate possible future Metra overpass construction?  – Mike Sackheim

From TG: Good question, Mr. Sackheim, but TG is not sure there is a clear answer. The Union Pacific, not Metra, owns the lines, and the UP appears to be blocking the cosmetic changes the City proposed for the E/R/GBR intersection. So, does that mean that the UP is biding its time to pounce upon the idea of repairs and throw a wrench in to Evanston’s plans or that it is simply letting its infrastructure rust away and get ugly? Further TG sayeth not.

TG: I was wondering why Dempster Street between Ashland and Dodge is again under construction. Last year the entire stretch from Asbury to Dodge was fitted with new sewers and totally repaved, along with new curbs and handicapped access at the intersections. What, did they make a mistake so that they have to rip it out and start over again?  – Kathy Kovacic

From TG: There’s no construction there now, so it must have been work on some utility lines.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… and has opined on this before: Evanston needs a slogan or a nickname. Not the “most livable city,” although that is an aspiration, but something that gets to the heart of what we as a community are now. “People’s Republic of Evanston” is so last century. In a recent speech, the Mayor spoke of Evanston’s “engaged citizenry” but one listener thought she said “enraged citizenry.” “Rage along the canal? Rage along the North Shore? Rage among the trees?” Or something else entirely? Send your thoughts and comments to us. We are here to listen.