The comfort of a good bookPhoto from Rob Sernus

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… that construction and utility work continue in several places around town. Green Bay Road from about Church to Noyes or McCormick will be congested for the foreseeable future. The same is true for Lincoln east of Sheridan, headed into the NU campus.

… that there is concern about Northwestern’s requesting a zoning variance to build a new 85-foot high, seven-story dormitory at the corner of Sheridan Road and Hinman Avenue. Wonder if this is the result not of a larger student body but of efforts to keep students on campus instead of in the neighborhoods.

… that Penny Park will be fenced in and shuttered beginning Sept. 12 for the renovation project, which is expected to be completed by December. The City advises residents that the reason the honey locust was removed from the playground last week was that there was a split in the trunk that was “deemed hazardous” – and was not related to the park project.

… that the City of Evanston and the City of Naperville have a data-sharing partnership with Waze, the “free, real-time crowd-sourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers.” According to the City, the Connected Citizens Program of Waze, a free data-share of publicly available traffic information, “gives municipal leaders an unprecedented look at real-time road activity, empowering partners to harness real-time driver insights to improve congestion and make better informed planning decisions. Waze provides partners with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source: drivers themselves.” More information about Connected Citizens is at waze.com/ccp; the free Waze app for iOS or Android can be downloaded from waze.com/get.

… that the Evanston Police Department’s Traffic Bureau received the first place award in the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge, participating in the category of 101-250 officers. According to the EPD, “The Challenge is much more than a peer competition. It is a template for law enforcement agencies to identify traffic issues, plan strategies, reduce social harm, and improve the quality of life in their communities.” Congrats to the EPD.

… that contractors hit a power line on Aug. 30, knocking out power to the Main Library for the remainder of the day. All during the week, there were scattered power outages, many in northwest Evanston.

… that the McDonald’s on Dempster just west of Dodge is looking to expand and add a dual-lane drive-through and a front “by-pass” lane. TG is not really sure what a by-pass lane is, or rather, what would be by-passed in such a lane, but does know that the Mac’s is a pretty popular spot, as is the Starbuck’s next door.

… that GasBuddy.com reports, “With summer drawing to a close, motorists have enjoyed the cheapest summer at the pump since 2004, saving $18.9 billion over its duration versus last summer, a sweet note as they take to the roads to celebrate Labor Day. … According to GasBuddy analysts, gasoline prices have remained low even in light of high gasoline demand due to rampant oil production, leading supply to outpace demand for several years, causing oil inventories to bulge and depressing oil prices. In addition, as U.S. production has increased over the last several years, oil producing countries have been fighting to win back market share. … With the conclusion of Labor Day weekend comes the end of the summer driving season in the world’s largest gasoline consuming country.”
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on Aug. 29 in Chicago have ranged widely over the last five years: $3.09/g in 2015, $3.63/g in 2014, $3.81/g in 2013, $4.29/g in 2012 and $3.96/g in 2011.

… that the skies are open to “remote pilots,” with the new Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations having gone into effect on Aug. 29. Henry H. Perritt, Jr. and Eliot O. Sprague, RTDNA Contributor, write in RTDNA that remote pilots “can fly drones weighing less than 55 pounds. No longer do commercial operators need to recruit airplane or helicopter pilots to fly drones. Reporters, photogs, and producers can become remote pilots after some aviation knowledge study and completion of a written test at an approved testing site.” Under the new rules, Mr. Perritt and Mr. Sprague write, there is no need for  “the 24-hour advance notice requirement for an FAA NOTAM, the requirement that flight occur only over property owned by the operator or as to which the operator has permission, quantitative limitations on proximity to airports” or for a “separate visual observer.”

… that, a few noteworthy days are upcoming: National Butterscotch Pudding Day is Sept. 19, a day not to be confused with National Butterscotch Brownie Day, May 9. International Talk Like a Pirate Day, instituted by John Baur and Mark Summers, is Sept. 19, who claim everyone should talk like a pirate “because it’s fun.” Their website, talklikeapirate.com, offers a bit of pirate argot: “Aye! – ‘Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.’ Aye aye! – ‘I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.’ Arrr! ‘This one is often confused with arrrgh. … Arrr! can mean, variously, ‘Yes,’ ‘I agree,’ ‘I’m happy,’ ‘I’m enjoying this beer,’ ‘My team is going to win it all,’ and ‘That was a clever remark you or I just made.’ And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!”
National Punctuation Day, founded in 2004 by Jeff Rubin, is celebrated in the U.S. on Sept. 24. Mr. Rubin encourages appreciators of correct punctuation and spelling to send in pictures of errors spotted in everyday life. Sometimes its hard to punctuate a sentence if you don’t know what its meaning is.  

From our readers: TG: I’m forwarding a photo to you that I think you might find interesting, it’s The Little Free Library on Isabella just east of Reese Ave. Locals are able to take a book or leave a book as they want, and it even has a Snoopy cutout on the top. I think it’s a great little addition to our neighborhood.  – Rob Sernus

From TG: Thanks, Mr. Sernus. As you suggest, these LFLs are a great addition to the community.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that seasons are one of the blessings of living in the Midwest. One can tell that fall is coming: Some leaves are becoming edged with yellow. Crushed acorns, horse chestnuts and buckeyes litter the sidewalks, thanks to busy, hungry squirrels, and mist lingers over the canal on the cooler mornings.