Fall fun at Lee Street Beach

… that Evanston is not the only place with a skunk problem. Glenview has put a $75 bounty on skunks, asking homeowners to work with licensed wildlife control companies to trap and remove the skunks – and they will be reimbursed up to $75 for the cost. Conditions apply. TG hopes the skunks will not be released near Evanston; we have a plentiful supply.

… that the City will continue its program of identifying vehicles by license-plate-recognition by purchasing two Genetec License Plate Recognition systems from Federal Signal Corporation of University Park at a cost of $85,000.

… that there soon may be a three-way stop at Simpson and Dodge. This seems like a really good idea, particularly for traffic northbound on Dodge and westbound on Simpson. The cost of a stop sign is about $150, well worth the value of managing the congestion there.

… that plans are still coming along for replacing this Central Street bridge. The staging area will likely be around Bryant, and the bridge will be replaced in halves – the north half first (2019) and then the south half (2020). One lane of traffic will be open in each direction, so emergency vehicles from the fire station and the hospital will still be able to serve residents; football fans will have access to Ryan Field; and CTA commuters, golfers, and residents will be able to continue their customary traversings.

… that ComEd will be working in the Central/Poplar area for another week or so, rebuilding an underground manhole and installing new cable and conduit underground. Drivers should expect temporary parking prohibitions and new but temporary traffic patterns. The City advises that the bicycle racks have been relocated to nearby parking spaces to allow continued use during the project.

… that, speaking of bicycles, the City and the Illinois Department of Transportation will be contracting the bike parking project at the Main Street CTA Station: 40 bike racks on the CTA grounds and on the Washington Street sidewalk, replacing the temporary ones there. The project, which began this week, should take about three weeks to complete, according to the City. 

… that crews from Alvarez, Inc., of Barrington will be removing tree stumps from various City parkways, smoothing things for replacement trees, when possible.

… that alley paving, street repairs, water and sewer work, and other outdoor construction projects are winding down. Fall projects include those at the Dempster Street beach house, Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, the Levy Center parking lot, and the Ecology Center. 

… that Northwestern’s homecoming is coming up – Oct. 6-8. The Homecoming parade, usually on Friday night on Sheridan Road has been canceled because of the ongoing repairs, but the Saturday game is on: The Cats play Penn State at Ryan Field, with an 11 a.m. start time.

… that the Fire Department has a new vehicle, Dive Rescue 21, an ambulance that has been converted. Fire Captain Dave Smrha said, “The goal was to design and build a vehicle that would give divers the ability to get in the water faster and more efficiently. We accomplished our goal by using an old ambulance, which gives us a larger amount of space within the rear compartment and allows each of the nine divers to have their equipment in a constant state of readiness. When it comes to water emergencies, time is critical, and every second counts.” Evanston is fortunate to have such creative thinkers about public safety.

… that this summer-like autumn brought scads of folks to the beaches last week. Above is a pic of Lee Street Beach on Sept. 24.

But that’s not all. TG erroneously stated in the last column that the photo on page 1 of the Dec. 17, 2015 issue was by Donald Scott. In fact, this is the picture by Mr. Scott for which he received no photo credit: It appeared on page 25 of the Nov. 19, 2015 issue. Readers can see that the fall season has been preternaturally pleasant for a few years.

From our readers:

We have the best readers,
and they have the best words.

TG:

This not about streets, it’s about sidewalks. I noticed that on the south side of Central Street between Crawford and Prospect, the sidewalks have been patched with asphalt. The same is true on the north side one block south. I have not seen this anywhere else in Evanston, and I wonder why. This type of repair is unsightly and is above the level of the normal concrete sidewalk.– Charles LaPedus

From TG:

Curious, Mr. LaPedus, but temporary. City Engineer Lara Biggs, the Capital Planning Bureau Chief, responded thus: “On Central Street, Nicor has been excavating pieces of sidewalk as part of the construction to allow them to install their new gas main. They are temporarily restoring the whole sections as asphalt, but they will restore them to concrete before they finish their project.”

TG:

On a recent Monday, 4:49 p.m.: bumper-to-bumper traffic on southbound Dodge between Main and Lake. Fortunately, I was driving northbound. This never happened before the bike lanes were installed. I’m not against bike lanes, I’m an avid biker. But not one bicyclist was seen in either direction.– M. Miller

From TG:

Dodge is a mess – you are right. Maybe these delays will get more people onto their bikes.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that, with autumn having arrived, this is a time of year to watch for the zodiacal light or the “false dawn,” which occurs about an hour before (well, “real”) dawn. In “Astronomy Essentials,” Deborah Byrd and Bruce McClure describe how and where to look. Those in the Northern Hemisphere, they said, can see the “eerie light in the east before sunrise, visible in clear dark skies in the months around the autumn equinox. … The light looks like a hazy pyramid.” These two astronomers also say the “zodiacal light is most visible before dawn in autumn (September or October for the Northern Hemisphere, March or April for the Southern Hemisphere) because autumn is when the ecliptic – or path of the sun and moon – stands nearly straight up with respect to your eastern horizon before dawn. Likewise, the zodiacal light is easiest to see just after true night falls in your springtime months, because then the ecliptic is most perpendicular to your western horizon in the evening.”