… that the status of the Dog Beach is still uncertain. No permits have been issued, and everything is on hold because of the high levels of the lake this year.
Higher than expected lake levels are not new. Two years ago, almost to the day of this issue – May 5, 2016 (posted May 4) – the City’s Human Services Committee discussed the matter. As seen in the RoundTable: “A discussion that began as an inquiry into the severely diminished dog beach grew into a broader discussion of the ramifications of the rising level of Lake Michigan on Evanston’s beaches and other coastline features. The general discussion, before the May 2 meeting of the City’s Human Services Committee, proposed no solutions or overarching strategy but signaled difficult, and potential extremely expensive, decisions on the horizon. … Data presented showed a six-foot difference in Lake Michigan between 1986 and today, typifying the “cyclical low-to-high” pattern. Prior to 2013, [the City’s expert, Jon] Shabica said, the lake experienced a ‘longer low-level [cycle] than we ever anticipated.’ The end result was that in January 2013 there was ‘an all-time record low lake level.’”
On dry land, though, the status of trees is more certain: The City will purchase 300 trees and outsource the planting of half of them. City crews will plant the other 150.
… that Schroeder & Schroeder of Skokie will be the contractor replacing the sidewalk squares this summer. Like at least one other street project, this one will be – regrettably, TG thinks – financed in part by general obligation bonds. Readers will doubtless remember that if they want the public sidewalks in front of their homes replaced, they are required to pay half the cost.
… that someone at the City ought to pay attention to the fence along the bridge at Bridge Street. The gap is not large enough to sneak in a kayak, but people and animals now have a fair shot at getting to the water.
… that the Regional Transportation Authority, the same one that would like to discontinue the 205 bus – one vital to many Evanston residents – reports that its overall system “ranks high in service coverage and efficiency.” The RTA says its peer performance report for 2016 examines the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace performance in relation to comparable peer systems around the country and shows “the region’s system continues to perform well for measures relating to service coverage and efficiency and effectiveness.”
… that Wilmette-based developer Joe Keefe was at it again a couple of weeks ago, trying to find a way to bust out of his land-locked acreage in Wilmette. He requested the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association for permission to put a 35-foot road to his property. The golf course board turned him down. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District turned down his request last year to muck up Isabella Woods to get a road to his development. Folks who informed TG about this said it is unclear whether his next steps will be a request to the Wilmette Park District, an appeal to the MWRD board or an outright lawsuit. Who would be the defendant or defendants?
… that some Design Evanston folks met with Richard Miller, who is spearheading the move for an aesthetically pleasing bridge over the canal at Central Street. David Galloway of Design Evanston presented the group’s design for the bridge to Seventh Ward Alderman Eleanor Revelle and later to Public Works Director Dave Stoneback and Project Manager Sat Nagar. Stanley Consultants, the same group that has been hired to build the pumping station near Church and McCormick, will be building the Central Street bridge.
… that tese birds, which seem pretty content in grassy areas or even alone in trees, have been known to dive-bomb pedestrians who wander too close to their nests. TG has heard reports of these attacks on walkers along the lake near Northwestern and in the Ladd Arboretum.
… that the group movebuddha took a deep dive into its relocation data and found that Evanston ranked number 16 in the list of mid-sized cities in America for people to relocate to. Knoxville, Tenn., Longmont, Col., and Raleigh, N. C., were among the cities that bested Evanston. Of course, this is Illinois, a state that nearly three quarters of a million people have chosen to leave in the past few years.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the forces of beauty could win the Central Street bridge competition. Stanley Consultants, from what TG has seen of their plans for the water-pumping station, seems at best pedestrian, so maybe with a little urging from the City, residents could see something pleasing to the eye. And maybe Design Evanston could weigh in on the pumping station.
… that everyone who can should visit the places where the City is trying out different levels of light, as mentioned in the last column, and take the survey before it is too late – which is after May 5. Some of that lighting is pretty bright. The places to visit are Seward from Dodge Avenue to Wesley; Thayer from Central Park to Lawndale and Forest from Keeney to Kedzie. The survey can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/streetlightplan. It is also available by calling 311 or by visiting the information desk in the lobby of the Civic Center, the main Evanston Public Library, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, Robert Crown Center, Levy Center, and the Chandler-Newberger Center.