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… that the Police Department released the result of its “Drop It and Drive Traffic Campaign,” conducted April 16-30: 328 distracted driver citations; nine seat-belt citations; four child-car-seat citation; seven suspended/revoked licenses; 13 uninsured motorists; 11 speeding and 41 other citations. The campaign was part of the nationwide Distracted Driving Awareness month.
… that the annual Blessing of the Bikers took place May 5 at First Church of God.
… that the website 100bestfleets.com has ranked the City’s Fleet Operations 83rd on its 2018 list of the country’s 100 best in North America. Evanston’s Fleet Operations was recognized for its collaborative teamwork and training; advanced fleet management information system; responsible waste stream, including its recycling of oil, anti-freeze, metal and batteries; and its use of the newest technology and alternative fuels.
… that digging has begun on City streets. On Mulford, between James Park and the canal, crews are rehabbing a 100-year-old sewer that is made of brick. Crews will use the cured-in-place-pipe lining for this project, which involves 800 linear feet of the 60-inch-diameter sewer. Readers will remember that the cured-in-place process involves inserting a liner into the sewer then flushing it with hot water to “cure” the liner and set it in place against the old pipe. The City anticipates the project will be completed this month.
Not exactly digging, but removing the top two inches of asphalt, crews will be patching pavement in 150 places over the next few weeks. Drivers should be alert to the temporary “No Parking” signs that will be posted 48 hours ahead.
… that, speaking of streets, Landmarks Illinois has put the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue, the “Varsity Theater Block,” on its list of 2018 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Here’s what the organization says about the block: “The 1700 block of Sherman Avenue is one of the last remaining historically intact blocks in downtown Evanston and is unprotected. Historic structures on this block, like the 1926, J.E.O Pridmore-designed Varsity Theater, contribute to the City’s downtown character and are vulnerable teardown targets to make way for future new developments.”
… that, according to the website GasBuddy.com, gasoline prices rose 4.1 cents per gallon late last month. With the trashing of the Iran nuclear deal, who knows what will happen to the country’s gas supply?
… that April was the coolest month – in fact, the second-coldest April on record (which goes back to 1895), reports Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey. The statewide average temperature last month was 44.7 degrees, 7.9 degrees below normal, beaten only by 43.1 degrees set in April 1907. It was also quite dry. Dr. Angel reports that the statewide average precipitation was 2.46 inches, 1.32 inches below normal. That amount includes precipitation from both rainfall and snowfall, the latter of which Evanston certainly had it share.
… that Seventh Ward Alderman Eleanor Revelle has said that Design Evanston, Richard Miller (for the Evanston Design Group) and she are in agreement that they would like to proceed with the Scheme A design for the R-37 Crash Railing and treatment of the side beams for the Central Street bridge. See illustration below.
Mr. Miller, chair of the ad-hoc committee to encourage beauty and form in the City’s bridges, reports he has shifted “my personal role on the Central Street bridge from that of assertive advocate, to one of observer and critic. I plan to follow Alderman Revelle’s lead and to be supportive in any way I can. Meanwhile I will chart a new and different course with respect to the Lincoln Street Bridge which will be up for replacement after 2019.”
… that, speaking of weather, RoundTable photographers caught the photo above last week. Everyone, including this family, was out enjoying the early May spring.
From our readers:
TG: Ironically, after reading “the Traffic Guy hears…” in the RoundTable of April 19, I directed a Federal Highway Admin. rep. to all the transportation accommodation inadequacies in South Evanston. This diametrically opposes SmartGrowthAmerica’s ranking of this City as “2nd best in Illinois and among the best in the nation.” Basing the token award on its “complete streets endeavors” is a farce. Howard, Asbury and Oakton streets, and especially Dodge Avenue, with the protected bike lanes, don’t fall under “enabling people of all ages and capabilities to safely use all modes of transportation.” The failure of this City to implement these changes at the start of the 21st century and bring themselves up to what Chicago has done in this matter, is inexcusable. – Fred J. Wittenberg
From TG: it’s always good to hear from you, Mr. Wittenberg. TG does not think the City is inclined to do anything about the bike lanes, annoying as they may be to some. Still, it seems that improvements could be made.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that perhaps solutions to the irritations caused by the Dodge Avenue bike lanes could bubble up if the City would convene a gathering of some of its staff and some community members of all ages to take a zigzag walk down Dodge to Mulford and see what challenges they find. A group like that, composed of users of Dodge (bikers, walkers and drivers) might be able to think of a few things to help. For one thing, TG would like to see bikers use the proper bike lanes, not just on Dodge but also on Church and Davis Streets. Going the wrong direction on those lanes may make for a less crowded ride, but when it comes to intersections, there can be problems.
… that there is something for almost everyone this weekend: “Nature’s Night Out” (the revamped “Green Ball”), Young Evanston Artists Festival, YEA!, and the Downtown Farmers Market, to name a few.