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… that, on the good news side, the City, after a long delay, finalized a deal to sell water to Lincolnwood. This will bring some much-needed revenue, though not all that much. Lincolnwood is not a huge water user. We expect to make a little over $500,000 a year in the near term. The bad news: here comes the construction. New water pipe infrastructure will result in traffic issues at Hartrey and Cleveland south to Oakton, then west to the City limit, where an underground meter vault will be installed. Construction should take place during the next construction season – spring to fall 2019.
… that the bus route issues continue to morph and adjust. The Dodge Avenue corridor is losing “flag stops,” so riders will not be allowed to simply wave down a bus as it rides by. Instead, regular stops will be installed at Oakton, Keeney, Cleveland/Monroe, Washington and Main. Further, the CTA route #205, the “Chicago/Golf” line, is slated for elimination, but adjustments to the Pace 208 (Golf Road) and 213 (Green Bay Road) are expected to make up for the change. Details are still being worked out, but those hearing rumors of the end of 205 are hearing accurate reports.
… that snow route changes are coming. Instead of kicking in only when more than four inches of snow falls within a 24-hour period, snow routes will now engage when four inches of snow falls – period. Two inches one day, two the next – move that car. One inch each four days in a row – move that car. TG anticipates considerable confusion over this tweak. Also, what constitutes a snow route differed in the ordinance and what the signs said.
…that Rex’s Place doggy day care at 2118 Ashland Ave. is expanding and going legal. Previously, no zoning code existed for overnight dog care, but now Rex’s Place has worked to create such zoning and will soon obtain the first special use permit of its kind. The establishment also owns houses at 2147 and 2149 Dewey Ave., but the special use does not extend to those homes, only their yards. Humans must occupy the houses – dogs are only permitted outdoors.
… that a new brewpub is in the works directly across the street from Rex’s Place. Double Clutch, which would be a first for the Fifth Ward, plans to bring a brewery and event space to a spot on Ashland just north of Simpson. The move will continue a recent trend started by Temperance and continued by Sketchbook, Smylie Brothers, FEW Spirits, the Peckish Pig and North Shore Cider.
… that Nevins, the old Prairie Moon and the neighboring building are completely gone, with construction site preparation well underway for the new Albion building rising in their place. So far, traffic has not been impacted much, but delays and possible road closures can be expected as the project continues.
… that the new Prairie Moon, in the former Dave’s Italian Kitchen space, is now open.
… that Fountain Square still has no fountain, and will not for weeks. It also has no veterans memorial wall, but it does have cutesy “Look for Bikes” on the south end, at Davis. According to information from City staff, every day the fountain lies dormant is a another day of liquidated damage charges to the construction contractor. Oh, and in other similar news – and those who began reading this paper at the begnning will already know this – everything is ready at the new James Park field – except the field. A fountain with no fountain, and a field with no field – something is going around. The field problem is weather related – seems we cannot make grass grow if the weather conditions discourage growth.
From Our Readers: TG: I have been mulling over a recent letter to TG asking about a “war on cars” and TG’s neutrality on the issue. In the last two weeks, two bicycle riders were killed in Chicago. One was on a section of Stony Island where a proposed bike lane was met with opposition, and the other was hit by a right-turning driver.
It occurred to me that it’s not really much of a war on cars when cars do all the killing. When the headline reads “Bicyclist Strikes Car, Killing Driver” maybe we can talk.
In the meantime, please think about Angela Park’s two children when you’re waiting to make a (safe) right turn onto Clark Street at Chicago Avenue. – Dan Lowman
From TG: Mr. Lowman, thank you for your letter. Once again, TG knows better than to weigh in on one side or the other in the ongoing debate between bicycle enthusiasts and vehicle drivers, but notes a shared responsibility for the safety of all who use the streets. One note, though: Each accident presents its own facts and circumstances, and there will always be good drivers and bad drivers, good bike riders and bad bike riders, good pedestrians and bad pedestrians. TG merely reports on the efforts of this community to find the right balance between all users of the public ways. Tragic accidents 23 miles south may inform our decisions, but such accidents should not dictate the City’s response – there are no six-lane Stony Island equivalent roads in Evanston.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… school is about to start again, and traffic patterns will change accordingly. It feels like the City has been in a bit of a funk of late, and perhaps turning the page on a new school year is what the community needs to get out of it. TG fears it might be deeper than that, though. But, hey, optimists say all that is needed is
to start anew. …