There it is: Polar Avenue, just east of ... maybe Greenland Road?

The Traffic Guy hears …

… that some drivers in Evanston are getting pretty upset about the Barnacle Enforcement System – the mechanism that replaces the Denver Boot to immobilize cars whose owners seem to owe parking tickets. In September 2017, the City approved use of the Barnacle on cars whose owners have not paid parking tickets. The first year, the limit was five unpaid tickets; in 2018, it was four unpaid tickets; this year, the limit is three. 

… that, speaking of police officers and driving, last month, the Evanston Police Department participated in Illinois’ Distracted Driving Enforcement campaign, bringing awareness to area residents and issuing 441 citations. Increased enforcement was part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Here is a list of the violations for which the Department issued the citations: 356 for electronic communication device violations; 21 for seat belt violations; three for child car seat violations; five for driving with a suspended or revoked license; 34 for driving while uninsured; and 22 for speeding.

… that the tiny house adjoining (barancled to?) the Ecology Center has rolled up north. Dick Peach, president of the Evanston Environmental Association, said Kaycee Overcash, one of the people who designed the house, heard it was going to be moved and decided to buy it and take it to her home, near Minneapolis.

… that the Main Street improvement project began last week – the area from Hartrey to the west City limits. The boundary there is not McCormick but the area just west of the canal. By the end of the year, when the project is likely to be completed, crews will have modernized the traffic signals, improved the sidewalks, reconstructed the driveway entrances, installed new LED streetlights and renewed the lane lines and pavement markings. Drivers should be alert for one-lane traffic in each direction in that area of Main, as the project is completed in segments. 

… that the Active Transportation Alliance has revamped its Crash Support Helpline for people who have been in a crash while walking or biking, to make it easier for people using smartphones and who have been involved in a crash to connect with the helpline by email or phone at the website, The helpline offers “relevant resources and free conversations with trained crash-support volunteers.” Crash victims will receive not legal advice but “guidance through the thorny process of filing a police report, making an insurance claim and finding legal assistance.”

Melody Geraci, Active Trans Deputy Executive Director, said, “Being in a crash while biking or walking can be a terrifying experience, and victims need good information so they are making the right choices while in distress.”

The information from the Active Transportation Alliance came with the following “note to media”:  “A growing number of local municipalities, state departments of transportation, researchers and advocates recommend using the words ‘crash’ or ‘collision’ instead of the word ‘accident’ when referring to traffic mishaps. The word ‘accident’ can imply a lack of responsibility and diverts attention away from the fact that traffic crashes are fixable problems, nearly always caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers.”

… that, speaking of different kinds of transportation, pictured above are strollers parked outside the community room at the Main Library, where young ones hear stories, sing and play.

… that this week, through May 20, is National Infrastructure Week, and it coincides with the statewide “Get on Board” campaign during which the RTA region’s transit agencies are encouraging riders to visit to make their voices heard in support of capital funding for the transit system.  In northeast Illinois, the regional transit system reportedly has “$30 billion of unmet high-priority projects. More than a decade has passed since the State of Illinois last funded a capital bill.” According to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), its “Regional Transit Strategic Plan, Invest in Transit, makes the case for the region’s funding needs calling for annual investment of $2 to $3 billion over the next decade.”

… that gas prices in the Chicago area rose about 3.6 cents per gallon last week, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,437 stations. Gas prices in Chicago are 12.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and 15.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

“It appears that large increases in gas prices have begun to fade to distant memory, lending credibility to the notion that gas prices may be close to peaking for the time being. Oil prices have plummeted, and with President Trump’s shocking warning about raising tariffs on China, oil prices may see another weekly loss along with wholesale gasoline prices on the worry that perhaps a trade deal is not as close as anticipated, risking the recent growth in the U.S. economy and potentially leading to lower oil demand,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “For now, I believe we’re close to seeing gas prices peak in the next few weeks or so in most of the U.S., and barring any future unexpected outages, I think most the country has seen the risk of big price increases melt away.”

From our readers:

TG: Did the City change the street name?

Or is “Polar Avenue” just ComEd’s affectionate nickname since the

– Natalie Wainwright

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the City’s parking policies have escalated from annoying to destructive and downright scary. The pay boxes irk some people but, more importantly, they leave the payer at the box – older people, for example, and young people with toddlers in tow or babes in a stroller –  vulnerable to whoever is behind or coming up while the driver peers intently at the box wondering what to do next. And, while the Barnacle may help the City in the short-term by abetting its grab for money, it may be as harmful as the payboxes to businesses in town, as customers and patrons – loyal as well as potential ones – see these things as additional reasons to avoid Evanston.

… that the full moon on May 18 will be a seasonal blue moon – that is, the third of four full moons in one season. This is somewhat in contrast to the other, more common, “blue moon,” the second full moon in a calendar month.