… that, despite Evanston’s odd late-spring weather, several residents took up the challenge to bike to work, which began on June 14 and continues until June 28. There were a few “pit stops” on June 14, the kickoff day of the challenge, offering treats and meets for bikers. Continuing the challenge, folks are encouraged to bike to work and to vote for their favorite bike-friendly businesses at cityofevanston.org/bikefriendly.
… that the presence of the Cook County (not the federal) Department of Homeland Security vehicle visibly placed at the Custer Street Fair on June 15 evoked some consternation. The next day, the Planter’s Peanutmobile had taken its place.
… that the Evanston Police Department has begun its July Fourth traffic enforcement campaign, which will run through July 8. This one targets impaired drivers and riders who do not use their seatbelts.
Traffic Sergeant Tracy Williams says, “It’s simple: If you’re driving, don’t drink or use drugs.” And those who choose to drink or use drugs should find alternate means of getting to their destinations – a designated driver, a sober family member, a taxi or ride-share or mass transit.
… that these attractive fence decorations face an alley between Greenleaf and Crain.
… that antique-car lovers may be coming to Evanston next month. Steve Starkman of Mustard’s Last Stand is hoping to hold an antique auto show in the west parking lot there to celebrate Mustard’s 50th anniversary.
… that crews will be resurfacing segments of seven streets over the next 10 weeks – replacing curbs, repairing the bases of the roadways, replacing asphalt surfaces and, where needed, replacing ADA sidewalks and driveway aprons. The streets are divided in to “Phase 1” and “Phase 2” streets. The City did not describe the distinction between the two phases, so TG assumes it is geographical, with Phase 1 streets to the north and Phase 2 streets to the south.
Phase 1 Streets: Culver, Crawford to Prospect; Grove, Dewey to Wesley; Jenks, Poplar to Broadway and Hampton Parkway to Asbury. Phase 2 Streets: Brown, Brummel to the CTA railroad right-of-way; Hinman, South Boulevard to Keeney; and Keeney, Dewey to Florence. The City promises to minimize annoyances, post temporary “No Parking” signs 48 hours in advance, and waive street-sweeping and/or neighborhood parking restrictions for a one-block radius around the construction zone during the “no parking” times.
… that marchers are getting ready for the Fourth of July parade, and, in just a few days, spectators will be staking out their parade-watching places on Central Street. Dick Peach, RoundTable columnist, president or past president of about every civic organization in the City, will be the Grand Marshall. TG expects mostly local politicians since it’s not an election year and Evanston let its State Senator and one State Representative slip away. What about City Council members? Will they brave the crowd walking or biking individually or perhaps all huddle in and around the Ann Rainey pedicar? Maybe hiding behind a banner apologizing to the community for the parking fiasco.
… that soils in Illinois were cooler and wetter than earlier this month, according to information from Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois. Soils have been warming but remain 4 degrees below the long-term average as of June 16. “Overall,” reports Dr Atkins, “soil moisture levels have remained steady or showed slight declines in the first half of June. Levels at two-inch depths averaged 0.39 water fraction by volume on June 16, more than 40% higher than the long-term average for mid-June.”
… that folks who have friggatriskaidekaphobia – a fear of Friday the 13th – may have felt a little chill a couple of weeks ago. June 14 – a Friday but not the “scary” date was exactly 13 weeks before a Friday the 13th in September. And 13 weeks after that is the second and final Friday the 13th of the year: Dec. 13, 2019.
… that June – the month of June bugs and lightning bugs – is also a great month for noctilucent clouds, those electric-blue clouds that shine at night. And speaking of shining at night, it was too cloudy here to see the full moon on June 14. EarthSky.org reports “the crest of the moon’s full phase comes at a specific instant – the instant the moon and sun are most opposite each other on our sky’s dome for this month – and that moment happens on June 17, 2019, at 08:31 [the former Greenwich Mean Time]. For the most of us in North America, that means the moon turns full in the wee hours before sunrise on June 17.” In this country, the June full moon is called the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon. In the Southern Hemisphere, the June full moon, approaching the winter solstice down there, is called the Long Night Moon.
From our readers: TG: It really has gotten out of hand, and not just with meters but also with the high increase on parking ticket fines. A neighbor just received a $75 ticket for leaving his car on the monthly cleaning side of the street. One time a month, it happens, right? But to be fine $75 seems excessive. And back to the meters – recently when I was paying to park on Central, in front of Bluestone, and while the meter said $1/hour, the electronic screen stated $1.50/hour. I almost missed that as I put in a buck, to only realize I had actually just paid for 45 minutes. Obviously not a big deal, unless that overly enthusiastic ticket writer for EPD was out cruising for mistakes. The same guy that waits in front of stores/restaurants at 8:55 just waiting to write folks up. Redunkulous. – Craig Likhite
From TG: Thank you for your input, Mr. Likhite. Your frustration appears to mirror that of many residents who have contacted the RoundTable or even spoken on a more casual basis to some staff members. TG knows whereof you speak with the “forked-tongue” meters on Central Street – the meter giving two different rates in different places. TG has also heard of customers abandoning restaurants and shops because of this parking fiasco.
Dear TG: Aside from dogs, apparently no tennis is allowed at Lovelace Park either. The tennis season is months old but during that time the six courts there have been paved over with no lines and no nets. What gives? – Curious
From TG: Thank you for your inquiry, Curious (TG knows who you are). Lara Biggs, City Engineer and Bureau Chief of Capital Planning, told your aldermen, who told the RT, that the courts were paved more than two weeks ago but “the asphalt needs to cure two to three weeks before the color coating system can be applied. We are waiting on confirmation from the contractor for the date the color-coating subcontractor will be onsite. The target for finishing the tennis court was originally the end of June, but we are considering some time extension for the contractor because of the excessive rain this spring.”
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the parking fiasco – the pestiferous parking boxes, the ridiculously high parking rates and the feeling that parking enforcement officers are stalking everyone – continues. TG thinks, as the RT opined in a recent editorial, that the City should just pull back on all these changes and declare Evanston a parking-money free zone for six weeks.