TG: A couple enjoys a picnic at ERG under the Metra bridge on Sunday afternoon 7/28/19.  – Matt SiegelFrom TG: Thanks, Mr. Siegel. The Emerson/Ridge/Green Bay corridor is one place TG would not have considered for a picnic. How nice that this couple thought of it – and nice of you to send the pic.

… that, through November, crews from Hacienda Landscaping of Minooka, hired by the City, will be renovating Garden Park, possibly the City’s southernmost park. Residents and others should be alert for temporary “No Parking” signs in the area, to be posted 48 hours in advance.

… that the Evanston Police were at it again last month – trying to make the streets and highways safe for everyone for the Illinois Speed Awareness campaign. The campaign was a joint effort of the Association of Chiefs of Police and Families Against Chronic Excessive Speed 4. In 2017, speed was the reason 42% of all fatal crashes in Illinois – 462 deaths for the year, or one life taken every 19 hours.

… that a somewhat new type of Peace Pole is planted on Lincoln Street.

… that Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey, reports that soils were warmer and dryer last month throughout the State. “Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil rose 4˚ in the first half of July to a Statewide average of 86˚ degrees. Temperatures were 8˚ above the historical normal and 3˚ degrees warmer than last year on July 14. Daily highs are in the 90s for most areas with several locations measuring temperatures 100˚ and higher.” While temperatures rose, soil moisture levels fell, especially at 8-inch depths. Moisture levels declined 32% at 2 inches, averaging 0.23 water fraction by volume on July 14. Similar but smaller declines also occurred at 4 and 8 inches, decreasing 25% and 22%, respectively, according to information from Dr. Atkins.  

From our Readers: TG: There should be a left turn lane on Greenleaf at the Ridge intersection eastbound and westbound. When cars attempt a left turn it backs up traffic for vehicles that want to continue straight or turn right. A couple of parking spaces may need to be sacrificed but I think it’s worth it.  – John Madison

From TG: TG agrees that there is often a bottleneck there. Maybe just lengthening the time of the Greenleaf green light would help – and not encroach on the residential areas there.

TG: In the latest issue, Traffic Guy states that the Central Street bridge is over 100 years old. I recall it being replaced in 1974 or 1975. The CTA buses were rerouted via Ridge, Lincoln and Asbury. – Harry Hirsch

From TG: Thank you for your letter, Mr. Hirsch. According to information from Stanley Consultants, the company the City has hired for the project, the bridge was “rehabilitated” in 1975. The City displayed that information a couple of years ago at an open house about the bridge. This new project contemplates a total replacement of the spans and the support. Having a single span will eliminate the need for support columns in the water.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… copying the idea from two esteemed Chicago journalists who traded what keeps them up at night and what lets them sleep, TG would like to offer eight annoyances
to life in the lane:

• Skateboarders and bicyclers using cell phones or not wearing helmets – or both. Yes, TG will admit that doing this is cool (TG knows this, having been cool before being transmogrified into a stop sign), but it is not wise, and TG worries more now about safety than coolness.

• Loud music. Music and rhythm in vehicles is meant to be for the enjoyment of those within the vehicle, not for the disturbance of those without. This is “not thinking” outside the box. If folks who are not in the car or truck can hear – and, often, feel, it – it’s too much.

• Jaywalkers wearing dark clothing, particularly at dusk or later. No, TG is not in cahoots with the Fashion Police but does prize visibility. TG admits to the delights of jaywalking whenever possible and feasible.

• Bikers who travel in the wrong direction on a bike lane. TG has heard of close calls by drivers, particularly on the Dodge Avenue lanes, by folks heading west on Greenleaf who have been surprised and more by a bicycler in the east lane, which is supposed to be the northbound lane. This also happens on the Church (eastbound) and Davis (westbound) lanes, but the potential for a dangerous accident on those is not so great as on Dodge.

• Bicyclers, drivers and others who blow through stop signs. Of course, it is annoying for anyone enjoying a bike ride or commuting to work to have to stop, rebalance and go, but that is the safe and legal thing to do. TG does believe, however, that bikers who do not stop at stop signs are paying a sincere compliment to surrounding drivers – believing, apparently, that everyone will stop for them.

• Dog owners who don’t believe leash laws, park laws and beach laws apply to them. While by City ordinance, dogs are not allowed to run loose in parks or even be on beaches reserved for humans, it seems only early-rising non-dog-owning Evanstonians would not know that.
• Guides for the rowers in the canal who use megaphones before 8 a.m. Anyone who thinks this is not disturbing is invited to hang around Twiggs or Butler parks at about 6:30 on an otherwise peaceful morning. The oars are quiet but the guides are not. Fewer birds are heard and seen in that area nowadays.

• Idling. This may be the most serious offense – at least the most harmful
to the planet. A driver waiting in a car while someone runs a “quick errand” is an example. And what about the cars crawling in drive-through lanes? But buses may be the worst; sometimes they wait and wait. Besides, idling is illegal here.