… that fall is settling in, and the City has begun to hunker down. The fountain at Fountain Square closed for the season on Oct. 10, and winterization is taking place there and at parks around town, including the Arrington Lakefront Lagoon. Winterization entails turning off the drinking fountains and closing facilities. Weather permitting; the City will close the Church Street boat ramp on Halloween.
… that the City has begun to construct a water-transmission main in southwest Evanston to get water over to a relatively new customer, Lincolnwood. The work entails 2,500 feet of 24-inch main and a below-grade flow meter. This will be along Hartrey between Cleveland and Oakton and along Oakton between Hartrey and the canal. The City expects the work to be completed by March, with “temporary concrete road restoration” immediately afterward and “final site restoration” in the spring. So, for the next few months, traffic on Hartrey will be one-way north, and no parking will be allowed. On Oakton between Hartrey and the canal, one lane will be open in each direction.
… that, at the request of the alderman of the First Ward, the City has exempted a few more homes from Parking District B: 400, 406 and 412 Clark and homes from 1430 Sheridan down to Davis. In addition, three parking spaces west of Maple on the north side of Foster have been added to the residential exemption parking district list. Farther west, the City will allow two-hour parking between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the west side of Dodge north of Church, up to the alley. This should be a boon to the businesses there, such as the ice cream and snack shop, the new grill at Gibbs-Morrison and the barber shops. Also new in the “Two Hour Limited Parking” category is the east side of Maple between Garnett and Foster.
… that the City wants residents to know that paying for parking helps fund public safety. Here is its DYK: “Did you know that when you pay to park in Evanston, you help keep our community safe? Each year, City parking revenue pays for approximately 10 police officers, 12 firefighters and 52 crossing guards.” It would be nice if the City also let folks know how the money from parking fines is spent.
And one more note on parking: The City will purchase parking business analytics and garage capacity signs from Automated Parking Technologies in Chicago for $147,000. The capacity signs would be installed in the three downtown garages (Maple, Clark/Church and Sherman) and on a couple of nearby streets to give folks a heads-up on where to park. City staff wrote in their memo urging City Council to approve the measure: “Based on the vendor’s previous experience with the analytics and signage, staff estimates that the project will pay for itself within two years of implementation due to better utilization of garages spaces.” Maybe this will entice some customers to return to the Maple Avenue Garage – the labyrinthine floor and ramp plans have had folks complaining (and some fleeing) for years now.
… that the City will purchase a fire engine from Temco Machinery, dba Global Emergency Products of Appleton, Wis., at a cost of $648,000.
… that, speaking of fire, the Orionid meteor shower will peak in this area next Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 21 and 22, following closely upon the Draconids, which peaked about nine days ago.
… that, back here on Earth, Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey, reports that September brought heat, flooding and drought conditions to Illinois. Last month was the fourth-warmest September on record since 1895, averaging 71.3˚ F., 4. 9˚ above the long-term average. Dr. Ford also reports, “Well over 100 local daily climate records were broken in Illinois in September, most of which were high daily minimum temperature records. These conditions were attributed to several very warm nights, including the night of Sept. 22, when the nighttime minimum temperature remained above 70˚ as far north as Elizabeth in Jo Daviess County and Freeport in Stephenson County. On the night of Sept. 10, the station in Rock Island reported a nighttime minimum temperature of 77 ˚ degrees, besting the previous daily record by 3˚.
From our readers: TG: With climate change, the yard waste season runs into December. Therefore, the old timetable for yard waste pickup and street cleaning should also be extended so that residents would not be left with piles of yard waste over the winter. – Jim Moore
From TG: Thank you, Mr. Moore. Some folks at the City apparently think as you do. Signs like this one are popping up all over town, noting that street-cleaning will take place twice a month in late fall and early winter.
TG: What’s going on with all the skunks in northwest Evanston? It’s gotten to the point where I can’t run on sidewalks in the mornings when it’s dark without risk of a painful and smelly encounter. While skunks are always more noticeable in the fall, this year seems to be worse. Is there something causing this? – John Schroeder
From TG: There are a lot of skunks in a lot of places around town, and early-morning and after-dusk walkers – and runners, like you – are happening upon them quite often. This is the time of year the females are fattening up for their long winter’s naps (not hibernation exactly, followed by the mating season). TG, who is often out in the early morning, also avoids sidewalks because there are fewer bumps and less light. When the light gets to certain brightness – still twilight, not yet full dawn – it seems that rabbits replace skunks as the lawn critters, followed in greater daylight by the squirrels. Lawrence Heaney, curator of small mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago, offered this piece of advice in an earlier RoundTable article (available at evanstonroundtable.com): “Leave them alone and they’re going to leave you alone. And don’t leave trash out.” He also noted that as long as you are looking at the face of a skunk and not its tail, you are pretty safe.
TG: You should get your facts straight. The Ohio State game starts at 7:30 p.m. and the parking lot is always open four hours before game time. There are people that tailgate and visit and are not troublesome. It will be an 8:30 game in the Eastern Time zone. – Marian Kurz
From TG: Thank you for the correction on the time, Ms. Kurz.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that, in these days of heightened consciousness about equity and reparations, one thing the City of Evanston can do is change the name of Sheridan Road. TG has made this plea before, not to keep honoring a man who so viciously pursued the destruction of First Nation tribes. The road was likely named for him because he oversaw military relief efforts after the Chicago Fire in 1871. Before that, though, he was a ferocious fighter. The website battlefields.org has this to say about General Philip Henry Sheridan: “During Reconstruction, Sheridan was appointed to be the military governor of Texas and Louisiana (the Fifth Military District). Because of the severity of his administration there, President Andrew Johnson declared that Sheridan was a tyrant and had him removed.
“In 1867, Ulysses S. Grant charged Sheridan with pacifying the Great Plains, where warfare with Native Americans was wreaking havoc. In an effort to force the Plains people onto reservations, Sheridan used the same tactics he used in the Shenandoah Valley: he attacked several tribes in their winter quarters, and he promoted the widespread slaughter of American bison, their primary source of food.” So TG proposes a name change to Archange Trail – and let Chicago put up a plaque to Gen. Sheridan for his help with the fire.