Three owlets and a parent, The young ones have grown significantly over the past few weeks. Photo by Jim Peterson

… that crews are installing new mast-arm traffic lights at certain intersections. At Emerson and Dodge, it looks like the little post-tops could be removed. Farther south and east, the road repairs on Main by the shopping plaza along the canal are done. The steep bump at the bottom of the entry ramp on the west side has been smoothed, and there the much-awaited traffic light is up and soon to be running at the east entry.

… that, speaking of traffic signals, Stanley Consultants will work on behalf of the City with the Illinois Department of Transportation to secure some federal month for the Ridge Avenue Traffic Signals Improvement Project on Ridge at seven cross streets: Oakton, Main, Greenleaf, Dempster, Lake Davis and Church.  The City has received a $700,000 Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Grant toward the project. Just FYI, the average daily traffic on Ridge is estimated at 15,000-20,000 vehicles. The average daily traffic on the major side streets is estimated at 5,000 to 12,000 vehicles. Pedestrian crossing upgrades, left-turn signals on side-street approaches and tree-trimming are among the scheduled improvements.

… that Golf Road repairs are also proceeding apace, with new curbs, etc. 

… that Pastor Monte Dillard of First Church of God in Christ held a Blessing of the Bikes on May 2, with about a dozen people and their motorbikes participating.

… that the City is going to purchase a new refuse vehicle for the Public Works Agency at a cost of $288,000.

… that Nature’s Perspective Landscaping, located here on Greenleaf, has received the City’s contract for planting and tending the bioswale along Green Bay Road. This project is somewhat a replacement therapy, as the original contractor planted the wrong variety of purple love grass – the plant specified by the City – using a type that was not hardy enough to survive winters up here. None of the plants made it through, and the new plants, Little Bluestem, will grace the Union Pacific embankment from Foster to Noyes.

… that Pan-Oceanic Engineering of Chicago will install approximately 4,067 feet of new water main and approximately 1,270 feet of new relief sewers on Darrow from Church to Lyons, on Dodge from Mulford to Howard, on Lawndale from Grant to Harrison, and on Lyons from Darrow to the east end. According to the City, the relief-sewer extension at Darrow and Lyons will reduce the flow of storm water to the combined sewer and reduce the “magnitude and frequency of sewer surcharging in the area as well as create connections for alleys that are to be improved using funds from the Waste Transfer Settlement.”

… that the City will demolish the structure at 1239 Leon, which it says is vacant and “structurally unsafe.” The project involves not only the demolition of the place, but also the remediation of asbestos in the window, backfilling the foundation and regarding and seeding the site.

… that gas prices continue to fall in this pandemic. In the final week of April the national average of gasoline fell 4.4 cents per gallon, according to GasBuddy. The national average is down 25.6 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 115.1 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to information from GasBuddy.com. GasBuddy’s survey updates 288 times every day from a diverse list of sources covering nearly 150,000 stations nationwide, the most comprehensive and up-to-date in the country. GasBuddy data is accessible at http://FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com.


… that the great horned owl family – mom and three growing owlets – have become quite the attraction in northwest Evanston. Meanwhile, a bit to the south and east, folks are interested in a heron that has built a nest near the top of a tree along the canal.

… that some scientists are now thinking the interstellar object known as Oumuamua, first noted in 2017, “came to us after a close encounter with its parent star and that it might, indeed, be a fragment of a shattered alien world, a fragment of a shattered super-Earth,” according to an April 16 post by astronomer Deborah Byrd in Space and reprinted shortly afterward in Earthsky.org. An astronomer in Hawaii first noted it and, Dr. Byrd writes, “The IAU designated it as 1I/’Oumuamua, the 1I for first interstellar and ‘Oumuamua, which is Hawaiian for a messenger from afar arriving first.”

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that it’s kind of odd that the speed limit along the mostly business corridor of Dodge – south of the high school to Main – is 25 mph, but the speed limit on a stretch of Asbury that’s mostly residential is 30 mph. And supposedly 25 is the Citywide speed limit.

… that maybe Harry and Meghan could buy the Clarke mansion and turn it over to the public. They could fix it up with some of that royal money they still receive, reserve a couple of weeks a year for their own use, and then allow some of those proposed dynamic private uses take root. In size, it could pass for a proper, if stripped-down, castle; the gardens have exponential potential, if money were given; and it’s quite close to the Duchess’s alma mater. Problem solved.