… that, even though there has not been much snow so far, winter is on the way. The solstice, the beginning of winter, arrives at 4:02 a.m. on Dec. 21. Planning for snow, the City has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Glencoe, Lincolnwood, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie and Wilmette to share snow-removal personnel if one of those municipalities needs help.

… that the holidays are kicking into high gear. Here’s a pic of the line at the Davis Street post office early on (da-da-da-DUM) Dec. 16, taken by Megan Bloem.

 

… that free parking, in a limited sense, continues through the new year – after hours in the downtown garages and in some spots for short-term pickups for those who use the ParkEvanston app. Shop Evanston first, even if you have to pay for parking.

… that, speaking of parking, the City is going to incorporate the north side of the 500 block of Church into a permit-only residential zone. And the 900 block of Elmwood is being converted to an early-morning residents-only parking district – 7-9 a.m. weekdays. Watch for new signs about both of these things.

… that the City will soon have an agreement Passport Labs, Inc. that will allow the City to use Passport’s services and technology to facilitate mobile pay services from other companies such as Google. And more: Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Associates, Inc., of Northbrook may take until the end of February to complete their work of performing full visual surveys of the Chicago Avenue, Church Street, Maple Avenue and Sherman Avenue garages and the Service Center building and conducting delamination surveys of the slab top surface at certain locations where it looks like the concrete might be deteriorating.

… that the City is buying new vehicles aplenty – for PWA, EDP, EFD, 20. The Fire Department and Parks and Rec will each get one, while Public Works and the Police Department will get seven apiece; Administrative Services will get four vehicles and a stationery vehicle lift at a total cost of $1.4 million. Sean Ciolek, Facilities & Fleet Management Division Manager for the City, wrote in a memo to City Council that such things as mileage, engine time, age, reliability, maintenance cost, and the operational environment the to which equipment is subjected are all factors in deciding whether to replace or repair a City vehicle.

… that four-way stops are coming to Noyes at the intersections of Hartrey and of Grey.

… that the City will allow residents to place temporary fencing in the parkways, after signing a temporary parkway fencing agreement indemnifying the City and using non-metal posts. This ordinance appeared to be necessary, because, although the current City Code doesn’t allow anything of that nature on the parkway, the City admitted, “staff does not have the manpower to enforce this requirement and staff only responds to a parkway obstruction when a concern is reported.” So folks can protect the young plants, shrubs and trees would use to beautify the community.

… that “Natural Areas” is a new public designation of those areas tended by volunteers who plant, weed, remove invasive species, and hold education events there. The Ladd Arboretum, sections of Harbert-Payne and Twiggs parks, the Clark Street Bird Sanctuary and the habitat garden at the Civic Center are great candidates for this designation.

… that the nationwide COVID shutdown has delayed the creation of the public art piece for the Robert Crown Center, pushing back the installation date to late March. According to information from the City as the piece was being conceptualized, “The art installation is expected to feature an interactive sculptural shape with etched words that embody the themes of learning, recreation, and community within the context of the Evanston community.” Community members were invited to submit ideas for words to be incorporated into the design. The artist is Blessing Hancock. Here is an early sketch of the design:

 

… that a Chicago alderman has proposed renaming 1 17-mile segment of Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.

… that some might ask what is this cheery critter: A reiningo? A flamindeer?

 

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that December may be as good a time as any to approach darkness – not just as a fact, since the daylight will decrease until the solstice – but as a necessity. In Paul Bogard’s “Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark,” 29 scientists, scholars and poets write of the necessity, beauty, and mystery of night – which is threatened nearly everywhere by light pollution. Evanston has been doing its part to cut down on light pollution by installing “dark-sky lighting” in several parks. The photo here was taken in Twiggs Park. The shade covering the top of the bulb focuses the light downward and still allows the same visibility.

 

… that these signs on Payne just north of Ashland are a cheerful reminder: “We’re in this together.”

… that COVID isolation makes the lights shine more bright. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Welcome, Winter, and welcome, 2021.