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… that the sun is back. Icicles, snowfolk and snowbanks are melting; and the sun is ever brighter over the lake. Mary De Jong sent this photo of the Feb. 21 sunrise from Clark Square.
… that the City is still catching up from the mid-month snow that snarled traffic and slowed everyone down for a few days.
Trash and recycling collections are still a somewhat sporadic, and street-cleaning has been postponed for a couple of weeks: March 15 is now the target date for regular seasonal street cleaning. Even though there is a slight reprieve, drivers should not forget to heed those signs once the street-cleaning and ticket-writing season begins. The City invites community members to view the 2021 street cleaning schedule and sign up for courtesy email or text message notifications by visiting cityofevanston.org/streetcleaning or calling/texting 847-448-4311.
… that the Howard Street Corridor project is back on track, scheduled to resume next month. Work along the corridor from Callan west to Target Drive, performed by crews from ACURA, Inc., of Bensenville, will include streetscape, sidewalk, bike lane, street light and traffic signal improvements. Here’s the schedule, according to the City:
Phase 1: Callan/Winchester to Ridge – March to May
Phase 2: Ridge to Asbury/Western – June to July
Phase 3: Asbury/Western to Target Access Drive/Sacramento – August to September
Phase 4: Final street paving, Callan to Target Access Drive/ Sacramento – September to October
One lane of traffic will be open in each direction, the lane depending of course on the work being done at the time. And, yes, access to businesses will be maintained.
Speaking of streets, the City is studying how to create a safe bicycle and pedestrian way on Church between Dodge and the canal. There is a short survey about the Church Street Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Study, available in English and Spanish (English Survey (bit.ly/SaferChurchStSurvey)
… that some of the deep tracks in the snow turned out to be rabbit tracks, enlarged by the heat and weight of the animals and the sun. TG saw a skunk this week – a harbinger of spring – and Sigrid Pilgrim sent this photo of some geese in northwest Evanston.
… that GasBuddy predicts that gasoline prices could increase over the next two weeks by 10 cents to 20 cents per gallon.
… that EarthSky.org reports that the farthest-away known object in this solar system now has an official name. Astronomers who discovered it three years ago nicknamed it Farfarout. Now it has the designation 2018 AG37.
From our readers:
One of the private snow removal services plowed a huge mound of snow over our nearby fire hydrant – “huge” being the operative word here, as in “Taller Than Me.”
I know Evanston has a loose policy of asking neighbors to adopt their hydrants and clear away snow, and I always do it myself— but this was too much for me (62, not that strong to begin with) to do on my own. I could not even pinpoint the location of the hydrant under the snow pile.
I approached a resident and friend in the building whose snow plower left the mess, asking if she knew anyone in the building who might help, and some residents there were outraged, insisting it wasn’t their problem, or that it wasn’t their plow service that did it.
I’m hoping we can clarify for Evanstonians that it really doesn’t matter who mounds snow over your nearest hydrant; but it sure does matter if there is a fire and firefighters cannot access the water to put it out.
In this instance, many hands would have made light work; instead we had just three people who volunteered, and two of them were my friend, in her 70’s, and little, weak me. Please do a story on clearing snow from fire hydrants! Thanks!
Amy Savin Parker
From TG: What a monstrous task, Ms. Parker. Just before your letter came, the RT did post a story of a resident who cleared snow from most of his block and set the local hydrant free.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the City’s Public Works staff and others did a fabulous job of getting the City through those few rough weeks of winter, clearing the streets, finding alternative parking spaces, opening a warming center, etc.
… that these trees reflect a great greeting for spring and farewell to snow. (They are stuck together in a photograph but standing across the street from each other in real life,)
… that readers may be interested in this information provided by Public Works Agency Director Dave Stoneback in answer to a question from a member of the RT staff about whether water in the standpipes freezes in below-zero weather.
He wrote, “The water in the standpipes is always moving, like the current in a lake. So there might be some ice floating at the top of the water level, but the rest of the water never freezes, again similar to a lake.
“The standpipes float on the water distribution system, meaning that the valve is open allowing water to flow in and out of the standpipe as there is a demand. During the early morning when people shower / cook /clean the water level in the standpipe drops. This occurs again at lunch time and dinner time. Overnight, when there is low water use, water flows into the standpipe, raising the water level.
“In addition, there are mixers in the standpipes that keep the water circulating. This is to keep the water fresh and avoid having the newest water from being withdrawn. This avoids the last in, first out situation which would leave older water basically sitting in the standpipe unused.
“Lastly, there are booster pumps at the standpipe sites. They are there mostly for fire protection (in order to increase flow and pressure if there was a fire on the west side of the City) but these pumps are placed into operation once a week to make sure there is water turnover in the standpipes.
“So all these various things keep the water moving, which helps prevent the water from freezing.”