… that the next few days mark the anniversary of the State lockdown because of the novel coronavirus. In TG’s memory, the lockdown began on Friday the 13th last March.
… that street-sweeping is supposed to resume on March 15. Drivers and parkers should remember to pay attention to the signs, not to the street. Even if it looks like the street-sweeper has gone by, the ticket-issuers will be on the lookout for cars parked in violation of the signs.
… that signs of spring likes these snowdrops and hellebores are peeking through winter’s detritus.
And here’s a relic apparently uncovered by a recent snowplow:
… that the City will receive more than $1 million in Rebuild Illinois funding to resurface and improve segments of nine streets, repairing the base, replacing curbs and ADA sidewalk ramps and adjusting drainage as necessary on Barton from Harvard Terrace to the dead end south; on Mulford from Barton to Ridge; on Chancellor form Eastwood to East End; and Clark from Chicago to Sheridan Road; on Dobson from Custer to Elmwood; on Lincoln from Pioneer to McDaniel; on Madison from Asbury to Ridge; on Michigan from South Boulevard to Keeney; and on Reese from Hartzell to Isabella.
For these street segments it will be patch, patch, patch: Gross Point from Harrison north to the City limits; Harrison from Gross Point to Crawford; Oakton from Asbury to Callan; and Sheridan from South Boulevard to Burnham Place.
… that the City is planning some significant park amenities – a dog park and a skate park. Readers will recall that the City already has Pooch Park, along the canal south of Main Street. The skate park at Robert Crown is long gone, as is the center it abutted. So the City’s Parks and Recreation Department is holding a public meeting on the dog park at 5 p.m. on March 16 and a public meeting on the skate park at 5:30 p.m. on March 17. The Parks & Rec page of the City’s website should have detailed information and the Zoom link.
… that four-way stops are coming soon to Eastwood and Livingston.
… that, just north of downtown, the owners of the 811 Emerson building are looking to reduce the number of required parking spaces for tenants – but by just four, form 174 to 170 – and then make half of those available for public parking. It’s not clear how much they would charge.
… that the Kensington School is getting closer to reality in northwest Evanston. The City could soon approve the demolition of the former Christian Science structure at 2715 Hurd, to make way for the construction of the school building. Kensington Schools offer private nursery, preschool and kindergarten education.
… that Jennie Atkins of Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) is predicting healthy insect populations because of the comparatively warmer soils this winter. Dr. Atkins reports that soil temperatures were slightly warmer than normal at the 4-inch depths. Under sod, temperatures averaged 36.3 degrees for the season, 1.3 degrees warmer than historical averages but 1.7 degrees cooler than winter 2019-2020. Kelly Estes, coordinator of the Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey, notes that warmer temperatures favor insect survivability. Dramatic temperature swings, snow cover and soil moisture can affect how and how many insects will survive the winter, she noted.
… that the bus shelter panel at the PACE bus stop at Dempster/Dodge may get a facelift.
… that Petaluma, Calif., has voted to outlaw new gas stations. Some are hoping this will become a trend and a way to shift to cleaner energy.
… that, even if science and conscience help streets become less jammed with gas guzzlers, pedestrians may become crowded with small delivery robots. Axios reports that the state of Pennsylvania has classified them as pedestrians. Other states, while not that expansive in their laws, do seem to want to accommodate these little guys. Axios notes, “These laws are a boon to Amazon’s Scout delivery robot and Fed Ex’s Roxo, which are being tested in urban and suburban settings.” But, the other side, Axios notes, is this “The National Association of City Transportation Officials says: ‘Drone delivery could significantly increase noise pollution and add a new dimension of chaos to urban streets.’”
… that the asteroid Apophis made a “close flyby” (44 times the distance from the moon, per EarthSky.org) of this planet last week. The asteroid, which measures about more than 40 yards across, received a lot of notoriety in 2004, when there were predictions it might strike here in 2029.
… that March 14 is Pi Day π (3/14), per a resolution passed in Congress in 2009.h Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which in its basic form is 3.14 followed by an infinite number of digits, so the exact ratio cannot be calculated.
Marching on … March 15 is the Ides and also the day the buzzards return to Hinkley, O.; March 17, St. Patrick’s Day; March 19, swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, Cal.; March 20 is the vernal equinox; and March 28 is the full moon, known as the Worm moon.
From our readers:
TG: The public works staff did a fabulous job keeping the streets clear for those who drive. However if you walked anywhere you had to deal with huge mounds of snow that City snow plows created in crosswalks. If you bike then you have to deal with icy bike lanes. It’s a great frustration to those who walk or bike that the City makes sure the roads are clear but not sidewalks or bike lanes. — Reuben Perelman
From TG: Thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Perelman. TG also noted many pedestrians in the streets during the last few weeks, when the sidewalks were impassable because of ice. TG hopes the City, in particular, the Public Works Agency, will be able to pay more attention to bike lanes, street crossings and the like. Maybe more money is needed to pay more attention – but safety of residents and ease of transportation should be up there on their list. And thank you for the photo – the bright sunshine and the melting snow may remove the memory of those days not so long ago when even getting around a corner was tiring.
TG: Will the old street lights ever change? I am an Evanston resident and when I drive from Chicago into Evanston there is a distinct dimming of lights. – Lorelei
From TG: Yes, and you’re right, Lorelei. Lights are dimmer in Evanston than in Chicago, something that is noticeable particularly on Ridge Avenue once one crosses Howard. The Tallmadge light fixtures are beautiful and loved by many, and they do provide less light that those immediately to the south. The change is slow but occurring: The City is installing LED lights in many of these, which provide brighter light with less pollution.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that perhaps as dramatic – and to TG much more disturbing than the dimmer lighting – is the “greeting” that Evanston provides: From Howard street north on Dodge for blocks there are signs, signs, signs cluttering the parkways. Surely something can be done.
Don’t forget to spring forward on March 14 – set the clocks up one hour.
The curb cuts filling up with snow from the plows made it impossible for people who use wheelchairs to get around. This has been a problem for many years. Sometimes homeowners clear the corners so their neighbor in a wheelchair can get across the street, only to have the plow come by and leave a pile of snow back in the curb cut. The city needs more bobcats to go back though and clear curb cuts. Northwestern does it and so do the shovelers around St Francis.
If the city wants drivers to abide by the no parking signs, the signs on residential streets should be more visible especially for the benefit of transients who are not familiar with dates of no parking. They are not signs one might pay attention to when turning a corner or watching for a pedestrian. So why place them at the beginning of a block?
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