… that crews spent some time this week in the middle of Dodge Avenue north of Main Street, checking out the sewers there.
… that, overland – well, over water – on the Central Street bridge, construction crews have taken over the south lane and sidewalk. The north lane is open for two-way traffic, and one assumes emergency vehicles from the fire station and the hospital will be able to get through when they need to. There’s no right turn (north) onto Bryant from eastbound Central, so residents and visitors should use Asbury and follow the detour signs.
… that fire trucks have returned to Station 4, the station having been vacated a few weeks ago because of flooding from roof damage.
… that folks are using parks more often but forgetting one of the primary rules of using public spaces: Leave the space cleaner than you found it. Here’s an example of one of the messes left in Lovelace Park over this past lovely, sunny, warm weekend, in the form of a note sent to the head of Friends of Lovelace Park: “We did a long horrible clean up this morning at the shelter — it was disgusting. The folks left meat on the grill and some of their own grills and other equipment, too, (which we didn’t touch). Mostly it was 3 bags of water and coke bottles and cans half filled and scattered all over the playground and on almost every table in the shelter. And a huge amount of plastic eggs opened and smashed. We also got some stuff out of the pond and also off the athletic field. It was icky, and there is still lots of the park we didn’t do.” Come on, park-users, grow up.
… that City crews are taking down recreational equipment fastened to parkway trees. Seems these swings, tightropes and ladders – some put up recently to keep children close and healthy during the lockdown – violate a City ordinance passed in 2019 to protect parkway trees.
… that City staff are reviewing an application for a shelter that TG thinks may be the first of its kind in Evanston for decades: a chicken coop.
… that this is Distracted Driving Awareness Month (yes, it does sound like an oxymoron). The Evanston Police Department has announced it is “urging drivers to drop their phones and focus on the road with a not-so-subtle reminder: ‘Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.’” EPD Sergeant Tracy Williams said, “People know texting and driving is both dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, putting themselves and others at risk. During April, you will see increased law enforcement efforts as officers stop and ticket anyone who violates distracted driving and other Illinois motor vehicle laws.” The EPD cites the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that “a total of 26,004 people died in U.S. crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2019.”
… that RT columnist Peggy Tarr complained to the City about the 30-miles-per-hour speed limit on Main Street in front of Washington School and the Robert Crown Center. City Traffic Guy Rajeev Dahal noted in his response to her that the City has installed school speed limit signs – 20 mph – in front of the school and east of Crown. There are also “speed feedback” signs, letting motorists know how fast they are driving. (Isn’t that an invitation to distracted driving, though – asking drivers to take their eyes off the road, onto the sign and back to the dashboard?) Mr. Dahal notes that the City Council sets the speed limits.
… that (following up on the discussion of robotic deliveries), Axios reports that Boston Dynamics is “obsessed with ‘making machines that can stay upright on their own and move through the world with the ease of an animal or human.’”
From our readers:
TG: I had my first experience yesterday evening with Evanston’s “Mobile Pay” zones. I met my son at a store on the west side of the 1200 block of Chicago Avenue. I live in Evanston and have the Park Evanston App on my smartphone. My son lives in Skokie and doesn’t. I’d paid using the app. He could not find a pay station to pay with cash and had to cross Chicago Avenue, in the middle of the block where he parked, to pay at a pay station on the other side. When I called Evanston’s 311 number to complain, I discovered that the only way to pay in a “Mobile Pay” zone is by using a smartphone. I asked 311 and Parking Division, “What do you do if you don’t have a smart phone or don’t have the App?” The answer was to find a parking space in a zone that has pay station. I don’t understand the logic of this system. What if you don’t own a smart phone? What if you are from out-of-town and don’t want to add, set up, and fund the app. What if you are elderly have a smartphone but can’t figure out the apps (I’ve known elderly who drive but can’t deal with the “smart” part of a smart phone). Must these people drive around until they spot a pay station? Are pay stations that expensive that there can’t be one within a half block or at least one in a zone? Please enlighten me.
I think the “Mobil App” zones lock out whole sections of the community and visitors from parking where those with smartphones can. –– Colman Buchbinder
From TG: Mr. Buchbinder, your astute observations point out the many flaws of the ParkEvanston mobile app that, separately and combined, leave out whole segments of potential parkers. TG also finds the 35-cent “convenient” surcharge a bit saccharine. Let’s hope the new City Council will address that – the City needs to attract, not repel potential customers for shops and restaurants here.
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that it is puzzling (and TG has harped on this before) that, with supposedly a Citywide 25-miles-per-hour speed limit, two areas where the speed limit is posted as 30 miles per hour are on a residential street (Asbury) and in front of a community center.