Seventh Ward residents heard details about football parking this fall at Canal Shores Golf Course, 1030 Central St., as well as plans for an eruv – the Hebrew word that refers to a boundary marked by fishing-wire marking a space in which Orthodox Jews can carry certain items during the Sabbath – in the vicinity of Evanston Hospital at an online Tuesday, Aug. 30, meeting moderated by Council member Eleanor Revelle. 

Seventh Ward Council member Eleanor Revelle

Officials from both Canal Shores and Chicago-based SP Plus, a parking facility management firm, said plans to utilize the course for parking during Northwestern University football games will be relatively unchanged from last year.

Matthew Rooney, vice president of the Canal Shores Board of Trustees, called the parking “a very significant revenue source for Canal Shores.”

The organization, he added, has not been making money from golf fees, especially during the COVID pandemic. 

There will be six home games this fall, but officials expect games on Oct. 8 (against University of Wisconsin), Nov. 10 (Ohio State) and Nov. 26 (University of Illinois) to be the most crowded, Rooney added.

David Deutsch, senior manager at SP Plus, said the lots will open about four hours prior to kickoff, unless officials are directed otherwise by the police. “We understand that the goal is to stay as far away as possible from the homes for the tailgating,” he added.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) owns the land along the North Shore Channel; part of that land in turn is subleased through the city to the golf course. Northwestern has had agreements with the golf course for football parking since 2008.

The need for an eruv

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein of Tannenbaum Chabad House, 2014 Orrington Ave., said the eruv was necessary for Orthodox Jews utilizing the Solomon and Dora Einhorn Evanston Hospitality Suite, operated by the Chicago Mitzvah Campaign agency, at 1022 Central St. It is intended for family members of Evanston Hospital patients.

Orthodox Jews are prohibited from carrying items in public places on the Sabbath. An eruv essentially creates boundaries that turn a public space into a private one, alleviating observant individuals visiting a patient from problems should they need to carry items such as identification or vaccination cards for the hospital, Klein explained. 

Evanston Hopsital Credit: Evan Girard

Klein said that the eruv, though necessary for some hospital visitors, will be unnoticeable and unobtrusive to most passersby – and that an eruv already exists in south Evanston near Ascension St. Francis Hospital.

“Unless you were driving along and looking for it, you wouldn’t know it was there,” he added. 

The eruv would circle the hospital and cross Central Street to connect with the the hospitality suite. A single utility pole is needed to fully mount the wire; that will be on city property, so permission is still needed from the Evanston City Council.

The council is expected to hear that matter in September, according to Revelle. Illinois Department of Transportation must approve the eruv’s crossing of Central Street, which is a state road.