The Traffic Guy hears …

… that in the next few weeks the City will bolster the shoreline at Greenwood and Dempster Street beaches and at Elliot and Garden parks against the expected rough winter currents with lake levels at an historic high. The work will involve repairing some of the rubble-mound revetments and installing temporary flood barriers. Visitors, drivers and parkers are asked to observe parking restrictions and temporary area closings.  The general contractor for the project is Robe, Inc., of Chicago. The City expects the work to be completed by November.

Farther south, the Howard Street patching project is underway between from the Target access drive to Ridge. Next year there will be more visible improvements – adding streetscape and a bike lane and improving the sidewalks, street lights and traffic signals.

… that monies form the West Evanston TIF fund will finance sewer pipe repairs and enhancements in the area – installing cured-in-place pipe liners and removing tree roots that could damage the pipes.  

… that, until next spring, there will be four-hour parking in the Hurd/Central Street areas. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff have not studied the area sufficiently to warrant this as a permanent change. Speaking of parking, electric vehicles will no longer get a free ride, er, park. It seems so many Evanstonians are getting electric cars that more turnover in these spaces is needed and money will be required.  Electric-vehicle drivers will be treated like other vehicle drivers – paying to park and being able to stay for limited hours – but they will still have their charging stations. At present the City maintains six charging stations in the Maple Avenue garage (two); the Morton Civic Center parking lot (two); the Sherman Plaza garage(two); the Main Library surface lot (two); the parking lot at 817 Hinman Ave (two); 2122 Central St. (two). Five new charging stations will be in the Robert Crown Center – for a total of 17. There are also 21 non-City owned charging stations, some of which are open to the public. .

 … that a three-way stop may soon come to Oakton and Sherman.

… that National Choose Your Chocolate Day was last Wednesday (Sept. 16). The holiday experts at National Today, which calls itself the internet’s #1 authority for holidays, surveyed 1,500 Americans about chocolate and learned this:

·  41% of respondents say that their chocolate consumption has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

·  57% of respondents say that they consume chocolate at least once a week.

·  82% of respondents say that they would be very happy if their best friend gave them their favorite chocolate as a birthday gift.

·  57% of respondents say that they crave milk chocolate the most.

The survey also found that Illinois ranks #1 for chocolate lovers, with New York, Florida, Ohio, and California rounding out the top 5. Remember, the oldest mission of the RT is to search for truth and the finest chocolate.

… that, speaking of munching on something tasty, the  Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has rented 50 goats and sheep to eat and knock down vegetation at various MWRD land. The herd of goats and sheep will graze on overgrowth and invasive species – a cost-effective and sustainable way to maintain MWRD native prairie landscaping. After fall grazing, the goats will return to their Wisconsin farm home.

… that the sun has passed into Solar Cycle 25. Eleanor Imster posted that news in SPACE on Sept. 16. These 11-year solar cycles have a fairly predictable rhythm – quiet (solar minimum) to active (solar maximum) then back to minimum, Dr. Imster wrote. The active periods create geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms that cause radio blackouts and impact the power grid, satellites, GPS, airlines and spacecraft. Solar Cycle 24 was fairly calm, and scientists expect 25 to be, as well.

From our readers: TG: Have you ever wondered about the, clearly athletic, NU students who buzz around on scooters clearly made for more petite folk, sans helmet? Most wear shorts, t-shirt, baseball cap, and often open toed shoes. Got to wonder why the coaches allow this as, even in the pandemic, the school is/has invested good money for scholarships etc., in these wonders of nature. All it would take is for one of them to not pay attention as witnessed recently, and there go a couple of toes – or worse. Steve Lemieux-Jordan

From TG: TG can add little to that, Mr. Lemieux-Jordan, except wonder why the NU police allow it as well.

TG: Do you have any idea who the guy is that stands on the side of Ridge around Lake and watches traffic?  Sometimes films it? He’s out there all the time. – Chris Hart.

From TG: No idea, Mr. Hart. The RT asked the City’s traffic guy, who said it is not a City project. TG has not seen the man but has checked a few times and will continue to do so.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the autumnal equinox falls on Sept. 22 this year. Darkness and light are equal for a few minutes. Wouldn’t it be great if the rest of the world would get into balance?

… that everyone should turn out for Bike the Ridge on Sunday. Ridge Avenue will be free of north-south motorized vehicles between 9 and 1.