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November 19, 2019

10/30/2019 5:03:00 PM
The Traffic Guy hears ...
TG: Here is a fun Halloween pic, taken of this tombstone at Grey and Noyes. – Susan Groshong From TG: There it is, just below here. Thanks, Ms. Groshong
TG: Here is a fun Halloween pic, taken of this tombstone at Grey and Noyes.
– Susan Groshong

From TG:
There it is, just below here. Thanks, Ms. Groshong

… that the City is welcoming another mode of transportation: low-speed electric bicycles, or e-bikes. A couple of years ago, the State allowed three classes of e-bikes, but Evanston’s neighbor to the south allows only the low-speed. To allow e-bike owners to traverse streets in both Chicago and Evanston, City Council approved an ordinance permitting the use of these low-speed bikes on streets but not on sidewalks.

… that, speaking streets, artist Mat Rappaport contributed a curbside gem near Florence and Crain to Evanston’s celebration of the Terrain Biennial. His is called a “range mural,” created through a range mobile lab, a filed-research platform for the exploration of the design, habitation  and underlying economies of public and social space. The images are captured from video and mounted on weatherproof materials.

… that Schroeder and Schroeder Inc. of Skokie, the company that is performing construction work around the City, will do some additional work in James Park. So far, they have paved or graded alleys (near Simpson/McDaniel and Cleveland/Wesley), improved parks (Foster Field Park and Clyde-Brummel Park), made some ADA improvements (Ridge and Greenwood) and installed speed humps and alley bumps for traffic calming. Now the company is going to put up a fence in the back part of James Park to separate the City’s leaf compost, wood mulch and asphalt-grinding operations from the rest of the park.

… that, speaking of infrastructure, the City has contracted with Kimley-Horn & Associates of Lisle for Phase I engineering services for the Green Bay Road Corridor improvement. The Central Street bridge project was delayed, so the funds allocated for that will go into this project. The City says the “goals” of the project are “to address pedestrian access at intersections and along the business district, modernize the traffic signals, replace water main and generally improve the streetscape, including lighting improvements and street resurfacing from McCormick to Isabella.”

… that, lingering in the north part of the City, there is a new traffic-calming device in front of Haven Middle School. It’s a pillar that directs drivers dropping off kids and such in the circle near the main entrance to drive north only on Prairie. Since southbound Prairie is closed at Lincoln during school hours, it seems this should improve the traffic flow.

… speaking of traffic ebb and flow, TG would like to hear reactions to the dreaded congestion from the NU-Ohio State football game a couple of Friday nights ago. Seems like one of the worst things to come out of the evening was the score, 52 for OSU and 3 for NU.

… that the City’s Public Service Bureau is going to get a new vehicle, a 2019 Ford F-450 Chassis 4x4 SD Super Cab that is in compliance with EPA fuel standards, such as they are. It will be the lead utility truck for asphalt road work, such as towing a 2.5 ton roller, a skid steer and a hot box. A compressor will be on board to be used with a jackhammer.

… that, speaking of purchases, the City will buy 169 trees from Suburban Tree Consortium. Most of these will be planted by Forestry crews, and Herrera Landscape will take care of the rest.

… that clocks and schedules are supposed to “fall back” on Sunday. The Standard Time Act dates back to 1918, when the additional daylight hours were used to help save energy costs during World War I.

From our readers: TG: General Sheridan was not a tyrant. He was a fine equestrian, a storyteller, had a sense of humor, liked his spirits, and enjoyed his family. Changing the name of Sheridan Road is last on Evanston’s list of things to do: parking issues, pensions, schools, taxes, homeless, elderly, Halloween, traffic and bike lanes. My relative deserves his honor.                      – Mary Sheridan

TG: Beware of history. Your point about Sheridan Road makes two criticisms about Gen. Phillip Sheridan. The point about his campaigns against native people is on point but the other point, about his removal from Texas by President Andrew Johnson, steps into a minefield. Modern historical scholarship is not kind to Johnson whose vicious racism and hostility to Reconstruction were at the very least controversial. What white southerners thought about people like Gen. Sheridan and his actions in Texas is controversial. The South was in a decades-long struggle, often violent, to reverse reconstruction and install whites-only government, leading to Jim Crow – near-slavery by another name (they called this “redemption”). Sheridan (and General Grant), having just fought the Civil War against these forces, knew they could not have won the war without the assistance of black soldiers and other black folks and were not eager to let ex-confederates back into power so easily. Their role was often to protect newly freed slaves from violent retribution, which was frequent. Ex-confederate complaints against Sheridan in Texas must be taken with a healthy dose of salt. I don’t care if the street is renamed but let it not be because of Sheridan’s work in Reconstruction, which might even be called heroic.  -- Steve Cohen

From TG: Thank you, Ms. Sheridan and Mr. Cohen for your thoughts. Mr. Cohen, you are certainly right about the horrid Reconstruction Era and General Sheridan’s protection of former slaves. TG should have noted that and apologizes for the omission. The focus, as you noted, could be on the deliberate starvation of many native peoples.

TG: The City of Evanston’s recently mailed application for 2020 sticker-less vehicle registrations was a hot mess. No return envelope. No instruction on to whom to make out the check … or even where to mail it. Makes one wonder if constant commotion over social justice, race/gender equity and FOIA protocols is distracting municipal leadership from the nuts-and-bolts.    – John McCarron

From TG:  Thank you for your letter, Mr. McCarron. Something is amiss, TG believes, throughout the community, with apparent dysfunction in nearly every elected body. Given the mess and the poor results in City and schools, TG does not believe it is a commitment to equity or social justice that is distracting folks but perhaps a need to be admired. In the matter of not including an envelope: If that was meant to be a budget efficiency, TG wonders whether that saving will be offset by lost or late checks, since no one knows how to make them out or where to send them.


… that the City is welcoming another mode of transportation: low-speed electric bicycles, or e-bikes. A couple of years ago, the State allowed three classes of e-bikes, but Evanston’s neighbor to the south allows only the low-speed. To allow e-bike owners to traverse streets in both Chicago and Evanston, City Council approved an ordinance permitting the use of these low-speed bikes on streets but not on sidewalks.

… that, speaking streets, artist Mat Rappaport contributed a curbside gem near Florence and Crain to Evanston’s celebration of the Terrain Biennial. His is called a “range mural,” created through a range mobile lab, a filed-research platform for the exploration of the design, habitation  and underlying economies of public and social space. The images are captured from video and mounted on weatherproof materials.

… that Schroeder and Schroeder Inc. of Skokie, the company that is performing construction work around the City, will do some additional work in James Park. So far, they have paved or graded alleys (near Simpson/McDaniel and Cleveland/Wesley), improved parks (Foster Field Park and Clyde-Brummel Park), made some ADA improvements (Ridge and Greenwood) and installed speed humps and alley bumps for traffic calming. Now the company is going to put up a fence in the back part of James Park to separate the City’s leaf compost, wood mulch and asphalt-grinding operations from the rest of the park.

… that, speaking of infrastructure, the City has contracted with Kimley-Horn & Associates of Lisle for Phase I engineering services for the Green Bay Road Corridor improvement. The Central Street bridge project was delayed, so the funds allocated for that will go into this project. The City says the “goals” of the project are “to address pedestrian access at intersections and along the business district, modernize the traffic signals, replace water main and generally improve the streetscape, including lighting improvements and street resurfacing from McCormick to Isabella.”

… that, lingering in the north part of the City, there is a new traffic-calming device in front of Haven Middle School. It’s a pillar that directs drivers dropping off kids and such in the circle near the main entrance to drive north only on Prairie. Since southbound Prairie is closed at Lincoln during school hours, it seems this should improve the traffic flow.

… speaking of traffic ebb and flow, TG would like to hear reactions to the dreaded congestion from the NU-Ohio State football game a couple of Friday nights ago. Seems like one of the worst things to come out of the evening was the score, 52 for OSU and 3 for NU.

… that the City’s Public Service Bureau is going to get a new vehicle, a 2019 Ford F-450 Chassis 4x4 SD Super Cab that is in compliance with EPA fuel standards, such as they are. It will be the lead utility truck for asphalt road work, such as towing a 2.5 ton roller, a skid steer and a hot box. A compressor will be on board to be used with a jackhammer.

… that, speaking of purchases, the City will buy 169 trees from Suburban Tree Consortium. Most of these will be planted by Forestry crews, and Herrera Landscape will take care of the rest.

… that clocks and schedules are supposed to “fall back” on Sunday. The Standard Time Act dates back to 1918, when the additional daylight hours were used to help save energy costs during World War I.

From our readers: TG: General Sheridan was not a tyrant. He was a fine equestrian, a storyteller, had a sense of humor, liked his spirits, and enjoyed his family. Changing the name of Sheridan Road is last on Evanston’s list of things to do: parking issues, pensions, schools, taxes, homeless, elderly, Halloween, traffic and bike lanes. My relative deserves his honor.  – Mary Sheridan

TG: Beware of history. Your point about Sheridan Road makes two criticisms about Gen. Phillip Sheridan. The point about his campaigns against native people is on point but the other point, about his removal from Texas by President Andrew Johnson, steps into a minefield. Modern historical scholarship is not kind to Johnson whose vicious racism and hostility to Reconstruction were at the very least controversial. What white southerners thought about people like Gen. Sheridan and his actions in Texas is controversial. The South was in a decades-long struggle, often violent, to reverse reconstruction and install whites-only government, leading to Jim Crow – near-slavery by another name (they called this “redemption”). Sheridan (and General Grant), having just fought the Civil War against these forces, knew they could not have won the war without the assistance of black soldiers and other black folks and were not eager to let ex-confederates back into power so easily. Their role was often to protect newly freed slaves from violent retribution, which was frequent. Ex-confederate complaints against Sheridan in Texas must be taken with a healthy dose of salt. I don’t care if the street is renamed but let it not be because of Sheridan’s work in Reconstruction, which might even be called heroic.  -- Steve Cohen

From TG: Thank you, Ms. Sheridan and Mr. Cohen for your thoughts. Mr. Cohen, you are certainly right about the horrid Reconstruction Era and General Sheridan’s protection of former slaves. TG should have noted that and apologizes for the omission. The focus, as you noted, could be on the deliberate starvation of many native peoples.

TG: The City of Evanston’s recently mailed application for 2020 sticker-less vehicle registrations was a hot mess. No return envelope. No instruction on to whom to make out the check … or even where to mail it. Makes one wonder if constant commotion over social justice, race/gender equity and FOIA protocols is distracting municipal leadership from the nuts-and-bolts.    – John McCarron

From TG:  Thank you for your letter, Mr. McCarron. Something is amiss, TG believes, throughout the community, with apparent dysfunction in nearly every elected body. Given the mess and the poor results in City and schools, TG does not believe it is a commitment to equity or social justice that is distracting folks but perhaps a need to be admired. In the matter of not including an envelope: If that was meant to be a budget efficiency, TG wonders whether that saving will be offset by lost or late checks, since no one knows how to make them out or where to send them.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that a visit to the “Evanston myths” page on the City’s website, cityofevanston.org, has some things that TG, a long-time resident, had never heard of. Here are a few examples:
“If you have a horse, you must pay to park it in a metered spot.” Well, that’s false, because horses cannot be raised or kept here.  
“Whistling is forbidden at certain hours.” Yes, whistling and other vocalizations, namely “yelling, shouting, hooting and singing” on the public streets of Evanston” are unlawful, especially between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., per City Code 9-5-20.
 Don’t be scared if Seaweed Charlie, the Bride of St. A’s or one of the NU ghosts rings your doorbell ......
Happy Halloween, everyone.
 





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