The Traffic Guy hears …

… that some community centers will get some nice infrastructure improvements: The Levy Center will get some solar panels, and Fleetwood-Jourdain (finally) will get HVAC and electrical improvements.

… that ComEd is looking to construct a concrete wall that will be 16 feet high in some places, 20 feet high in others, at 2506 Green Bay Road. ComEd is calling it a “fence,” because walls are not permitted in that area. Concrete is not a permitted fence material, and the maximum allowed fence height is 6 feet in that area, the Central Street Overlay District. Let’s see where that goes. But here is another fence request: The Autobarn would like, among other things, to install an 8-foot sound-attenuating fence adjacent to the public alley for the existing Mazda dealership along Chicago Avenue and Greenleaf (1015 Chicago).

… that Insomnia Cookies would like to install a 10-foot-by-1-foot (ish) sign on the alley-side wall and a stick-on window sign of its storefront at 1725 Sherman, but the City permits wall signs and stick-ons only on the street-facing façade.

… that street resurfacing has begun – road-base repairs, curb and sidewalk replacement, and milling and replacing asphalt surfaces along seven streets, which will take five to six weeks in each location.   The lucky street segments are Cowper from Grant to Harrison, Grey from Foster to the north end, Livingston from Green Bay to Broadway, Wesley from Dempster to Grove, Dobson from Hartrey to Grey, Hinman from Kedzie to Main, and South Boulevard from Asbury to Ridge. Residents should watch for temporary “no parking” signs and for the waiving of some parking restrictions. The cost is covered through the state’s motor fuel tax, which is allocated to municipalities from the pots of money they collect for the state.

… that City crews were called for work to more than a dozen places after the high winds on May 17. One of these was in the 300 block of Davis, where one resident had reported to the City in April that an elm tree was “leaning precariously” because of some long branches. The tree, estimated to be more than 150 years old, crashed into the street that night.

… that the “new girl” on the Library ledge – the peregrine falcon that is Not Nona, has been given a new name, Fay.
Librarian Betsy Bird writes in her blog that Fay has laid three eggs. If she is just out of her juvenile plumage it is possible that the eggs will not be viable, but “we here at the library have our fingers firmly crossed that everything proceeds as usual and that we have a new crop of beautiful fuzzy chicks emerging soon.”

… that the City will lease 26 spaces in the Sherman Avenue garage to the new Target store for use by its customers. In a contrapuntal move, the City has allowed the giant E2 apartment complex (1881 Oak) to eliminate 88 resident spaces and lease them to the public. To be allowed to do this, E2 proposed contributing $5,000 to the Divvy Bike programs “as a public benefit.”

… that the segment of Sherman between Greenleaf and Lee will soon bear the honorary street name “Don Baker Way.” That’s near the original Y.O.U. headquarters, across from Nichols Middle School. More than 40 years ago, Mr. Baker founded Y.O.U. – then called Youth Organizations Umbrella and now, Youth & Opportunity United, an organization that has helped thousands of Evanston youth.

… that some community centers will get some nice infrastructure improvements: The Levy Center will get some solar panels, and Fleetwood-Jourdain (finally) will get HVAC and electrical improvements.

… that the City will grant easements to Northwestern to allow it to install new conduits for its fiber-optic cables. NU will pay a one-time easement fee of $186,000 for easements at 2601 and 2522 Orrington to 1840 Oak St., and 624 Colfax Ave.

… that, through June 4, the Evanston Police Department says it will show “zero tolerance” for seat-belt violations. This is a statewide effort, in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation, but occurring nationwide. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Clicking on a seat belt – and making sure kids are safely buckled up – should be a no-brainer. Still, the most recent crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 43% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were “unrestrained.” That percentage increases to 57% when just looking at crashes that occur between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., and that is the reason that this seatbelt campaign (“Click It or Ticket”) focuses on nighttime enforcement.

… that Illinois earth is warming up. Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey (part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois) reports that soil temperatures at depths of 4 inches under sod averaged 67.5 degrees in Illinois on May 15, 5 degrees higher than the long-term average. Under bare soil, temperatures were slightly higher, averaging 73 degrees on May 15 as temperatures reached into the 90s in central and southern Illinois.

… that Chicago has its Yellow Cabs and Baltimore, its purple ones, and now Evanston has a new color: its pink taxi.

… The underground parking garage at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington, will be closed for repairs from June 6 through July 9. The garage will re-open at 9 a.m. on July 10.

 From our readers: TG: In reaction to a bit in the May 4 issue: At the “Going Green Matters” event in Wilmette not long ago, I stopped at a table where one thing that was shown was an idea for street redesign there where the slant parking was facing the other direction, so that vehicles would back in and head out, instead of the other way. I thought this was excellent and made a note to put it in my “complete block” schematic which requires new construction of the buildings, as well as a different “complete street” design. Head-out wouldn’t help the driver of a 1960 full-size Cadillac with a Hummer parked “upstream,” but at least heading out of a slanted parking space is the normal way to look both ways before pulling into traffic, and it gives cautious drivers a better chance at safety. I learned to drive in L.A. and would rather walk a mile than have to squeeze into a tight parallel parking space.  – Jean Smiling Coyote

From TG: Thank you for the information about “heads-out” parking. It sounds like there is a lot to recommend such an approach to parking, albeit, as you suggest, with different street designs. TG has noticed that in non-metered parking lots (such as grocery store lots), drivers of several vehicles take that approach.

Mr. Traffic Guy: I would like to suggest that you pose this question in your column: Who knows where Evanston’s Wilder Street is located? I will bet not many.  — Cap’n Hank

From TG: It will be interesting to see.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that having a street-sweeper pass twice over certain spots – especially after a wind or rain storm, would be a good idea. TG has seen some sweepers apparently take a second pass but understands the timing, etc., involved in doing so. Here are two pix, one taken of a drain about two minutes after a street-sweeper passed over it, and the other of a drain not yet swept.

… Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day. The summer is officially open.

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