In the works:  Electrical car charging station and solar canopy in 

Central Street Parking Lot #4, thanks to I-GO
Construction has begun on an electrical vehicle charging station and solar canopy in City parking lot #4 at Central Street and Stewart Street.  The project, funded by a federal grant through I-GO Car Sharing, should be completed by Memorial Day.  The solar canopy will cover four parking spaces in Lot #4.  I-GO will lease two of the spaces from the City for its I-GO electrical vehicles.  The charging station will be available both for the I-GO cars and for privately-owned electrical vehicles.  
In addition to the regular benefits of I-GO car sharing, such as reducing street congestion and parking demands, this I-GO electric vehicle project will further reduce greenhouse emissions from vehicle travel in Evanston.  The solar canopy was designed to generate enough energy to offset the electricity used to charge the I-GO vehicles. 

Happenings:  Central Street Business District, New Businesses

Shop local, benefit local:  Community Day on Central Street, Saturday, April 21
Support our local businesses and nonprofits by shopping on Central Street this Saturday, April 21.  Businesses participating in the Central Street Business Association's "Community Day" will donate a portion of every purchase to one of these local organizations: 
Business Alliance for a Sustainable Evanston
C.A.R.E. for the Evanston Animal Shelter
Center for Independent Futures
Connections for the Homeless
Dreams Delivered, Women's Club of Evanston 
Evanston Environmental Association
Evanston Public Library Friends
Foundation 65
Haven Middle School PTA
Interfaith Action of Evanston
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Grand Re-Opening at Office Depot.  Join the festivities at Office Depot, 2722 Green Bay Road, on Friday, April 27.  The store has a new facade, a new surface parking lot with landscaping, and a great outlook.  Come between 11 am and 4 pm for the give-aways and tech expo, with resources for businesses, schools, and home offices.  Office Depot, 847-475-2571. 
Stella Boutique, the chic and funky shop at 2116 Central Street, will hold a Pop-up Arts and Crafts Fair throughout May.  Between 20 and 25 mostly local artists will showcase and sell their work to the public.  Stella's owner, Rachel Hershinow, also celebrates her 10th anniversary on Central Street with a beautiful redecoration of the store's interior.  Stella Boutique, 847.864.5565. 
New Businesses: 
Welcome the Central Shoe Repair, 1917 Central Street, which opened six weeks ago, one of a number of new businesses on Central Street.  Central Shoe is largely a family affair, as its owner Phillip brings more than 30 years of experience in shoe repair to the location, with his sons busy at work.  Central Shoe Repair can repair your shoes, luggage, belts, jackets, purses, and shine shoes with next day service.  Welcome to Central Street, Central Shoe Repair,  847-869-8869. 
Oliver's Trains and Toys, 2002 Central Street, which opened on March 24th, is another new business on Central Street.  Oliver’s is run by the husband and wife duo Bogdan and Siri Rogalski and offers toys not usually found in mass market chain stores to children ages 0-12, as well as games and brain puzzles for teens and adults.  Oliver’s will have its Grand Opening on May 12th, and everybody is welcome.  There will be a raffle for a plush Dalmatian and a lemonade stand.  Welcome to Central Street, Oliver’s Trains and Toys,  847-424-1949. 
Modern, 1810 Central Street, new to the Central Street scene, brings mid-century furnishings and accessories to the Central Street landscape.  Owner Laura Swan also owns the antique store, East of the Tracks, next door. 847-475-6800.  
Terra American Grill will open in May at 2676 Green Bay Road (formerly Luciano's Cafe).  The new restaurant will feature contemporary American cuisuine, with a focus on small plates.  The owners, George and Jim Kanellos, also own Montarra Grill in Algonquin.  Welcome to Terra American Grill, 847-563-1900


Anticipate: 2012 street improvement and sewer construction projects 

The Public Works and Utilities Departments are undertaking a number of street improvement projects during the coming construction season. Please take a look at this map of 7th Ward Construction. 

Staff coordinates planning for sewer rehabilitation and street resurfacing.   
Asbury Avenue(between Central and Chancellor):  widening to 24-foot minimum and resurfacing; portions last paved in 1966. 
Ashland Avenue (between Central and Lincoln):  water main repair and resurfacing. 
Hartrey Avenue(between Central and Lincoln):  resurfacing; portions last paved in the 1960s. 
Jenks Street (between Eastwood and dead end):  resurfacing; portions last paved in 1983.
Milburn Street(between Ridge and Orrington):  resurfacing; last paved in 1983. 
Prairie Avenue(between Central and Grant):  sewer rehabilitation and lining. 
Sheridan Place:  resurfacing; last paved in 1995. 
Sheridan Road:  Work will begin in June to modernize, interconnect, and coordinate the traffic signals on Sheridan Road from Chicago Avenue north to Central Street, with a new signal to be installed at Sheridan Road just south of Garrett Place.  The modernization will bring pedestrian countdown signals to Sheridan Road.  Reconstruction and resurfacing of the portion of Sheridan Road north of Chicago Avenue is in the City's capital plan for 2014. 
A map of all of the City's 2012 street improvement projects can be found here


Project: Bulk landfill trash pickup!

Our City’s Streets and Sanitation Division schedules a free pick-up of landfill-destined bulk trash to complement your spring cleaning, on a designated Friday according to your normally scheduled trash pick-up day. (See box below.)
  • Total bulk landfill trash must measure fewer than six cubic yards per household, the size of approximately two couches, four chairs, one mattress and box spring or 25 medium garbage bags.  Quantities that exceed six cubic yards will be tagged as special pick-ups and are subject to a fee. 
  • Bag or bundle the landfill trash. 
  • Do not include any hazardous materials, such as batteries, gas, oil, asbestos, medical waste, or paint.
  • Do not include construction materials, tires or appliances. 
  • Break up glass, then box, tape and label the box as "glass" to protect our crews. 
  • Place the bulk landfill trash in your alley or parkway by 7 am on the designated Friday.  If our S&S crews are unable to complete their pick-up routes on Friday, collections will continue the next day, Saturday.


Alert:  Street cleaning reminders by text message or email

Subscribe to a new City service to receive reminders by text message or email about street cleaning on your street.  To sign up for the alerts, you'll need to know your street cleaning district: in the 7th Ward, east of Green Bay Road is District 2A, west of Green Bay Road is District 1B. To see a copy of the detailed street cleaning map please click here.

Attention:  April is Distracted Driving Month, Update on Evanston's hand-held ban

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has declared April as Distracted Driving Month, supporting the efforts of local communities, such as Evanston, to enact legislation to curb distracted driving.  The National Safety Council has released its State of the Nation Report on Cell Phone Distracted Driving, renewing its call for a total ban on the use of hand-held and hands-free portable devices while driving.  A proposed total ban is pending and should come before the Evanston City Council in the next few weeks. 
Evanston's ban on just hand-held cellular phones while driving is now two years old.  Since enactment of the ban in 2010, the Evanston Police Department has issued over 3,000 tickets for violation of the ban and the City of Evanston's collection rate on those tickets is an impressive 84%.  More importantly, EPD data shows that the number of crashes in which injuries are reported has declined almost 18% since 2009, the year before our hand-held ban, which amounts to 60 fewer injury crashes in Evanston in the last two years.  Thank you to the Evanston Police Department's Traffic Unit for its nationally-recognized enforcement and educational efforts, which accounts for the improvement in Evanston's injury crash rate, as well as increased awareness of distracted driving.  Thank you for driving with your full attention. 


Event:  Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament, April 26-29

Northwestern University hosts the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament on April 26 to 29 at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center at 2310 Sheridan Road.  More information can be found here.  Admission to the tournament is free.  Go Cats! 


Photo opportunity:  Day in the life of Evanston (spring edition), May 5

Where will you be, what will you be doing, what will you see on Saturday, May 5?  Whether it's remarkable or mundane, capture it and submit a photo to the spring edition of “Day in the Life of Evanston: A Photo Story”.  Let others see Evanston through the lens of your camera.   
All submitted photos will be posted on the City of Evanston’s website and 32 photos will be selected to be part of our spring “Day in the Life of Evanston” printed photobook.  The first edition of “Day in the Life of Evanston”, capturing Evanston on October 22, 2011, is available for purchase on the City's website, where you will also find more information about the upcoming May 5 photo project.  "Day in the Life of Evanston" is the brainchild of my colleague, Alderperson Mark Tendam, 6th Ward. 

Móvil Event:  Mexican Consulate Visits Evanston, May 10-12

Mexican nationals living in Evanston are part of the diverse community in which we live. Many of these Evanston residents do not have a form of identification and this prevents them from receiving important city services. The City of Evanston has recognized/accepted the Mexican consulate’s matricula card as proof of identity since 2004, which fosters a relationship with more of our community and enables all residents to be engaged in City life. 

The City of Evanston will host the Mexican Consulate on:
Thursday, May 10 from 11am to 6pm
Friday, May 11 from 11am to 6pm
Saturday, May 12 from 8 am to 2 pm

Mexican nationals with the required documents will be able to obtain or renew their matriculate card or Mexican passport by appointment only. To make an appointment please call MEXITEL (1-877-639-4835).  For more information on what is required please visit

Event:  Evanston Financial Advancement Summit, May 16

Did you know that a person who relies upon rapid-access lenders (pay day lenders) can spend $40,000 in a working lifetime getting access to her own money?  Alderperson Peter Braithwaite and I invite you to join us for Evanston's Financial Advancement Summit on Wednesday, May 16.   We'll discuss the challenges facing Evanston's "under-banked" residents who rely upon rapid access lending (pay day lenders) and we'll look to identify and bolster local resources for improving access to mainstream banking and financial literacy.  The Summit will run from 8:30 am to 12 noon in the 4th floor Parasol Room at the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue.  Contact Godwin Chen, City Management Fellow,, for more information. 


Event:  Evanston Economic Development Summit, May 18

Join local leaders and stakeholders for a discussion of local economic development issues and the City's Economic Development Plan on Friday, May 18 from 8:30 to 11:30 am in the Parasol Room of the Morton Civic Center.  For up-to-date information about the City's economic development initiatives and news, subscribe to the department's e-newsletter at here


Rollin':  Green Ball, May 18

Celebrate Evanston's achievements in sustainability* at the inaugural Evanston Green Ball on Friday, May 18 from 7 to 11 pm at the Levy Center (even the Ecology Center can't contain this celebration).  Proceeds from the Green Ball will support the Evanston Ecology Center, an invaluable community institution, and its environmental educational programs.  Come for a sampling of food and beverages from local restaurants and food artisans and blues entertainment by the South Boulevard Band.  To reserve your tickets and more information, click here
*Evanston has received state and national recognition for our sustainability efforts from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2011 Climate Protection Award, the National Environmental Hall of Fame (recognized in 2011 and 2012), and the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Award.  Also in 2011, the Evanston Public Works Department received the Charles Walter Nichols Award from the American Public Works Association for outstanding and meritorious achievement in the environmental field for its Think G.R.E.E.N initiative.  Congratulations and thanks to all. 

Report and Outing:  Grosse Point Lighthouse

Evanston's Grosse Point Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark, will get a facelift this summer with a $260,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation for much needed repairs and renovations.  The Lighthouse Park District Board and its Director and Lighthouse Keeper, Donald Terras, secured the grant.  The work will include installation of 30-foot deep push pins under the original 1873 building, a new roof and windows for the light tower, and a durable coat of paint on both the interior stair and exterior of the light tower.  The Lighthouse Park District, which preserves and maintains the lighthouse welcomes any contributions to the Lighthouse Preservation Fund to help with the renovation.  You'll find more information here
Tours of the Grosse Point Lighthouse are available June through September, on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm, although tours may be suspended during the renovation.  Call 847-328-6961 for up-to-date information before your visit. 


Update:  Mild winter reduces City's costs

The winter of 2011-2012 has been kind to us in many ways.  Less snow and fewer snow events have repercussions for the City's investment in rock salt, de-icing applications, and snow removal overtime pay.  The City's Department of Public Works reports that it is currently $369,596 under budget for snow-related expenses, with just a couple more months of winter in this 2012 fiscal year. 


Wilson Shirley
Northwestern University, Class of 2015 
7th Ward Intern

Jane Grover
Alderperson, 7th Ward
847.902.7465 m
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