City officials say they’re trying to keep at least the south sidewalk on Davis Street open for walkers during construction — but some pedestrians say it’s not working very well for them.

In an email message to Evanston Now, John Getzinger said he had to cross the street three times Wednesday to navigate a two block stretch on Davis between Sherman and Maple Avenues.

Getzinger says that as a 10-year resident of town, “I understand the need for road improvements.”

But he says he even had to cross the street in the middle of the block near the 7-Eleven — contending with cars pulling out of the city garage.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says the city has a plan to maintain unrestricted pedestrian access on the south side of Davis, but occasionally an unforeseen issue may require temporary closure of the sidewalk there.

She says the Davis Street project requires more advance work than usual by utility companies before the street can be resurfaced or the sidewalks replaced.

The project, she says, involves two different contractors — one working on the water main and sewer work and another doing the streetscape and resurfacing.

And, Robinson says, “we’re coordinating work performed by ComEd, Nicor and Comcast in the same area.”

She says she met with the engineering staff and contractor Wednesday afternoon to remind them of the need to keep a safe path for pedestrians open.

In addition, she said, the resident engineer on the project and Downtown Evanston’s Executive Director Carolyn Dellutri plant to walk the entire area this morning to try to figure out what can be done to improve walkability.

She says the Davis Street project is on schedule to be completed by mid-October.

Top: Construction work at Davis and Sherman in a file photo from earlier this month.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hope you don’t need to use a wheelchair.

    What really annoys me is that very little care was taken to make sure that what's left of the sidewalk is passable.  On both sides of Davis between Oak and Elmwood, there are numerous places where large areas of the paving bricks were left loose and scattered about, leaving an uneven and unstable walking surface.

  2. Have the construction workers park in the garage

    Over the weekend i saw a bicyclist ride his bike into fresh concrete as he exited the apartment building on Davis.  The construction workers' personal vehicles are all parked within the construction area so they don't have to pay for parking. 

    The parking garage that everyone else is encouraged to use is open.  Why are they special?  This adds to the confusion and pedestrians not only have to navigate the construction, they have to walk around parked vehicles. 

    These are their persoanal vehicles, not the construction vehicles I am talking about.  They were parked on Davis and Shermen within the yellow tape, what little of it there is.  It is so confusing around there.  

    You should have seen them berate that poor man for messing up their concrete.  Meanwhile his arms, legs and bicycle were covered in concrete due to no fault of his own.  You can see in the picure cars parked in the way right in the cross walk.  Give them tickets; everyone else gets them for the smallest infraction.

    1. Tell the city

      Contact the city about it then, not anonymously on an article I gurantee they haven't read.

  3. Poor project planning

    Why isn't the area around Bramer Animal Hospital more accessible?  Special considerations should have been made (please correct) around this area.  I picked up my large dog after surgery yesterday and had no easy or direct way to get him into the car.  We had to bypass trenches in ordet to get him to the car.  No easy feat.  It is apparent that who ever is running this project is in well over their heads.  I think it is time to call in an experienced professional.  Mid-October is too far away to put up with this kind of project incompetenc

  4. This is horrible civil engineering

    I am not an engineer of any type. Just a pedestrian who has to navigate Davis Street twice a day. It is remarkable that there is no easy way to do this. People have to walk in the road or over makeshift mounds of dirt and gravel partial sidewalks.

    It seems like the S&S department just gave a greenlight to whoeever is the general contractor to do what they wanted, how they wanted without any regard to the damage to the businesses (which is horrible) or the pedestrian traffic.

    Sure, there are multiple contractors and it might be difficult to manage. That is why we HAVE a S&S department. Water and sewer work probably happens before street resurfacing work, so it's not like that's happening at the same time. The "sidewalks" are a joke. There is no clear and clean passage so why pretend otherwise?

    It is distressing to see the continual economic damage being done to the blocks of businesses from the Post Office East.

    The S&S head should be called to question about poor management of this project.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *