The Southeast Evanston Association has issued an e-mail call to its members to turn out for Monday’s special City Council meeting about goals for lakefront development.

Some aldermen recently have suggested that the city should consider additional recreational development along the lakefront that might generate more revenue for the city in tight financial times.

The Southeast Evanston Association has issued an e-mail call to its members to turn out for Monday’s special City Council meeting about goals for lakefront development.

Some aldermen recently have suggested that the city should consider additional recreational development along the lakefront that might generate more revenue for the city in tight financial times.

Others have objected to the current ban on parking along the lake after 9 p.m. — two hours before lakefront and other city parks close — saying it makes the lake inaccessible in the evening to people who don’t live close enough to walk to it.

The Southeast Evanston Association message claims the evening parking ban was enacted several years ago after “lakefront parks south of Church Street became gathering places for out-of-town groups and drug dealing, and unsafe for Evanstonians at night.”

The SEA has generally opposed any increase in lakefront park usage, saying it should remain “a peaceful escape for all of us from the busy-ness, buildings, lights and noise that dominate modern life.”

The City Council last week approved moving ahead with plans for rebuilding the lakefront bike path, despite objections from some aldermen about the cost of the project, and in September aldermen approved plans for a new traffic signal at Church Street and Sheridan Road despite objections from some residents living on the lakefront side of Sheridan that it would aggravate traffic congestion.

The council Monday is also scheduled to discuss two other goals it identified recently — the city’s climate action plan and improvements to the Robert Crown Center — home to the city’s ice rink.

Some aldermen have questionned why the city should make more capital improvements on the lakefront now when the Crown Center project, located away from the lake at Main Street and Dodge Avenue, has languished for years.

But a memo from Parks Director Doug Gaynor, included in the packet for Monday’s meeting, says the city has spent less than $2 million on capital improvements along the lakefront over the past 20 years.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. Develop away, City Council, but…
    I have no connection to SEA. I don’t think that I even know anyone who is a member. But here’s my opinion as a proud resident of south Evanston:

    Sure, City Council, go ahead and develop the lakefront. But understand that that development needs to be placed at one of these beaches:

    Lighthouse Beach – Central St. at Sheridan Rd.
    (2611 Sheridan Rd.)

    Clark Street Beach – Clark St. at Sheridan Rd.
    (1811 Sheridan Rd.)

    Dog Beach – Church St at the lakefront
    (1631 Sheridan Rd.)

    Dempster/Greenwood St. Beach –
    Greenwood St. at the lakefront (1401 Sheridan)

    Lee Street Beach – Lee St. and Lake Shore Blvd.
    (1111 Lake Shore Blvd.)

    The Council needs to improve the South Boulevard beach. How about a decent restroom, changing facilities and shower? (I am tired of trying to keep my clothes off the grungy floor of that nasty building. And you have got to love the one tiny sink in the bathroom with the disgusting bar of soap — not even a working liquid soap dispenser.)

    As I recall, the last “bright idea” was to destroy South Boulevard Beach for community use and welcome the noisy speed boats of our much wealthier neighbors. Thanks but no thanks for thinking of another way to make south Evanston less desirable as a place to live.

    We already have the lowest-performing elementary school in the District. (While great things are apparently going on there, where has the City Council been for the 10 years that the school was languishing? Why didn’t they insist that District 65 DO something about this horrible deficiency?)

    We have a higher percentage of crime than most areas of town. The number of foreclosures is higher here than in most parts of town.

    Add this to a very high concentration of low-income housing in south Evanston. (Gotta love former 6th Ward Alderman Eb Moran — never met a low-income housing project that he didn’t love…with none in his own ward. Again, thanks a lot.)

    If beachfront development is what the City Council wants, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate that we don’t have two Evanstons. And we don’t, do we?

  2. Crime in Evanston—Resolve for sake of the city and residents
    Anonymous wrote:
    We have a higher percentage of crime than most areas of town. The number of foreclosures is higher here than in most parts of town.
    =========================
    Maybe the police are already doing so but are they:
    1. Using undercover police to catch the muggers ? Muggers just go elsewhere when they see uniform police.
    2. Police on bikes during decent weather ? NU and Evanston, uniform and non-uniform ? I think a few years ago they did but I can’t recall seeing one in years.
    3. Have and hopefully digitize school year books for at least ETHS ? Show these to victims ? Have or share with one or more cities [Skokie or Wilmette] if necessary a graphic artist or even better one skilled in computerized composites for criminal identification ? Access [share with or access to one in Chicago or a university] to a criminal investigation mathematician [yes ‘Numb3rs’ does overplay these but such skills are used and at least the first few episodes were based on real cases and mathematical techniques] to solve major crimes and even patterns for crime spurts that seem to be related ?

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