Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:51 p.m.

Mayor says trick or treating is from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday.

Bike safety event coming up Thursday … details here.

Public Comment

Laura Beth Nielsen speaks in favor of creating a skate park in Evanston. Says skateboarding is the primary form of sports activity for 8 percent of young people.

Mayor reads proclamation for “Evanston Own It” day, Saturday, Nov. 1. 

Priscilla Giles says community hasn’t had a chance to talk about the Mason Park bike plan.

End of public comment

Special order of business … Church Street bike path

City Engineer Sat Nagar makes presentation.

Available online here.

On Church calls for off street path on ETHS property from Dodge to Brown, an off-street multi-use path on ETHS property from Brown to Pitner, and a two’way median-protected on-street bike lane on the south side of Church Street from Pitner to McDaniel.

Will require removal of 24 parking spaces on south side of Church from Pitner to McDaniel.

Also require removal of some trees on stretch from Dodge to Brown, but those are trees that are in need of removal anyway.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says that at city-school committee meeting last week was evident that this is a critical connector for students riding bikes to ETHS.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says there is available off-street parking on Fowler and McDaniel and on the north side of Church Street to take the place of the lost parking spaces.

Holmes says that Shore School at Church and McDaniel is closing next year and that location may provide an opportunity for additional parking.

At Mason Park the plan is to add a new bike path at the west side of the park, near an existing sidewalk that runs between the tennis and basketball courts.

Says there will be a public meeting about the plans at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Erie Health Center.

From there it will go to the Transportation and Parking Committee and then to City Council for approval.

Expect to construct the Mason Park path in 2015, and the Church Street project in 2015 and 2016.

Consent agenda

We’ll note anything taken off the consent agenda.

  • Liquor license for CVS at 3333 Central St. held in committee.

Nothing else taken off consent agenda.

Consent agenda approved.

Liquor license for CVS at 3333 Central St.

Held in committee for reasons detailed here.

Final action on Shell gas station, 2494 Oakton liquor license. Approved.

Final action on special use for Patisserie Coralie at 600 Davis. Approved.

Call of the Wards

Fiske calls for inclusion of IEPA review for all planned development. And urges adoption of light ordinance regarding energy efficiency, security and other factors.

Tendam … 6th ward meeting 7p Thursday at Three Crowns.

Meeting adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Perhaps the 8% should pay for

    Perhaps the 8% should pay for the skatepark. It would make no sense for the 92% who wouldn't use it to pay any fraction of it. 

    1. we are offering

      Thanks for the great question!  

      As we go forward with this, it is important for eveyryone to be on the same page. so your question could be read many ways — let me answer:

      First, the skaters are offering to pay for all or most of it.  but we still need council to approve it so we can fundraise and grant-write.  Doing this requires a place to put it and comnpliance with local zoning laws. So to get started, we need some indication from council that if we get the money, they will allow it to happen.

      But here is what the other 92% get:  a place for kids to play and get exercise.  they get skaters not using curbs and otherwise putting wear and tear on all the city-maintained concrete (saves money). Most police chiefs (I am not sure about ours) ENCOURAGE skate parks in their communities so they don;t waste time and resources answering so many calls and dealing with skaters.  Skating is a $482 Billion dollar business in the US so skaters who might travel to a good park would buy (and pay taxes on) gas, food, maybe pick up some items at the stores nearby generating revenue.  If it is a nice enough one, we could have skate competitions and festivals!  Did you know Evanston has at least 2 pro skaters who live here?  

      If the question is unique to skateboarders, it is worth asking why should kids who play one very inexpensive sport pay for it all when the city supports (oh so wonderfully) lots of other expensive sports?  The city has sail boats, ice hockey rinks, soccer fields, tennis courts.  It is one of the reason we all love to raise our kids here!  We should support the important social, health, and community benefits of outdoor recreation for all of our kids and I am sure we will find a way to get thsi done without being a burden.

      Keep those questions coming because it is really important that we are all clear as discussions about this go forward!

      PS — it is 8% of kids 12-17 who say it is their primary sport. 15% skate sometimes. There are bunches of other people in different age groups who skate as well.

      1. Past Efforts

        As I recall and I may be wrong, the site of the old car inspection facility [Ashland/Noyes] was suppose to have been a skate board park.


        There had been a skate board store on Church across from EPL.  Was it closed due to excessive rent or was the interest [real not imagined] just not there ?


        From what I many of them like to skate down the steps and rails at NU library and Norris and Rebecca Crown and off the seats and other places of Fountain Square.  Would the proposed site have similar "obstacles" ?  It is a dangerous enough activity but any kind of "obstacle" or ramp raises liability questions—the city, when done and not stopped at NU, etc..  Will they have to sign an iron-clad wavier ?

        1. liability and the Shred Shop

          Thanks for this!  Yes, the Shred Shop is now on Oakton in Skokie.  They were big proponents of the now-no-longer-happening Skokie skate park.  (Skokie's chief of police and chamber of commerce were proponents as well).  They have said all along that they would like to be sponsoring contributors if one happens in Evanston.  

          Liability is pretty well worked out legally now with over 500 skate parks nationwide.  It was one of the initial obstacles to parks but more and more of them are goingup and some require helmets (or get a ticket) while others are skate at your own risk.  If built by a reputible park designer, it will be fine but of course city "counsel" will have to approve as well.  

          Next time I use my 3 minutes for the skatepark education moment, I will talk about the CPSC data on injuries.  The best way to protect the city is to have a place with smooth pavement.  Skating injuries are mostly from skating on uneven pavement.  But overall, the injury rate is lower than most sports.  (though those leagues get waivers)


      2. RE: we are offering

        Hmm, lets see here "Skating is a $482 Billion dollar business in the US "  that would mean every resident in the US would need to spend $1,335.00 a year to reach that economic output.

        Here's an even better comparable $482 Billion is $1 Billion more than:


        Greece: $241 Billion

        Luxemburg: $60 Billion

        Iceland: $14 Billion

        Coratia: $57 Billion

        Bosnia and Herzegovia: $17 Billion

        Slovakia: $92 Billion

        GDP's all combined!

        1. x games

          yes that's right – $482 B — it is a big number.  It counts revenue (including set up, tv advertising and all that) from the X games. It counts all sales of skate shoes (even if not purchased by a skateboarder).  It counts all revenue to skateboard summer camps (and let me tell you, $1300 not quite one week of camp). It is an industry number to be sure but it is the accepted number that business use when estimating the market for analysis.  The fact sheet I handed out had all the sources cited.  I'm sure you can pick on their way of calculating it.  Happy to email the fact sheet with citations to you if you want and you can run them all down.  

          But the point is, I did not ask anyone to give any money.  As this article says, "I spoke in favor of a skate park."  I did not ask anyone for any money.  But even if I did, isn't that what city government is for?  TO consider the requests of citizens?  

          1. Re: X Games

            That is really interesting that the X Games could add all that incremental revenue to your skate boarding statistics.  I’m not sure where your fact sheet is getting its facts from, but I can simply assume it’s wrong.

            Here is a fact directly from The Walt Disney Company (who owns ABC, which ESPN is a subsidiary of, which puts on the X Games).  Their EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization) for fiscal year 2014 is $11.4B.  That’s the company as a whole, the theme parks, the media business, etc.  So if your math is good and it doesn’t take very much deductive math  reasoning, that whatever revenue the X Games makes, it doesn’t even come close to making a dent in $482B.

            Now let’s look at shoes and appeal.

            Skechers USA (which makes apparel) total Market Capitalization is $2.8B.  And Vans Inc. doesn’t even publish their financials to the public.

            I suggest you go back and check your factsheet before you post them in a public forum such as City Council meetings and Evanston Now

          2. Question and Point

            So, when you do ask taxpayers to underwrite the skate park, what assurances and guarantee will you deliver of this multi billion dollar industry?

            The fiscal size of the industry does not exactly correlate to potential or even guaranteed earnings back to the taxpayer.  If so, how would this manifest itself in Evanston? Fiscally, how does do the taxpayers of Evanston benefit?  Real results, dollars or just glossed over broad promises because… It is a multi billion dollar industry.

            In other words, explain the ROI to the taxpayers in terms of economic impact, real dollars back to taxpayers?

            I'm all for it, but just tired of underwriting everyone's pet project in this town.

          3. In Evanston you don’t need to explain the benefit to taxpayers

            Dan, where have you been? ROI? Sounds like a Foreign Language to City Council.

            Taxpayer benefit? No need to demonstrate or justify as long as you are part of the "Inner Circle" of connected friends.

            Fiscal responsibility – Not in this City's vocabulary.

            Pet projects. Sounds like a new Spring Break Movie since it's outta control.

            Please correct me if i'm wrong, BUT, where shall i start…

            …How much money did the City give to Chicago Chicken & Waffles?

            …How much was spent on building a patio for Peckish Pig?

            …Why is the City going to spend over $450,000 to rebuild Penny Park, when a $50,000-$100,000 would significantly and appropropriately improve the park?

            …And the list goes on and on.

            You raise excellent question and issues. More people should pay attention and ask for, and demand accountability.


  2. Aren’t They Entrepreneurs

    Since this is such a Money Maker. Perhaps the families of the 8% should get together and start a business for Skate Board Users. The poster with all the financial information could be the CFO of the new Company. This could create more jobs for Evanston residents.

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