Here’s a recap of our live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
A packet with informatioon on tonight’s agenda items is available online, along with copies of three presentations to be made during the meeting.
Meeting called to order at 6:15 p.m. Alderman Burrus is absent tonight. Alderman Holmes is chairing the meeting. Committee members Braithwaite, Grover and Rainey are also present.
A 3.1 – Motorcycle lease for police department with Harley Davidson. $29K. Approved.
A 3.2 – Crack sealing program contract for $50K with Denler Inc. of Mokena, Ill. Approved.
A 3.3 – Cured-in-place pipe lining contract A to Kenny Construction of Northbrook … but not approving MWEBE waiver. Approved.
A 3.4 – Approval of sludge disposal agreement with the MWRD $395K. Approved.
A 3.5 – PEG funds to school districts for video equipment from cable fees. $106K. Approved.
A 3.6 – Consulting services agreement for recordking landmark status on deeds with Lakota Group of Chicago for $36K. Approved.
A 3.7 -Ladd Arboretum bike path project funding agreement with Illinois Department of Transportation.
10 speakers signed up for public comment on this issue.
Pam Johnson favors crushed granite for path.
Charles Smith, 1607 Dobson St., says has been associated with the arboretum for 25 years. Says considered accessibility and maintenance issues in deciding should use crushed granite. Wanted to have a place of solitude where can engage with nature.
Wendy Pollock, 1410 Oak Ave., says scale of the planned project is out of proportion to what’s needed to take care of the paths.
Virginia Beatty says she’s concerned about impact on trees of the project.
Jim Larochelle, 2104 Grant says concrete path isn’t consistent with the arboretum concerned about faster biking speeds, says they will endanger bird walkers and others. Suggests using Twiggs Park as path for school instead. Says nobody who favors the plan has appeared to defend it, only opponents are showing up.
Noreen Edwards, 2125 Sherman Ave., says project calls for over an acre of hard paved surface. Says in the environmental world want to get rid of paving, not add to it. Claims it uses a lot of energy to produce portland cement used in concrete.
Several other speakers also object to the path plan.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, suggests going to crushed granite for the arboretum path — says it’s so special, not a transportation mode, for enjoying the park.
Suggests then putting the sidewalk for students and others along McCormick Boulevard … though says not convinced that will eliminate kids walking in the street. Also says should encourage use of walkway through Twiggs Park, on the other side of the canal.
Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says Twiggs and Butler parks are lovely, wishes somebody could help her understand why the kids don’t walk through Twiggs — but students always looking to take the shortest, most direct route.
Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says it’s not just about the students … there are also wheelchair bound people who live at Over the Rainbow.
Everyone should be able to enjoy it, she says.
Grover says she’s spent a lot of time at other parks — like Morton Arboretum — so understands aesthetic of gravel under your feet — but uses of the arboretum have changed since the master plan was adopted — more emphasis on bike riding — for recreation, and work and school commuters.
Says path now doesn’t seem to be useful year round. And the width of the path is dictated by state rules — its a requirement, not an option and need one that’s useful year round.
Rainey says concerned about the views of people are really focused on the arboretum.
Holmes says Jan Weeks, one of the Over the Rainbow residents called her to say the new path would give them greater access to Green Bay and shopping options there — including the new Whole Foods.
There are other people, Holmes says, not just people who volunteer at the arboretum.
Suzette Robinson, public works director, says the sidewalk would be accessible, but only goes from Bridge Street to Green Bay.
Says crushed granite is likely to be very similar in cost to permeable concrete.
Grover says, so the asphalt solution is the cheapest approach. Yes, Robinson says.
Says sidewalk would be setback about five feet from the curb,
Rainey says “that’s impressive” — hadn’t appreciated that the crushed granite was as costly as the permeable concrete.
Robinson says crushed granite isn’t plowable. Tried doing it — without supervisor approval — but are concerned about the damage that may have been done. Says would require a different kind of plow … and the weight of the truck could damage the surface.
Rainey says she’s changing her mind
Stefanie Levine, architect with public works department, says doesn’t have a technical view of the relative environmental issues of the different surface.
Sat Nagar, city engineer says the porous nature of the concrete makes it a sustainable material compared to the crushed granite.
Rainey says the crushed granite should also be permeable.
Nagar says crushed granite is not permeable — because it has a solid base.
The permeable concrete has a stone base — has more room for infiltration than the granite.
Grover says she’s concerned about preserving the aesthetic of this natural oasis. Asks about maintenance issues with porous concrete
Nagar says the best used was installed on Sheridan Road from Church to the bend. Says once a year have to use a vacuum to sweep it.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the issue is an interesting public policy question — but what’ws the vision for the path. If maintain it as more or less what it is — that’s one direction — if you want to turn it into a multi-modal path — that’s different.
The grant from the state looks to a more multi-modal path. If feel that’s not what to do, then could reimagine what want to do without the grant funds, Bobkiewicz says.
Rainey asks if porous concrete would be easily plowed so people could ride bikes, push baby carriages and use electric wheelchairs.
Bobkiewicz says has been talking to Alderman Wilson about the new porous concrete on Davis Street … thinks can use, but not likely as usable as if it was asphalt.
Rainey asks what’s the durability of the different surfaces
Robinson says regular concrete lasts up to 50 years, for porous concrete expect similar lifespan. Crushed granite will require annual maintenance. Not just a snow problem–but it also floods in the summer. The asphalt would be tilted to have the rain run off.
Grover says the path is a connector, arboretum is not just a destination, to schools, work, etc.
Says her goal is having it be a year-around path. Holmes says she agrees with that, and the other piece is the cost — which would take us back to the original asphalt plan.
Rainey says people from the arboretum have convinced her that asphalt isn’t a good idea.
Grover says she’s wary about an asphalt path through the arboretum. Doesn’t distinguish the arboretum as a sanctuary.
Bobkiewiz says seems there’s still an interest in the porous concrete or the asphalt … Rainey says wants more info on cost and maintenance issues for crushed granite.
Braithwaite suggests if main path can be used year round that may eliminate the cost of the separate sidewalk.
Committee votes to move the issue to council but hold it there for two weeks.
A 4.2 – Engineering service agreement with Terra Engineering for Ladd bike path project. Approved (but likely to be held at council along with the previous item).
A 5 – CMAQ application for Green Bay Road improvement .. .Asbury to McCormick. Approved.
A 6 – Dodge Avenue bike lane project funding agreement with IDOT.
Rainey says at last week’s ward meeting some were concerned about lack of paint on the bikle lane –thought that having the painting was critical for safety.
Says nobody at the meeting objected to having the paint (unlike the situation on Davis Street where residents objected to paint.).
With that modification, the proposal is approved.
A 7 – MFT fund for roadway construction $1.7M approved
A 8 – Transportation Network Providers resolution. Approved.
A 9 – Lease terms for studio psace at Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Approved.
A 10 – Mutual Aid Box Alarm System agreement. Approved.
A 11 – Building and zoning permit and inspection fee revisions. Approved.
A 12 – Regulation of commercial refuse receptacles. Approved.
A 13 – Decreasing liquor licenses as result of closure of The Noyes Street Cafe. Approved.
A 14 – Earlier hours for liquor sales on Sunday at The Stained Glass … to 11 a.m. from noon, so can have longer brunch service. Approved.
A 15 – Minor changes to liquor control regulations to conform to state regulations. Approved.
Adjourned at 7:33 p.m.
Planning and Development meeting to start at 7:45 p.m.