City officials Monday will ask aldermen to delay plans to add bike lanes to Sheridan Road until 2017 but move ahead with a multi-million dollar water main project on the street next year.

In a memo to aldermen, Public Works Director Suzette Robinson and Utilities Director Dave Stoneback say they’ve concluded that the water main, street repaving and bike lane work can’t all be completed during the summer months next year when traffic is relatively light around the campus.

The project area runs for almost two miles — from Chicago Avenue and Grove Street to Sheridan Road’s intersection with Isabella Avenue.

Under the revised plan to be presented Monday night, the city would spend $5 million next year to replace water mains on Chicago Avenue from Grove to Clark streets and on two segments of Sheridan, from Lincoln to Central Streets and from Ingleside Place to Ridge Avenue, and line the existing water mains on Sheridan from Emerson to Lincoln streets.

The project next year would also involve improvement to underground utilities owned by the university and private utility companies.

The department heads say the rest of the work can’t be done in 2016 because that’s when work is planned on the Emerson, Ridge, Green Bay corridor, which may divert traffic onto Sheridan Road.

The bike path project received a $1.5 million federal grant this spring, and city officials say the delay in the project won’t result in the loss of that grant funding.

Meanwhile, Robinson will seek City Council approval Monday to move ahead with two other bike lane projects in 2015.

One would provide protected or buffered bike lanes on Dodge Avenue from Howard to Church streets, replacing the existing unprotected bike lanes on that road.

The other would connect the existing westbound bike lane on Davis Street through Mason Park to the two-way bike lane on Church Street west of the park. It would also extend the Church Street bike lane from Dodge to Pitner avenues through the Evanston Township High School campus.

Aldermen Monday will also get a more general report on bike policy that calls for focusing future discussion of bike policy issues at the city’s Transportation and Parking Committee and launching additional education and safety campaigns as well as considering possible changes to bike regulations.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Will it ever happen?

    Too bad.  Hopefully they will add bike lanes to other streets that are in the Evanston Bike Plan during 2015 and 2016.  If they do not then I would suspect this is just an excuse to not build bike lanes.

    1. Count me as one of those who

      Count me as one of those who hopes it never happens.

      Bike lanes are a waste of money and the product of planners' utopian fantasy.

      I'll bet most Evanston residents agree. But when to city bosses ever listen to residents?


      1. Pro-bike

        I do not agree with you but understand your opinion. Bike lanes are a pain to deal with and seem poorly planned. 

        However, more bikes mean fewer cars, less traffic and more available parking for those who do drive. The demographics are changing and younger people drive less, own fewer cars and use more transit options. We should not try and live in the past but advance as the citizenry changes their behaviors.

        1. City officials and their biking ?

          How many Council members, their staff, other administrators [from Wally on down] and 'ordinary' workers bike to their jobs ?

          City Hall has a very large parking lot always full of cars.  How many are close enough to bike ?  Live within 1/2 mile of CTA trains/buses ?   Of course all city employees should live in Evanston so that cuts out excuses.

  2. Another screw up by the water department

    When this project was presented they never talked about all this underground work, at one point I was told there would be NONE.  This is No suprise, the entire system is over 100 years old, they were planning to just pave over it.   I mentioned this at council and in several meetings over the last few months.

    Now we are approaching a 10 million project. What interesting here Wally has not  even brought this mess to committee, but takes it right to the council.  Iwonder if any of the council members will express any concern as a few did about the art center loan?  Are any of the numbers even real?

    What happen to the water tank?  Another 30 million – ask Wally and friends who is going to be paying? I suspect the plan is to put it in the last budget meeting so we don't have any time to look at the reports.   By the way are we paying to move NU utilities Wally?  ( why not just like the patio?)

    I realize few under how serious this mess really is – it drawfs the police and fire pension mess, but since we don't have a group such as police and fire figthers concerned – it is going to take  a few more years for the mess to be understood.

    1. I thought that I read that

      I thought that I read that they had planned to budget the repair of the current water tank for 1.3 million.

      1. Here did you see that?

        Here did you see that?  No estimate has been in that range mostly 3-4 million.  I suspect if you saw that it was for another study.

    2. I suspect you are correct


      I suspect your thoughts are on target. This is a complex issue, seems to me, and things like this tend to get pushed along quickly with little debate. The thinking I suppose, is that without this we could not serve our client municipalities.

      Perhaps we could get the facts together in one place and shine a light on it.

      I also  think the Peckish Pig work was inappropriate (at best) and could be construed as a misuse of power. Once this came to light, I wonder how many other similar situations have there been?


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