While commuting on the Metra line daily, I see a lot of things out my window along the route. One thing never changes: The traffic backup during rush hour on Route 38 near Kautz Road as our train roars past.
Having been one of those drivers caught at that spot in the past, it seemed it would make a lot of sense to build an overpass at that crossing to keep traffic moving.
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That construction work, to the tune of $26 million, has finally begun. Here's the downside: If you have to travel that route between Geneva and West Chicago during rush hour in the next year or so, it will be slow going. That's about how long IDOT predicts the work will take place.
The end result will be a great improvement for the entire Kautz and Route 38 intersection. It also will give me something different to look at from the train window.
Plus, can't we view it as a sign of spring and the coming of the summer road construction season? It's not truly "road construction," per se, but it sure will bottle up traffic.
First Chick-fil-A encounter: After letting the initial Chick-fil-A craze calm down a bit in Batavia, I finally made my way over to the popular fast-food chicken sandwich joint on McKee Street.
It was my first encounter with this phenomenon and, while it didn't bowl me over, it earned my willingness to certainly stop in again sometime.
Maybe I'm not a connoisseur of chicken sandwiches. If I had one at Chick-fil-A, Burger King or Wendy's, I might be hard-pressed to say one was far better than the other.
The other food craze: Going to Chick-fil-A in Batavia for the first time reminded me of another other wildly popular food fad of the past. I was never a card-carrying member of the Krispy Kreme doughnut craze, but tried a Krispy Kreme once at the St. Charles location (now Skippy's). That was my only encounter with those doughnuts. In all fairness, I haven't had a doughnut of any kind in years. So they are not on my radar.
A good walleye: Not to belabor the fast-food theme today, but here's something else you may need to know. The TV ads are true. Culver's walleye fish sandwich is indeed quite good.
Take it from someone who took in a fair amount of all types of fish during the Lenten season, which ends Sunday.
Just hang in there: It's an easy thing to tell Batavia downtown merchants that if they can just grin and bare it, they'll all be fine when the streetscape project along Wilson Street this summer is completed.
But merchants along Wilson are understandably worried, considering the North River Street makeover lasted about eight months.
But each downtown in the Tri-Cities has been through challenging construction projects and most businesses lived to tell about it.
Maybe here's a positive spin: At least the economy is on an upswing, and this construction isn't unfolding during the worst of the recession.
Plus, Batavians have long figured out ways to rally around causes. The riverwalk wouldn't exist without that sort of vision. It will take another concerted effort to make sure downtown businesses do well this summer.
The wrong woods: Last week "Talk of the Town" made reference to Norris Woods and its interesting markers about the trees and other vegetation on the property. Just in case someone took a ride along Route 25, just north of Main Street in St. Charles to check out this nice setting, it should be noted the official name of the parcel is now Delnor Woods Park.
Running those reds: The red-light cameras in Geneva sure created a stink over the past few years. Now they have been removed, and apparently a lot of drivers are breathing a sigh of relief.
I never gave the cameras much thought, other than when they flashed on occasion. Thankfully, they weren't taking a photo of my license plate because I didn't stop on a red.
They did rack up a lot of citations, though, as some drivers must find stopping at a red light to be a bit beyond their driving skill level. Or was it because it was an easy way to make money off drivers who harmlessly slide through an intersection when a light changes from yellow to red? The only thing we know now is that Randall Road in Geneva doesn't have them any longer.
My Easter sermon: Why does Easter seem to always take a back seat to Christmas when it comes to fond memories?
It's not hard to imagine Santa Claus surely rates higher than the Easter Bunny in most straw polls.
But Easter has its share of memories. Let us count the ways:
With a little luck from Mother Nature, Easter morning can be the most enjoyable of mornings. It often signals the true start of spring.
Anything resembling an Easter Bunny this morning is surely made of chocolate. What's not to like about that?
If the Easter Bunny was really clever, it may take a while to find the eggs hidden around the house. You may even find one weeks or months later. How's that for a memory?
Somehow, the Easter Bunny always left a new kite at our house on Easter Sunday morning. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe it was another sign of spring and the Easter celebration. A kite rises to new heights, leaving a young lad to watch in amazement.
Pretty much how we should all feel about the message at church services today.
Already the fools: Do we really need April 1 to be April Fools' Day tomorrow? We've had a pretty good run of a Fool's month with this weather throughout March.