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City Council discusses crisis emergency response program, Evanston parking study findings City Council discusses crisis emergency response program, Evanston parking study

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SHANNON TYLER: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Shannon Tyler.

ELLA JEFFRIES: And I’m Ella Jeffries.

SHANNON TYLER: And this is Everything Evanston, a podcast about the people, business and goings-on in Evanston, Illinois.

ELLA JEFFRIES: Today, we’re introducing a new series on Everything Evanston, called Rapid Recap, giving you the rundown on what happened at Evanston’s City Council meeting.

SHANNON TYLER: This past week, City Council discussed Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare’s emergency response program and a parking study that concluded Evanston should raise the price of parking.

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ELLA JEFFRIES: The first order of business was Evanston’s mental health services, providing key updates on what’s to come.

ELLA JEFFRIES: In August, Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare’s emergency response program began operating on a 24/7 basis. This new program gave Illinois residents access to the mobile crisis line any time of day.

ELLA JEFFRIES: Trilogy is part of a network of mobile crisis response providers available in Evanston to provide immediate mental health services.

ELLA JEFFRIES: Clinical Director Chris Mayer and former 9th Ward Ald. Cicely Fleming said residents should call the service directly if they are experiencing a mental health crisis, as opposed to 988, the national Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

ELLA JEFFRIES: Fleming said when people call 988, they are routed through a number of responders, which may take a while. When calling Trilogy, a person will receive a direct response from a service provision provider.

ELLA JEFFRIES: City Council also discussed updates to the Living Room, a drop-in service for adults going through a mental health crisis. Councilmembers have previously approved a $250,000 renovation, but they talked this week about increasing that figure to $600,000 to make the space more functional and safe.

ELLA JEFFRIES: Looking forward, Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said City Council still has federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that can go toward the Living Room renovations. Trilogy will continue to work with Evanston’s Alternative Emergency Response Subcommittee to develop ways to connect the community with the program.

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SHANNON TYLER: The Evanston parking study was the second order of business during the meeting. Here are some of the key points we took away from the discussion.

SHANNON TYLER: WGI Inc. looked into the parking availability in Evanston and the city’s parking rates and fines. The engineering consulting company also evaluated the parking situation during game days at Ryan Field.

SHANNON TYLER: The organization ultimately suggested that Evanston raise both rates and fines. WGI also determined the city does not have a game day parking problem, despite one resident’s public comments indicating otherwise.

SHANNON TYLER: The study compared Evanston to similar cities across the country and found that Evanston’s on-street parking rate — which is capped at $2 an hour — and its $25 parking meter fines are on the lower end.

SHANNON TYLER: WGI said raising the hourly rate of parking could help encourage more turnover of cars in the downtown area, freeing up more parking. Reid agreed with the company. He emphasized that raising the parking rate will help bring in revenue to improve Evanston infrastructure.

SHANNON TYLER: Regarding Ryan Field, WGI said parking in the area isn’t problematic considering emergency vehicles are still able to pass through. The firm didn’t see any illegal parking either.

SHANNON TYLER: However, resident Ken Proskie said in his 37 years living near Ryan Field, he has experienced a parking problem. He said the field creates traffic issues and prevents residents from being able to park outside their own homes.

SHANNON TYLER: Looking forward, City Manager Luke Stowe said no substantial decision should be made until City Council reviews a city-sanctioned survey on the downtown district this winter. This will determine what the best parking policies will be for residents, businesses and the city.

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SHANNON TYLER: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Shannon Tyler,

ELLA JEFFRIES: and I’m Ella Jeffries. Thanks for listening to another episode of Everything Evanston’s Rapid Recap. This episode was reported and produced by me and Shannon Tyler. The Audio Editor of The Daily Northwestern is Lawrence Price, the Digital Managing Editor is Angeli Mittal, and the Editor-in-chief is Jacob Fulton. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.

E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @shannonmtyler
E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @ellajeffriess

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