Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Amtrak Parking

 Amtrak Parking will be closed for the next three weeks, due to construction of the multimodal transit station. Free parking is available in the city hall parking lot. Do not park in the Big Chill parking lot as they have a large sign up there warning people not to do so.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Cricket Building

 Looks as if something is going into the old Cricket location at the corner of Mill and Illinois. Windows are papered over and there are lights on inside. Good. we need more business at that end of town. Heck, we need more business at any end of town.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Damaged Tires

 There have been a spate of damaged tire reports coming from the area south of West Walnut and East of South Poplar. At least 10 incidents of damaged tires reported between April 10 and April 24. Locations include:

"the 500 blocks of South Rawlings and West Mill Streets, the 600 and 800 blocks of West Walnut Street, the 800 block of West Cherry Street, the 300 and 600 blocks of South James Street, the 100 block of South Forest, and two incidents in the 400  block of West Mill Street."

Carbondale police have increased presence in the area for the time being.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Two-way Streets

 A pair of Springfield streets are shifting from 1 way to two way traffic next month. I do not see that as happening on Walnut and Main and Illinois and University but I would like to see something to slow traffic down more in the Arbor District area of Walnut and Main. Speed limit is 30 mph going through there but cars regularly travel at 40-50 miles. Maybe just putting one of the speed monitor signs up once a month might remind people to slow down. Additional stop signs or lights are not feasible, at least as far as I can tell but something reminding people they are speeding in a residential area would help

Monday, April 22, 2024

Brown Bag Concerts

 Brown Bag Concerts start the first Wednesday in May . From the schedule, it looks as if they will run all summer this year, rather than taking a break during the heat of July

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Quatro's Expansion

 Quatro's is expanding into  the space formerly occupied by Jerry's Flower Shoppe. The business has sold Quatro's merchandise out of the space for several months and has now opened an inside entrance into the area, complete with pizza slice selfie station.

Thursday, April 18, 2024


 Dollar General truck wanted to make a turn from Northbound 51 onto west 13 and didn't judge distances very well.  We now have one fewer lightpost on Illinois as the trailer took the entire thing out this afternoon. Traffic cone now sitting on top of the base where the lightpost was earlier this afternoon. apparently the lamp had just been installed earlier this week. 

I saw a truck earlier this week make a turn  from east 13 onto North 51. The trailer cut close enough that it went up on the curb as the truck pulled it along. Truck drivers, at least in these two instances, are making the turns too quickly and misjudging the distance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Eclipse Numbers

 Most recent numbers I have heard for the eclipse are 3019 in for Salukicon/Eclipsecon at the Student Center, 30,000 on the SIUC campus at one location or another with about 13,000 of those located in Saluki Stadium.  I estimated about 400-500 on the town square and have heard estimates of a total of 40,000 in town. 200,000 came to southern Illinois back in 2017 but I doubt we will see the same numbers when final figures are calculated as this year's eclipse passed over many more populated areas than did the 2017 eclipse

Monday, April 15, 2024

New Business Dean

 SIUC's College of Business and Administration appointed Carbondale native Dr. Marc Morris as the new dean of the college. Morris has been a member of the faculty and administration since 2004. I always prefer to see positions filled internally rather than from outside, as someone who is a member of the faulty has a better understanding of the organization that someone brought in from outside, who does not have an understanding of the dynamics of the organization and will spend months understanding its operations and relationships.

Friday, April 12, 2024

This 'n' That

New restaurant This 'n' That opened in the empty Blocko's location at the intersection of Mill and Illinois. According to the menu, the offerings are sandwiches, seafood, steak and 'meat and two" for entrees. Reviews have been good so far and I have seen decent foot traffic there since the place opened up a week ago.  

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Captain D's

 According to an online post, the Carbondale Captain D's has shuttered. Just not enough business. That leaves the town bereft of a Wendy's Popeye's, Long John Silver's, A&W Root Beer and now Captain D's . Fast food places are fleeing the community.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


 According to the sign in its window, The UbreakIFix phone and tablet repair shop on East Grand closed up on March 31 and the company website shows the closest location is now either Manchester Mo or Evansville IN.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


 It looks as if Popeye's has given up the ghost. For awhile it appeared the restaurant was opening during daylight hours but for the past few weeks, the chairs have been up on tables every time I have driven past.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Carbondale Eclipse

 A few notes about the eclipse today

1. Two hour wait for a seat at Thai Taste this evening with a line extending out the door

2. Around 50+ people waiting in line to pay or get served at Big Chill Saturday night

3. Comparatively small crowd to watch the eclipse around the Town Square. My estimate was 300-400

4. Governor J. B. Pritzker and an estimated 30,000 people were on SIUC's campus at one location or another. That is about how many came to town back in 2017

5. Traffic seemed to move pretty smoothly as people started exiting the city, but I saw a picture of cars backed up at least half a mile trying to go north on 127.

6. Read people posting on social media asking visitors to leave Southern Illinois now. Are they crazy? This is the busiest I have seen the Strip since, well, 2017. I would love to see more events like this.

7. Eclipse on the Strip performers were good but needed signs telling listeners they were "official" performers and not just somebody who decided to jam on the Strip

8. Read someone wanting to know where the "real" eclipse events were instead of just the "locals with their craft fair". If you are that interested in the "real" eclipse events, well there were lots of them and you should have looked them up and planned which ones you wanted to attend before the day you arrived in Carbondale, instead of asking on social media the day of.

9. Eclipse viewing glasses sold out throughout town on Sunday. Happily, Carbondale Main Street had plenty to give away at the Washington Street Venue.

10 Eclipse t-shirts sold out as well as Eclipse color changing cups.

11. Driving problems on Carbondale' s one way streets started Friday night with numerous drivers turning the wrong way onto a one way street.

12 Although the town square lots filled up, there was plenty of parking just a block or so off the Strip. Visitors to town just did not know where to look 

any other thoughts?

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Downtown Sunday Night

 Got curious as to how downtown looked the night before the Carbondale Eclipse so drove up Illinois after loading out from Salukicon.

Lots of foot traffic on the Strip with a number of stores having their doors propped open. Over 50 people in line at Big Chill though I did not see any lines waiting to get in at any restaurants. Parking was non-existent  on the Square, though there was parking available just a block away but I figure most of those were visitors who did not know where that parking was.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Hotels Cancelling

Geez, I hope this is not widespread but I have heard reports of at least one hotel in Carbondale cancelling room reservations 3 days before the Eclipse. These were reservations mad a year to a year and half ago when rooms were going for $90 a night. Now that rooms are renting for $400 a night for the eclipse, rooms reserved by families over a year ago are getting canceled and those people are either having to scramble to book rooms at much higher prices or cancelling their trip altogether. 

I figure there will be some lawsuits filed as cancelling reserved rooms without a good reason just to rebook at a higher price is, as far as I know, illegal.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Eclipse Numbers

 Upon reflection, I think we may have fewer people than the 30,000 Carbondale reportedly had in 2017. In 2017, the eclipse path went though fairly low population parts of the country. This year, the path will go through much more densely populated areas including, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Burlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Little Rock. They are far easier to get to than is Carbondale and have much better tourist infrastructure than does Carbondale

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Paducah Eclipse

 Heard today that, despite having a full year, Paducah, which is in the path of the eclipse's totality, only started planning for events a bit over a week ago. Makes me feel a lot better about what Carbondale is doing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Revised Trash Schedule

 The city of Carbondale is treating Eclipse week like a holiday week. Although city offices will be open as normal, the trash pick up schedule will move to a holiday schedule with pick up dates a day later than normal. I imaging they expect to have a lot of extra trash to collect after all of the events of the weekend. I remember anemic crowds on Friday and Saturday with far more traffic on Sunday and Monday and a flood of traffic out of town on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Eclipse Spending

 Caught on the news today that the eclipse is expected to generate about $1.5 billion in revenue, with the lion's share of that going to Texas. That makes sense since three of Texas' largest cities will fall within the eclipse's path. Other states cited as generating lots of revenue were Indiana, New York and Ohio. No mention of Illinois, which makes sense. Despite having arguable the longing period within the eclipse, we are in a comparatively isolated region with low population density and a lack of infrastructure to deal with large numbers of people.

In 2017, it is estimated about 30,000 people came to the Carbondale region. Since this is the last total eclipse until 2050, I expect about 40,000 people to visit the area.

Monday, April 1, 2024


 Vendor event with music in the Washington Street Event space this Saturday and Sunday. I remember this took place in the same area during the last eclipse and was pretty poorly attended, but then, IFRR, it took place on Friday and Saturday. Since most eclipse attendees did not show up until Sunday, primarily locals attended the event. Hope it pulls a bigger crowd this year but it is competing against Eclipsecon at the Student Center and The Shawnee Eclipse Fest at Shawnee Cave.