MacArthur Feasibility Study – Wabash to South Grand
MBA Book Drive to Benefit MacArthur Park Apartments Children’s Library
Collecting books and donations for the
MacArthur Park Apartment Children’s Library
We’ve already had a wonderful response to our book drive – but we’re not stopping there! Please save your gently used children’s books and drop them off at:
- The Paper Boutique
- Ross Isaac
- America Red Cross
MBBA Letter to Springfield Housing Authority re: MacArthur Park Apartments
April 18, 2013
Springfield Housing Authority
Attn: Director Jackie Newman
200 N. 11th St.
Springfield, IL 62703
Dear Director Newman:
I am writing on behalf of the members of the MacArthur Boulevard Association (MBA) to encourage the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) not to issue a blanket reinstatement of all Section 8 housing vouchers in the MacArthur Park apartment complex. The MBA understands that under an Agreement between the City of Springfield and the MacArthur Park owner, Granite Investment Company, the Mayor of Springfield will recommend to the SHA that SHA lift the suspension of issuance of Section 8 housing vouchers in MacArthur Park. We would ask that the SHA stage this reinstatement in reasonable increments over the period of a year.
Given the history of building code violations at MacArthur Park and the significant amount of fines issued against the owner, we question the ability of the owner to keep all units in compliance. Reinstating all the Section 8 vouchers at once, reducing the incentive for the owner to keep ALL the units in building code compliance.
The MBA strongly encourages the SHA to take a measured approach in reinstating the Section 8 vouchers to MacArthur Park when the Mayor issues his letter.
MacArthur Boulevard Association
CC: Mayor Michael Houston
Alderman Joe McMenamin
MBBA Supports Bike / Pedestrian Plan
Letter to Mayor Mike Houston:
On behalf of the members of the MacArthur Boulevard Association (MBA), I am requesting that you introduce an ordinance adopting the recently issued Springfield Area Transportation Study’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The plan was the result of the joint efforts of the Springfield Area Transportation Study Policy and Technical Committees, the Springfield Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Steering Committee.
This well thought out plan will create an environment that will expand options for personal transportation by creating safe, efficient connecting routes and corridors for bicyclists and pedestrians. The plan will improve conditions for all road users.
Making Springfield “bike friendly” will have economic development benefits. Beyond the obvious quality of life improvement that prospective businesses factor into their site location evaluations, Springfield will have the opportunity to increase its tourist business. The League of American Bicyclists and the League of Illinois Bicyclists have a program that recognizes cities as “bike friendly” and that designation is instrumental in encouraging and attracting bicycle tourists. I have friends who frequently travel to Madison, Wisconsin to enjoy their numerous bike routes and trails. Springfield can become a bicycling destination city and with it can increase revenues from an increase in tourism.
The adoption of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan will allow the City of Springfield to explore federal and state grants to help implement the plan. In the interim, there are a number of low cost and no cost items that could be immediately implemented to improve the safety of biking and walking in the city.
The MBA strongly urges you to introduce an ordinance to adopt the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
MacArthur TIF District
MacArthur Redevelopment Master Plan
Springfield Rail Corridor Information – High Speed Rail Study
Regional Planning Commission Issues RFP for MacArthur Study
The MBBA thanks Sangamon County Board Member Jen Dillman for her efforts to secure the grant for the study.
RFP on Regional Planning Commission Website…
Springfield Railroad Corridor: High Speed Rail and Expanded Freight Proposal
Mayor Houston’s Position… No on the Fourth Railroad Alternative!
City of Springfield News, August 10,2011
A proposal discussed at yesterday’s meeting by agents of the Federal Railroad Administration to consider splitting Union Pacific freight and passenger service traveling through Springfield is an idea that makes a bad situation worse. FRA is suggesting that serious consideration should be given to an alternative that would have freight trains moved to the Tenth Street corridor while keeping passenger trains on Third Street.
“This is the worst possible outcome for the City of Springfield,” said Mayor J. Michael Houston. “We have been working for years to consolidate rail traffic on a preferred corridor so that proper mitigation efforts could eliminate grade crossings and allow vehicles and trains to move smoothly though our city. This proposal negates every bit of work we have done, including the EIS completed by Hanson Professional Services.”
“Moving some trains but not all to Tenth Street could jeopardize the entire project because it would remove the possibility of accessing High Speed Rail funds to help pay for consolidation. The funds would be used, instead, on Third Street. That could mean no underpasses or quad gates, and no quiet zones which would cause much greater delays and increase the noise level.”
“It would also undermine the City’s integrity, and prevent us from proceeding with an economic development initiative built around a new multi modal transportation facility on Tenth Street. That would include a variety of elements that would stimulate other development such as single family homes on our City’s east side.”
“This fourth alternative should not even be on the table. Allowing Amtrak to run passenger trains on Third Street will continue to produce congestion and traffic delays in the core center of our City. And, it would not be conducive to expanded development in the medical district. We would get the worst decision that could be possibly imagined,” Houston added.
The Federal Railroad Administration is having a Tier 1 environmental impact study (EIS) conducted on the entire Chicago to St. Louis route, and plans to fold the Springfield Tier 2 EIS into the Tier 1 study. The Springfield study has already been completed and is awaiting a Record of Decision. But that will be delayed 18 months or longer because it is now part of the study for the entire corridor.
Springfield community, business and government leaders have strongly argued that both freight and passenger trains should be moved to the Tenth Street corridor so that underpasses and appropriate crossing protections can be built, reducing the number of grade crossings making it much safer for the community. The goal is to minimize the negative impact that increased train traffic will have on Springfield.
For nearly a decade, high speed passenger rail service throughout the Midwest has been considered, and Senator Durbin has been a strong supporter of this idea. However, due to the high cost of the initial infrastructure investment, it was never a serious possibility until President Obama included $8 billion for upgrading rail lines in the economic stimulus package passed earlier this year, most of which was earmarked for “shovel ready” projects.
Union Pacific is now hoping to receive more than 2 billion dollars in stimulus funds to construct an additional rail line between Chicago and St. Louis that would have the capacity to handle High Speed Rail (HSR) as well as additional freight trains, which would represent most of the increase in traffic. While Springfield only represents 4.4 miles of the total 300 mile project, the decision of where to locate this primary rail line will be a critical issue that affects our city (positively or negatively) for years to come.
The Regional Planning Commission has also put together a series of very informative reports regarding the proposed mitigation (overpasses and closings) and other impacts of the current proposal. These reports can be found on their website at
Springfield Green is dedicated to the beautification of the Springfield and capital city area. It is a city project which, combined with volunteer partnerships, benefits the environment and improves the quality of life for residents and visitors to our city.