The City of Springfield has targeted the intersection of W. Lawrence Avenue and South MacArthur Boulevard for major improvements to attempt a reduction in traffic accidents. Both streets are major high-traffic North-South and East-West thoroughfares.
Reforms have been considered for decades, but have not resulted in any formative changes. The Historic Westside Neighborhood Association has generally opposed radical proposals to widen the streets, but suggested constructive changes that may improve conditions to improve traffic safety. Commentary from the HWSNA is inserted below.
Recent infrastructure budget increases have apparently prompted City officials to begin comprehensive study and planning to effect improvements at this intersection. A news story about this process is also inserted below.
2021.12.6 SJ-R.com – Public will get a look at proposed safety improvements for Lawrence Avenue
The City of Springfield will hold a public informational meeting regarding proposed safety improvements for Lawrence Avenue, including at the intersections for MacArthur Boulevard and Walnut Street, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 533 S. Walnut St., from 4-6 p.m. Monday.
The city is in the preliminary engineering phase of the study. The design phase of the project is scheduled to begin in 2022.
The intersection of Lawrence and MacArthur has accounted for 42 accidents through October, according to the Springfield Police Department.
The meeting is an open house format, and residents can attend at a time that is convenient for them. There will be no formal presentations.
Stations will be set up that will include project exhibits and maps. Representatives from the city and the consulting firm of Fuhrmann Engineering, Inc. of Springfield will be available to discuss the project and to answer questions.
2007.06.13 SJ-R.com – Lawrence & MacArthur: Focus on deterrence in bid to make intersections safer
The Historic Westside Neighborhood Association (HWSNA) shares everyone’s concern about traffic safety and will support reasonable, prudent solutions to the problems at the MacArthur/Lawrence and Walnut/Lawrence intersections.
We do not oppose change. We support growth and development in the area, if it can be accomplished with the least disruption to the environment and with full consideration of the quality of life for area residents. We sincerely hope that there is not a rush to judgment, nor endorsement of the straight-line thinking of traffic engineers who only recommend major capital improvement of the intersections as the highest and most immediate priority.
We have repeatedly recommended safety improvements for these intersections, and support the modest initiative of installing the yellow warning lights. We agree that it is time for additional action. Mayor Tim Davlin recently reported that the warning lights have already had a significant impact. Similar, relatively low-cost options should be immediately considered in lieu of a massive capital improvement.