A Westside Neighborhood Betterment Association member and former president recently was going through some of the past WNBA files and found a copy of a 2013 document outlining goals for neighborhood improvements.
One of the projects described the need for sidewalks and a wider bridge for pedestrians on Grand Street west of Kansas Expressway. To accomplish this, a 2016 grassroots effort was successful when the City of Springfield conducted a poll to determine the most-needed capital improvement projects in the City. Several projects throughout the City were listed on the ballot. The WNBA went online to ask neighbors to vote on the much-needed Grand Street Bridge Project and went door to door with paper ballots for our neighbors to vote.
The results of this effort are there for you to see. The new wider – and much safer – bridge with sidewalks will soon be a reality. A bonus to the project is the addition of a connection to the Ozark Greenways Trail.
This past August, the City conducted another poll to again determine the most-needed capital improvements. This time, the neighborhood project was the widening of Hilton Street west of Westport School. Again, the WNBA went online and door to door. The results of survey are not in yet, but the need for this improvement has been brought up for future consideration by the City.
Sidewalks were a need in 2013 and continue to be a need for our neighborhood. Since 2013, new sidewalks have been built in our neighborhood. One most noteworthy is the new sidewalk between Mt. Vernon and Grand Street on West Street. I see our neighbors using these sidewalks while being safely off the roadway.
The WNBA continues to help our neighbors with several projects such as the Westport Backpack Program, Adopt -a-Street, providing scholarships and volunteer hours at the Boys & Girls Clubs, sponsor block parties, National Night Out and more.
The WNBA also represents our neighborhood at the Neighborhood Advisory Council. The NAC brings the concerns and budget priorities to the city for consideration.
The WNBA meets with the City to obtain continued funding for our neighborhood cleanup where tons of trash are removed from our neighborhood. Last May at the cleanup, vehicles were backed up three blocks waiting to unload their unwanted items.
One objective from 2013 that we have not succeeded with is expanding the association’s membership. Would you like to help with WNBA projects and activities and be a part of helping your neighborhood?
Come to a WNBA meeting and meet your neighborhood police officer and your neighbors. The WNBA meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Westport Park Apartments, 250 N. Hilton. We hope to see you there!