greetings from Sandtown!
greetings from Sandtown!
Communication from Councilwoman Gina Gregory, District 7
Newsletter Alert: January 13, 2023
The N. McGregor Avenue roadway project has started - if this has been part of your daily commute, please heed the detour signs and take either University Blvd. or the I-65 Service Road as an east-wide route. PLEASE DO NOT CUT THROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS.
The road closure is causing a lot of confusion for motorists who don’t heed the warning signs about the closure and instead of detouring to another east-west corridor, they are cutting through neighborhood streets off McGregor Avenue that are not designed for such a high volume of traffic. The heavier traffic on these narrow streets has caused a lot of concern for people who live there. The McGregor closure has also resulted in more motorists using Tuthill Lane as an east-west route. Residents report a high volume of traffic in the early morning hours at high speeds and some motorists failing to heed stop signs. Following that, the traffic tends to slow down, and get backed up. Some people who live on Tuthill report that they’re not able to get out of their driveways. Mobile Police Traffic Officers have been on the scene and have been a big help. They’re coordinating with the Director of Public Safety and Traffic Engineers to monitor and evaluate what can be done now with the first few days of the closure behind us to be more proactive and make improvements. We are looking at ways to better ensure the safety of everyone who lives in the area, paying special attention to the number of youngsters who walk to school. In the meantime, Police Officers will continue to have a presence in the area. The city has set up a website for e-mails and a texting option to answer questions and provide updates. Visit www.city of mobile.org/McGregor-avenue-project or text MOBILEMCGREGOR to 91896.
Deja vu. The challenges created by the recent closures of North McGregor at Spring Hill Avenue and further east of Springhill Avenue at the train tracks resulting in traffic chaos seems oddly familiar. It’s apparently going to be a year of challenge and change. Council woman Gina Gregory advised in her recent correspondence to 7th District residents that the closures have caused residential streets to become congested, high traffic areas.
Even though Gregory did not mention Sand Town in her letter, Mordecai and Sheips Lanes are dealing with the same chaotic traffic and safety concerns as Tuthill. Travelers in search of alternative routes have also tried to squeeze down Mordecai and Sheips Lanes. Both have such narrow points that only one car can pass at a time. This is causing confusion and potential dangers for the residents and motorists. East to west, from St. Ignatius at Tuthill to Forest Hill at Municipal Park, these new traffic patterns are uncontrolled.
Alas, this is a real-world view into the potentially lifetime of a mess for the residents of Sand Town and neighboring streets who are now and will be even more adversely impacted by commercial development at the corner of McGregor and Springhill Avenue. While some areas will return to normal once the road construction is completed, Sand Town and nearby neighborhood streets will not be so fortunate. This will be due to people trying to access whatever shops there may be, at who knows what hours, which creates high traffic situations.
Residents along Springhill Avenue have had difficulty getting in and out of their driveways since the once peaceful two-lane street was widened into a five-lane boulevard in the 1970’s. In addition, there is talk of a potential roundabout at Springhill and N. McGregor. Residents that need to get out of their driveways between McGregor and Tuthill Lane without a stop light to halt traffic will forever be negatively impacted.
Sand Town stands in solidarity with the residents on neighboring streets. We are against commercial overdevelopment and street reconstruction plans that threaten the peace and safety of this area.
In a historic redistricting vote, Sand Town was split between Districts 5 and 7. We remain, yet, a CommUNITY. Sand Town is to work with current representative, Gina Gregory, to create a Safe Zone over the next three years. Watch the 8/9/22 City Council meeting beginning at 29:55 (29 mins/55 secs) for more information.
Sand Town residents are to work with representative Gina Gregory of District 7 and Shayla Beaco of Build Mobile to draft an amendment to the UDC. The amendment is to provide protections and a Safe Zone for Sand Town against commercial development and encroachment.
We view these actions as movement in a positive direction. Thank you to citizens of greater Mobile, our Spring Hill neighbors, business owners and members of other civic organizations who have helped elevate our voices while continuing to support us on this journey. Stay tuned.
Please direct all questions from the media to: email@example.com. Thank you!
The Village of Spring Hill’s Master Plan Endangers Sand Town and Its Historical Significance to Mobile!
The Village of Spring Hill organization recently sent the following in an email to supporters:
“The Village of Spring Hill form-based code that guides our Master Plan will finally be voted on at the City Council meeting July 12th at 10:30 am. If the code is not approved as mandatory no doubt stagnant development will persist in the Village. If the code IS approved as mandatory, a precedent will be set in the City of Mobile allowing the “citizens” of Spring Hill to determine the future of their community and allow our Master Plan to be fully realized!.... there are still those few individuals who continue to speak against our efforts.
Are We, The People Of Sand Town, Established Before 1845 In Spring Hill By Freed Slaves and Indigenous People, NOT “Citizens”?
A home is the most sacred and biggest investment that one makes. Their Master Plan includes, among other things, the development of a Commercial Center right in the heart of our historical, safe, peaceful, quiet residential neighborhood!! The radical development that Linda St. John, president of the Village of Spring Hill, and their corporation of commercial investors advocate in our area jeopardizes our existence and even the peaceful, quiet, safe, quality of life for citizens and neighborhoods in closest proximity to Sand Town!
Now Ask Yourself:
The Village of Spring Hill speaks about “being allowed to determine the future of THEIR community.” Most members of that organization don’t even live within the community that they want to control! Why aren’t the residents of Sand Town allowed to determine OUR OWN future while preserving our peaceful history and quality of life?
It makes one wonder: “What is the group of corporate developers who comprise The Village of Spring Hill organization really trying to accomplish?”
Sand Town does not currently have a Safe Zone or protections from commercial development encroachment despite voicing our concerns over many years. Click below to read a letter to the Mobile City Council and Mayor.
Sand Town, the oldest African American neighborhood in the area
of Spring Hill, in Mobile, Alabama, was established before 1845, by
former enslaved and free, indigenous people of color. Sand Town residents
built their own homes, school and places of worship and founded the Rising
Sons Cemetery. It is a thriving community populated by multigenerational
descendants of the original, proud and hard-working property owners.
The Spring Hill School for Colored applied to open in 1873 and remained
open through the 1948-49 school year. The Mt. Hebron Methodist
Church was formed in 1847. After a fire in 1884, a new church was
constructed at the corner of Spring Hill Avenue and Knowles Street.
Sand Town ancestors, former residents and veterans are buried in the
Rising Sons Cemetery, located at the end of Knowles Street.
In 1937, under the guidance of Spring Hill College, St. Augustine
Catholic Church, a log cabin, was built for Colored Catholics in the
area. It existed until 1963, when many African American Catholics in
Spring Hill began attending St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Windows and
doors from St. Augustine Church are installed in the Mt. Hebron A. M. E.
Historical Sand Town was established before 1845. Land for the The Rising Sons Cemetery was donated in part by Gilbert Fields. The Mt. Hebron Methodist Church was formed in 1874 on land donated in part by John Bernard.
Both the cemetery and church are located on Knowles Street. Today, Sand Town's boundaries are from Three - Mile Creek to just north of The Cedars and east to west from Dilston Street to Ziegler Boulevard.