Public feedback sought in effort to improve Roosevelt Boulevard

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It's one of the country's most problematic roadways, and the answers to fixing it have been piecemeal if not illusive. (WPVI)

Roosevelt Boulevard is one of the country's most problematic roadways, and the answers to fixing it have been piecemeal if not illusive.

Officials say this time they want to get it right and hear from those who live, work and travel along the Boulevard.

Ask locals to give you their opinions of the Boulevard and you get some pretty blunt answers.

"Traffic slowing down or more police officers giving tickets," said Pat Tyson of Northeast Philadelphia.

The Boulevard is 12 lanes of high-speed traffic that stretches 14 miles from Broad to Neshaminy Mall in Bucks County.

In the past five years, there have been more than 3,000 reported crashes with more than 50 fatalities, 20 of which have been pedestrians.

"You need wire barriers to only allow pedestrians to cross at the lights," said Bob Appel of Northeast Philadelphia. "That would save so many lives."

At the first of five public forums, dozens of people gathered Thursday night at interactive stations to give staff members from PennDOT, the city and SEPTA input on what they would like to see done.

"I'd like to see more pedestrian options on the Boulevard,"said Jim Didomenico of Northeast Philadelphia. "Around my neighborhood the sidewalks aren't complete so sometimes I can't walk to where I wanna go."

"One of the most important pieces is listening to the community about what are the challenges that they have when they're on the Boulevard," said Angie Dixon, program manager.

The effort is part of a three-year study being funded by a $5 million grant. They are trying to come up with short-term solutions as well as what the Boulevard should look like in 2025 and ultimately in 2040.

"It actually gives us the blueprint of where we need to start looking for additional funding to layer on the improvements to sort of make the vision happen," said Dixon.

Four more forums are set to take place during the next few days, the last one scheduled for April 21.

Staffers hope to return in the fall with a plan that reflects what they heard.

Related Topics:
trafficphiladelphia newsRoosevelt BoulevardSEPTApenndotNortheast Philadelphia
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