Hunting Park residents protest planned traffic light removal

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Residents protest to stop removal of stop light in Hunting Park. Jeff Chiricho reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 19, 2017.

Residents blocked traffic Friday because they say the state is trying to remove a traffic light in Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood.

Chopper 6 was over the scene around 4 p.m. at 32nd and West Allegheny Avenue.
It didn't take long for tempers to flare as drivers and SEPTA bus passengers found themselves stuck.

From Chopper 6 HD you could see rush hour traffic backing up as residents demanded an end to plans to remove a traffic light.

"The people in this community have a right to keep these lights. We pay taxes. We're law abiding citizens," said Mark Pollock.

"We told them we didn't want this light moved. Two kids got killed here," said Rose Cooper.

Cooper says the fatal accident in 1978 led officials to install the light.

But now a $6.9 million improvement project on a stretch of Allegheny Avenue is calling for traffic lights at 32nd, 28th, and 26th to be replaced with flashing lights.

Officials say the decision is based on money. A study found the intersections don't have the necessary traffic volume required for the feds to fund the project.

PennDOT will install safety features similar to the ones at 17th and Arch that have a calming effect on traffic.

"We have 60 kids who are leaving at this time of day," David Kasievich, head master of St. James School said.

Kasievich says PennDOT hasn't considered his students' safety.

He said, "We have thousands of cars that are traveling on Allegheny Avenue home, and they're going to run over our kids because there going to remove a traffic light."
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