Multi-million dollar project aims to make Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard more safe

Some of the plans include giving buses their own lanes, and improving pedestrian safety and intersection safety.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Monday, January 23, 2023
Multi-million dollar safety project aims to help Roosevelt Boulevard
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This is all in addition to the Boulevard speed camera program which the city believes is why crashes on the Boulevard dropped 36% since being installed.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia announced tens of millions of dollars in grant funding will be going to improve the Roosevelt Boulevard.

Mayor Jim Kenney joined Senator Bob Casey at Hunting Park Rec Center on Monday to announce the city has been awarded $78 million from the infrastructure bill to work on the Boulevard, which is notorious for being one of the most dangerous roads in Philadelphia, possibly even the country.

"It's been heart-wrenching," said LaTanya Byrd, who has been advocating for improvements to the boulevard since 2013, when four of her family members were killed while trying to cross it.

"There was nothing I could do to bring them back, but there was something I could do to make sure they did not die in vain," she said.

"This is really an investment in safety," said Casey.

The planned improvements break down into a few categories outlined in the city's "Route for Change" report published in 2021.

Some of the plans include giving buses their own lanes, improving pedestrian safety by repainting walkways and extending curbs, working on intersection safety by improving traffic lights, and extending crossover lanes.

"Basic fundamental improvements like that that every community should have a right to expect," said Casey.

This is all in addition to the Boulevard speed camera program which the city believes is why crashes on the Boulevard dropped 36% since being installed.

"They've helped. they've slowed me down," said Leroy Fisher, president of Hunting Park United.

He says any funding to make the boulevard safer is money well spent.

"Safety is always a concern of ours. We're worried about the kids getting to and from the park and the boulevard being a 12-lane highway is always a concern when we send our kids home," he said.

The city hopes to have final designs for boulevard improvements done by next year. The work itself likely will happen in 2025.