COUNCIL ADOPTS BILL AUTHORIZING SPEED CAMERAS ALONG ROOSEVELT BOULEVARD

In Cherelle Parker, Council News, News by Cherelle Parker

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PHILADELPHIA, May 16, 2019 – City Council today voted to adopt legislation authorizing the installation of speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard between Ninth Street and the Philadelphia County Line as part of the City’s commitment to Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate traffic-related deaths by 2030.

Bill #190184, introduced by Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, will allow for the installation of 7-11 cameras along this stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard. Roosevelt Boulevard is known for being the most dangerous road in Philadelphia and one of the most dangerous in Pennsylvania. Between 2013 and 2017, 139 people were killed or seriously injured on Roosevelt Boulevard and 2,695 crashes were reported, according to PennDOT. Crashes along the 11.75-mile corridor account for 8 percent of all fatal and severe injury crashes in the City.

“The tragic stories of people being killed or seriously injured on Roosevelt Boulevard have become all too common, but this doesn’t have to be the case,” said Parker, whose district includes two miles of the Boulevard. “We know that speed is especially deadly for people walking and biking, and that if we can get motorists to change their behavior and slow down, we can reduce crashes and save lives. The passage of this legislation is a victory for anyone who wishes to travel safely on Roosevelt Boulevard.”

Upon implementation, drivers would have a 60-day grace period during which speeders would receive a warning notice. Warning signs would also be posted in the vicinity of cameras to alert motorists. Speed cameras would be programmed to automatically take photos of any vehicles going 11 mph over the 45 mph speed limit and mail them a ticket. Vehicles going between 11 and 20 miles over the speed limit would be fined $100; vehicles going between 21 and 30 miles over the speed limit would be fined $125; and vehicles going more than 31 miles over the speed limit would be fined $150.

Last year, state lawmakers – in a notable bipartisan effort led by state Rep. John Taylor – passed Senate Bill 172 allowing Philadelphia to install speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard.

Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: “This is an invaluable step for Philadelphia to implement Vision Zero. Countless lives will be saved with automated enforcement on Roosevelt Boulevard, and we applaud the Mayor and City Council for doing their part to make this precedent-setting safety measure possible.”

Latanya Byrd, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia: “On July 16, 2013, my niece, Samara Banks, and three of her beautiful children, Saamir, Saasean, and Saadeem, were killed by out-of-control, speeding drivers while walking across Roosevelt Boulevard. The pain my family has felt has been unimaginable, and I’ve made it my goal to make sure no more families have to suffer the way mine has. That’s why, over the past two years, I traveled to Harrisburg with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance to meet with representatives on both sides of the aisle, telling my story, and asking for better safety measures along Roosevelt Boulevard. I wrote letters and made phone calls in support of a bill that would legalize speed cameras along the Boulevard. In that time, more than 30 people have been killed. With the passage of automated enforcement today, it’s my hope that no more people have to go through what my family has suffered.”

Jana Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic: “We believe automated speed camera systems, when implemented with AAA-supported motorist protections (noted in the city’s legislation) – safety focus, transparency, public access, flat contractor fee, police oversight, posted warning signs, and 11 mph over set speed limit – can contribute to the goal of reducing unnecessary fatalities and promoting traffic safety for all road users along Roosevelt Boulevard.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Council members Darrell Clarke, Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Cindy Bass. The cameras will be installed by the end of 2019.

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Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker represents the 9th District, which includes East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Lawncrest, Burholme, Olney and parts of Oxford Circle and Logan. She is Chair of Council’s Committee on Labor and Civil Service and Vice Chair of Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.

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