City to hold public forums on future of Roosevelt Boulevard
A series of public forums this month will introduce the “Route for Change” program and include several interactive stations to obtain information from residents who live and work along Roosevelt Boulevard. Each planned forum will be two hours and will take place in five different locations along the Boulevard in an effort to expand public access, starting April 14th and finishing the following week on April 21st.
The program is designed to create more of an “inviting corridor” that will be safer and more reliable for all users including residents, pedestrians, and transit riders. Route for Change is funded by a $2.5 million USDOT TIGER planning grant, with additional contributions by the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
“We are encouraging residents and commuters along the Boulevard to join our team of professional planners and engineers at these five public forums to talk about situations faced while traveling along the Boulevard,” Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Clarena Tolson, said in a statement. “Public input from those who work, live, and travel the corridor daily will inform how we transform the Boulevard into a safer, more inviting roadway, today and into the future.”
One of the main goals of the program is reducing the amount of vehicle crashes along the corridor. In 2008, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter outlined a similar plan for the roadway that included safety advertisements on billboards, posters and SEPTA buses, newspapers and on radio.
In a story by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nutter had described the boulevard as being “one of the most hazardous roads in America.”
“Roosevelt Boulevard is one of very few highways of its kind in the United States essentially a limited access highway functioning as an urban street in a densely populated area. While actions have been taken to make the Boulevard safer despite its physical characteristics, crashes still occur and public safety concerns exist," PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth McClain said.
PennDOT is committed, McClain added, to partnering with the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA to identify early action and long-term improvements that will make the Boulevard safer for everyone.
According to Angie Dixon, route for change program manager, more than 3,000 reported crashes in the past five years have resulted in a number of serious injuries for both the driver and pedestrian.