Philadelphia’s beleaguered Roosevelt Boulevard will get a much-needed safety boost. On Tuesday, federal and state officials made a joint statement about the future of one of the city’s most dangerous roads. A $78 million federal grant will help the city make a series of necessary safety improvements to the boulevard.
Roosevelt Boulevard runs concurrently with US-1 throughout northeast Philadelphia. It’s part of the Lincoln Highway, which means if you follow it to its end, you’ll wind up in San Francisco! It is a major thoroughfare for traffic of all kinds in the area, which is one of the poorer and more ethnically diverse parts of the city. It also has a reputation for being a death trap, having claimed the lives of 75 people since 2016. Roosevelt needs a facelift, and it will finally get one thanks to this grant.
The grant will come from the coffers of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The city will use the money to make a variety of improvements to the road. Officials have already announced plans to upgrade traffic signals, improve intersections, designate bus lanes, and create pedestrian islands. These projects should begin around 2025.
Roosevelt Boulevard is especially dangerous for pedestrians.
Roosevelt is a deadly road for traffic of all kinds, but pedestrians definitely have it the worst. Because the street is incredibly wide, clocking in at 12 lanes, it is very hard for pedestrians to cross safely, especially at night. According to U.S. Senator Bob Casey, 41% of all fatalities on the road are from pedestrians attempting to cross the road and being struck by vehicles.
In fact, just days after the announcement, a tow truck struck a man trying to cross the road in northeast Philadelphia. Officials say the man should survive his injuries, even though they are extensive. However, this incident serves to hammer home just how important these improvements are for Philadelphia. When 14% of all traffic deaths in a city happen along one road, it’s a good idea to look into fixing it up.