Bicycle Coalition

Families for Safe Streets co-founder Latanya Byrd speaks at Speed Camera Bill Signing Ceremony

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed Bill 190184 into law on Wednesday, which will begin putting automated enforcement cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard.

The signing ceremony was attended by PPA Executive Director Scott Petri, Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll, Councilmember Cherelle Parker, 9th District, Yocasta Lora of AARP, and Latanya Byrd, Co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, all of whom spoke about their work to make Philadelphia’s streets safer for all road users.

This was a big win for the people of Philadelphia, and spear-headed by Latanya Byrd. Since co-founded Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia in 2018, and before that, she has been a tireless advocate for safety fixes to Roosevelt Boulevard. She worked in Harrisburg and Philadelphia to help pass legislation that will put automated speed enforcement cameras on the Boulevard, making the street safer for years to come.

Byrd felt compelled to get involved in safe streets advocacy after her niece, Samara Banks, and three of Banks’ children, Saamir, Saasean, and Saadeem, were killed while crossing Roosevelt Boulevard on foot in 2013. She began traveling to Harrisburg with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia in 2017 to fight for this legislation.

Roosevelt Boulevard has continued to be a dangerous place for pedestrians and motorists. In 2018, 21 people were killed using Roosevelt Boulevard, which represents about 20 percent of all traffic deaths in Philadelphia that year.

This legislation was made possible because of the leadership of Councilperson Cherelle Parker, who, after legislation authorizing Philadelphia to protect its citizens was passed at the state level, took this issue up in City Council.

Speed cameras have been shown to bring down traffic deaths when used, which is why Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, AARP PA, AAA, and the rest of the Vision Zero Alliance, have continued to advocate for this technology — and other safety changes — on Philadelphia streets.

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