If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, and following us on social media, you know that we’ve been advocating for speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia. Why? Because speed cameras are a proven tool to curb traffic deaths, and the Boulevard is the deadliest road in all of Philadelphia.
That reality came to a head, again, this week when Shien Ching Shen, 79, was struck and killed on the Boulevard by a motorist. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and now, her family has begun a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for her funeral expenses.
Writing on GoFundMe, Shien’s grandson Kenneth Lac, a Junior at UPenn, noted of the day of the crash,
Our family was scrambling to find her when the sun started setting because she never came home after dark. She was scared of the dark. It would usually be a day after hanging out with her friends, eating dim-sum, or playing mahjong. She never came home. As we later realized, she wasn’t going to come home, but we would leave the lights on for her.
On November 14th, 2017 at 2:15PM, she was struck by a pick-up truck back in Northeast Philadephia as she was only a block away from home. There are various news articles, detailing the incident that caused our whole family shock and sadness. She was dragged 120ft before the truck stopped, and the 21-year-old behind the wheels was not charged by the police.
She did not deserve this. She was a healthy, beautiful, and happy grandma who just loved life everyday because she gets to see her grandchildren grow.
If you want to donate to the GoFundMe, you can do so here.
As we noted on Twitter this week, the State Legislature continuing to sit on Senate Bill 172, which would legalize speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard for a 5-year Pilot, means tragedies like this one will continue. It’s totally unacceptable. Thirteen percent of all PHL traffic deaths happen on the Boulevard. And, the Boulevard only makes up 0.6 percent of PHL’s roadways.
Speed cameras are not the long-term answer, but could help curb crashes and deaths until re-engineering can take place.
In fact, as Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer recently, there are three bills sitting in the Legislature right now that, if passed, could immediately begin to make Philadelphia’s, and Pennsylvania’s, streets safer.
If you’re concerned about traffic deaths on Roosevelt Boulevard, contact your state Senator and ask them to take up Senate Bill 172. Change needs to happen now.