Editor’s Note: There are several bills in the State Legislature the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will be advocating for when legislative sessions begin again in the fall. We will be updating this blog routinely with information on the bills. We will let you know how you can help get these bills passed.
The Bicycle Coalition has long been advocating for a temporary solution to the death trap that is Roosevelt Boulevard. And until enough money is raised to re-engineer that road (and others) throughout Philadelphia, we’re advocating for House Bill 1187, which would legalize a speed camera Pilot on Roosevelt Bouelvard.
The bill was introduced by Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila), who has been a great partner in advocating for safer streets in Philadelphia. The Bicycle Coalition previously advocated for an extension of Pennsylvania’s red light camera law, which has both made streets safer and helped fund additional safety projects throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Click here for more information on our advocacy for red light and speed cameras.
Why are speed cameras necessary? Because speed is an epidemic, and is responsible for the vast majority of traffic deaths in Philadelphia, and throughout the country.
Roosevelt Boulevard, specifically, makes up only 0.6 percent of all Philadelphia’s 2,500 miles of streets. Yet over a 5-year period, 2011-2015, 13 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred on Roosevelt Boulevard. And 36 percent of those killed on Roosevelt Boulevard were pedestrians.
Rep. Taylor’s bill would pilot speed cameras on Roosevelt boulevard for five years — after which the usefulness of the cameras would be assessed. Speed cameras have been proven useful and have provided safety to road users where they’ve been tried, which is why the Bicycle Coalition supports them for Roosevelt Boulevard.
Clearly a road on which so many people die in crashes where drivers were speeding or otherwise acting incredibly irresponsibly needs speed cameras. Beyond that, it needs a major reengineering to tame it so it’s not so tempting to drive horribly on it and risk killing somebody. Wasn’t this road looked at for BRT?
It would be EXTREMELY easy to reduce the crash and injury risks on Roosevelt Avenue, if Philly would use engineering solutions, rather than enforcement proposals.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association