Reporting Mike Dunn
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One week after a mother and three children died while crossing Roosevelt Boulevard on foot (see related story), city officials say they’re going to study whether a pedestrian-only crossing signal should be installed at that location.
Samara Banks and three children were struck and killed by what police say were drag racers (see related story) on the Boulevard near Second Street in Feltonville.
Acting Streets Commissioner David Perri says they’re now going to study whether a signal there would help. “It would be a pedestrian-only crossing at Second Street.”
Perri says in fact a pedestrian signal existed there decades ago but was removed in 1983.
“There was a signalized crossing at that intersection as recently as 1983. So, we’re going to study it again to determine whether to re-install signalized crossing (there).”
There’s no vehicular cross-traffic where Second Street meets the Boulevard, but Perri says pedestrians still try to cross and last week’s accident was a tragic case in point. The nearest pedestrian crossings are east at Mascher and west at Fourth Street. So, Perri wants to study whether a light near Second makes sense.
“Part of the study would be to determine whether or not the nearest crossings are within a reasonable walking distance. And if they’re not, then we would consider putting the crossing in at Second Street.”
KYW Newsradio asked Perri why a study is even necessary given last week’s fatalities: “You have to determine whether or not there’s enough pedestrian traffic crossing the Boulevard to warrant a signalized crossing at that location. You have to look at where schools are currently located, what the walking patterns are for the neighborhood. All that comes into play before you can make a decision.”
The Streets Commissioner says the study will not be complete until year’s end, so any installation of a signal would not come until 2014. Perri says the Streets Department plans to re-stripe lanes on the entire boulevard, an effort that was planned before last week’s accident. Also being looked at: expanding the use of cameras to catch speeders, not just red light runners.