On September 1, Mayor Jim Kenney and U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced a $25 million investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant. This funding will install street safety improvements at six North Philadelphia school slow zones.
City officials from the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) and the School District of Philadelphia, along with community organization North10 Philadelphia joined the Mayor and Senator.
The City will work with the six school communities to develop the designs for each school’s slow zone. The improvements aim to reduce speeds and enhance the experiences of people walking, biking, and taking transit to school, while making neighborhood streets in North Philadelphia overall safer.
The slow zones will be constructed at six schools:
- Julia de Burgos Elementary School,
- Kenderton Elementary School,
- KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy,
- Mary McLeod Bethune School,
- Pan-American Academy Charter School, and
- Potter-Thomas School.
The City’s application for the grant was selected through a competitive process with support from U.S. Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman, and Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans. The $25 million in RAISE Grant funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The North Philadelphia project is expected to cost $29 million, which includes an additional $4 million investment from the City’s capital budget. These locations were selected to address high crash rates and implement needed state-of-good repair upgrades. The School Zones Traffic Safety Project will provide safety enhancements such as:
- Raised crosswalks at Slow Zone gateways,
- Redesigned Slow Zone advisory signage for drivers entering Slow Zone limits,
- Concrete curb extensions at key community locations and at hazardous crossings,
- Continental crosswalks in place of standard crosswalks, and
- New Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps at multiple locations.
The North Philadelphia School Zones Traffic Safety Project will also implement state-of-good repair upgrades such as resurfacing streets, upgrading traffic signals and communications, streetscape enhancements such as planting street trees, and pedestrian enhancements.
The North Philadelphia School Zones Traffic Safety Project is part of the City’s holistic approach of getting students to school safely. The project will complement Safe Routes Philly, Philadelphia’s youth bicycle and pedestrian safety education program, which is part of Vision Zero, Philadelphia’s commitment to bring traffic deaths to zero on the City’s streets.
From 2017-2021, there were 418 crashes in the project area, resulting in 156 injuries and three fatalities, according to data from PennDOT.
Based on the application, construction is anticipated to start July 2026, with substantial completion of construction expected by June 2028.