PHILADELPHIA – “If there is any transportation corridor in the City of Philadelphia where virtually every user would ‘root for change’—it’s Roosevelt Boulevard,” proclaimed Mayor Jim Kenney in announcing the kick-off of the first round of public forums for a three-year $5 million study for Transforming the Boulevard.
The “Route for Change” Program is funded by a $2.5 million USDOT TIGER planning grant, with additional contributions equaling $2.5 million by the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The program is designed to create a more inviting corridor; one that will be safer, more accessible, and more reliable for all users including residents, pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, motorists and visitors.
A series of public forums in April will introduce the program and include several interactive stations to solicit information from those who live and work along the Boulevard. Each 2-hour forum will be replicated in five different locations along the Boulevard in order to maximize public access, starting on Thursday, April 14th and finishing the following Thursday, April 21st.
“We are encouraging residents and commuters along the Boulevard to join our team of professional planners and engineers at these five public forums to talk about situations faced while traveling along the Boulevard,” noted the city’s Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, Clarena Tolson. “Public input from those who work, live, and travel the corridor daily will inform how we transform the Boulevard into a safer, more inviting roadway, today and into the future.”
PennDOT is a key partner in this 3-year program. PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain explained, “Roosevelt Boulevard is one of very few highways of its kind in the United States — essentially a limited access highway functioning as an urban street in a densely populated area. While actions have been taken to make the Boulevard safer despite its physical characteristics, crashes still occur and public safety concerns exist. PennDOT is committed to partnering with the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA to identify early action and long-term improvements that will make the Boulevard safer for everyone who travels, lives, and does business along the corridor.”
Improving safety and accessibility for all users are key components of designing a better Boulevard. “Our neighbors have to cross 12-lanes of high speed vehicular traffic, which is the length of a football field, to grab the bus, or reach the stores right across the street,” said Mayor Kenney.
One of the key goals of the Program is reducing the risk of crashes for all roadway users along the 14-mile corridor, which stretches from Broad Street to Neshaminy Mall in Bucks County. “More than 3,000 reportable crashes in the past 5 years have resulted in a significant number of fatalities and serious injuries of both drivers and pedestrians,” noted the Route for Change Program Manager, Angie Dixon of the city’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems.
The ability of the Boulevard to support its neighborhoods, schools, businesses, jobs, and attractions depends on how reliable or consistent travel time is along the corridor, no matter how residents are traveling. “SEPTA is excited to partner with the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT to examine how to improve the Boulevard as a safer, more transit friendly transportation corridor that upgrades service to our customers and City residents,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Kneuppel. “We look forward to talking with our riders about how to better meet their needs while taking transit on the Boulevard.”
The Route for Change Program Team is eager to hear from the public about different experiences on the Boulevard and start to hear about what changes they hope to see moving forward at one of these five public forums. The public is also encouraged to visit www.RooseveltBlvd.com for more information about the Program.
- Thursday, April 14, 6:00 – 8:00PMat Four Points Sheraton, 9461 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA. Served by SEPTA bus routes 1, 14, & 19. In-person Spanish & Russian interpretation available at the forum.
- Saturday, April 16, 1:00 – 3:00PM at Globe Dye Works, 4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia, PA. Served by SEPTA bus routes 25, 56, & J. In-person Spanish & Chinese interpretation available at the forum.
- Tuesday, April 19, 6:00 – 8:00PMat Lenfest Center, 3890 N. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Served by SEPTA bus routes 4, 53, & Broad Street Line subway. In-person Spanish & Chinese interpretation available at the forum.
- Wednesday, April 20, 6:00 – 8:00PMat Radisson Hotel Philadelphia NE, 2400 Old Lincoln Highway, Trevose, PA. Served by SEPTA bus routes 1 & 14. In-person Spanish & Russian interpretation available at the forum.
- Thursday, April 21, 4:30 – 6:30PM at Lincoln High School, 3201 Ryan Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. Served by SEPTA bus routes 70 & 88. In-person Spanish & Chinese interpretation available at the forum.