If OK'd, Philadelphia speed cameras would help pay for pedestrian walkways

| 11/6/2006

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would add photo radar along a roadway in Philadelphia. The fines for speeding would be used to help foot the bill for pedestrian bridges.

Sponsored by Rep. George Kenney, R-Philadelphia, the bill would authorize special cameras to be posted along Roosevelt Boulevard to deter speeders.

Kenney's plan calls for speed-sensitive cameras to be used to identify vehicles violating the speed limit along the 12-lane, 14-mile boulevard, which is a section of U.S. Route 1.

The city would be allowed to issue violations by mail to the owners of vehicles nabbed by the cameras. Violators would face fines ranging from $125 for driving 6 to 10 mph in excess of the posted limit to $500 for going more than 30 mph above the limit.

If combined with matching federal funds, Kenny said the revenue generated by the fines could be used to construct pedestrian bridges at key spots along the boulevard.

The measure would also approve the installation of more red-light cameras along the roadway.

"This is just another step to find a solution out there," Kenny told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has estimated it would cost as much as $5 million each to construct pedestrian walkways across the boulevard.

The agency said for the five years ending in 2005, there were 20 fatalities of pedestrians along the roadway. Eight of those killed were hit while crossing the highway at "random crossings" - not a marked crossing or intersection.

Kenney's bill - HB3069 - is in the House Transportation Committee.