Philly won't use speed cameras to help pay for walkways

| 12/15/2006

A bill that would have added photo radar along a roadway in Philadelphia has died. The revenue from speeding fines would have been used to help foot the bill for pedestrian bridges.

Sponsored by Rep. George Kenney, R-Philadelphia, the bill remained in the House Transportation Committee when the session ended last month, effectively killing it for the year.

The bill - HB3069 -authorized special cameras to be posted along Roosevelt Boulevard to deter speeders.

Kenney's plan called 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 Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The city would have been allowed to issue violations by mail to the owners of vehicles nabbed by the cameras. Violators would have faced 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 have been used to construct pedestrian bridges at key spots along the boulevard.

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

Kenny touted the plan as another step to find a solution for making pedestrian traffic safer.

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.

The bill can be reintroduced during the regular session that begins Jan. 2.