An effort to slow speeding cars along Roosevelt Boulevard put on hold by the coronavirus is moving forward soon.
The 60-day warning period for automated speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard begins June 1, said Philadelphia Parking Authority spokesperson Marty O’Rourke. Officials announced the start of installation at the first of eight locations in January.
Thirty-two cameras spread across Banks Way, F Street, Devereaux Avenue, Harbison Avenue, Strahle Street, Grant Avenue, Red Lion Road near Whitten Street, and Southampton Road near Horning Road are part of the effort to curb speeds along the dangerous roadway.
Vision Zero, the city’s safe streets initiative aiming for zero traffic deaths by 2030, calls the Boulevard a “priority" of the policy. In 2018, 21 people died on the road in one of its deadliest recent years.
The speed camera program was paused because of “the stay in construction,” O’Rourke said. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered construction sites across the commonwealth to shut down in March. Construction was able to resume May 1.
“We are pleased to see this project moving forward, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners at PPA as this program launches on Roosevelt Boulevard,” city spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco said.
The grace period intends for motorists to get used to the new additions along the Boulevard before seeing penalties. Cars going more than 11 mph over the posted speed limit could face fines of between $100 to $150, officials announced earlier this year.
Cars across the region are taking advantage of open roadways, with Mayor Jim Kenney recently highlighting traffic safety violations as “a dangerous side effect of the stay-at-home order.” Over the course of a few days, hundreds of cars flew faster than 70 mph along the Boulevard, many cruising above 100 mph, according to PPA executive director Scott Petri’s report to the authority’s board Tuesday.
The speed limit varies but is 45 mph on most of the Boulevard.
“As the number of drivers decreased, speeding increased,” Petri said in the report. “Hopefully, once the speed cameras are active drivers will reduce their speeds.”
The PPA stopped enforcing meters, kiosks, and residential time limits during the pandemic. It continues to issue safety violations, like blocking fire hydrants or loading zones, in Center City. Normal PPA Center City garage rates will also begin June 1, the authority announced this week.
The PPA anticipates about a $15 million shortfall in collections by the end of next month due to the coronavirus, according to Petri’s report.