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New Pedestrian Crossing Buttons Along Roosevelt Boulevard

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Five new mid-block pedestrian-controlled traffic signals are now operating along Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia. It's part of a $2.8 million safety improvement project by PennDOT and the city. Officials are urging pedestrians to do their part when in the cross walks.

Many say it's about time. There have been too many pedestrians hit by vehicles along the Boulevard.

"Yeah, I've seen some one cross and he really wasn't looking and he got hit. And I've seen one up on Cottman (involving) a very elderly man."

The signals are in place along the heavily-traveled Boulevard, but pedestrian after pedestrian was observed not using the button to activate the red light, for motorists to stop and for a countdown meter to start, informing the walker of how much time is left before the light changes.

"No! I don't press the button. I just watch."

However, many like that woman say they were not aware of the device and made their way across the Boulevard and median using the marked cross walk.

Gene Blaum, with PennDOT said, "It's extremely critical that citizens use the pedestrian push-button device when they want to cross the boulevard because that will bring the traffic to a stop in a relatively short period of time."

The new traffic signals along the Boulevard are at Tomlinson Road, Bowler Street, Faunce Street Friendship Street and Longshore Avenue.

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