US contributes $10 million to Philly traffic-improvement project

The city of Philadelphia has received a large federal grant to get traffic of all kinds–cars, buses and pedestrians–flowing better.

Philadelphia will use the $10 million grant will to replace traffic controllers on Bustleton, Castor and Woodland avenues. Instead of just running on timers, the new controllers are designed to relieve congestion.

“This $10 million is a project that Mayor Nutter personally talked to me about in the terms of jobs it would create,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who visited Philadelphia Thursday to present the funds. “It also will smooth traffic flow on SEPTA, speeding the daily commute for Southeast Pennsylvania families all by improving signal technology at 100 stops on three corridors.”

Mayor Michael Nutter said local funds will match the dollars from Washington.

“The Impact Philadelphia project—IMPACT–standing for improving mobility for pedestrians, cars and transit, that will ultimately lead to a $20 million-plus project, as a result of all the different funding sources being put together,” Nutter said. “That’s going to help 30,000 transit riders and 60,000 drivers and thousands of pedestrians get where they need to get to faster and safer as a result of this project.”

The more sophisticated controllers can help buses stay on schedule by detecting when one is approaching an intersection and extending the green light to allow it to continue.

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