Speed cameras may go up on deadly Roosevelt Blvd.

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 State Senator Mike Stack listens to police commissioner Charles Ramsey (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

State Senator Mike Stack listens to police commissioner Charles Ramsey (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A proposal to add some speed cameras to Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia is gaining traction. The boulevard already has red light cameras.

Pennsylvania Sen. Mike Stack, D-Philadelphia, said the goal of his bill authorizing speed cameras is not to catch those who drive a few miles an hour over the limit. It’s aimed at drivers who use Route 1 as a personal drag strip, he said Monday.

“We’re not doing it to monitor people. We’re not doing it to make huge amounts of revenue,” he said. “We’re doing it to save lives and stop having funerals and memorials all over Roosevelt Boulevard.”

Red light cameras have been controversial in Philadelphia and elsewhere; many town leaders have been accused of being interested in generating revenue from tickets more than making roads safer.

The proposal, for now, only calls for speed cameras on the boulevard, but Alex Doty of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia believes they should be in many spots around the city.

“If we can show that speed cameras work on the boulevard, then I think that starts to speak to where we might think about speed cameras in other places,” he said.

The bill is moving through the legislative process in Harrisburg, but Stack said holding the state Senate Transportation Committee hearing on the measure in Philadelphia is a sign it has a good chance of passing.

Stack and Sen. Shirley Kitchen, D-Phiadelphia, hosted the hearing, chaired by Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The committee is considering Stack’s Senate Bill 1211, which authorize automated speed enforcement over 15 miles of highway considered among the most dangerous in America.

 

Each year, there are an average of 600 crashes and nine fatalities on Roosevelt Boulevard.

 

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