The Tacony Creek Trail is one step closer to creating a safe crossing at Roosevelt Boulevard in North Philadelphia. Representatives from Parks and Recreation, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, and a group of second graders from Olney Christian School were recently at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new portion of trail that will go under the boulevard. This replaces the section of trail that currently has pedestrians and cyclists crossing the extremely dangerous highway at a traffic light.
Roosevelt Boulevard has made the list a few times for having some of the most dangerous intersections in the country. Drivers on the 12 lane highway have a reputation for aggressive driving and not stopping at red lights. The Mayor’s Vision Zero plan targets dangerous areas, and promotes safe crossings like this one, for cyclists and pedestrians to travel in the city. This section is a major improvement to the existing Tacony Creek Trail, and will definitely lower the risk of death and injury for people crossing the boulevard here.
It’s also a major step forward for the Circuit Trails, and connecting the Tacony Creek Trail to the East Coast Greenway which will one day link this trail to cities up and down the East Coast. Locally, this is a great improvement for the Olney and Feltonville neighborhoods which border the park and the neighborhood kids who come to explore nature, and take a break from city life.
Children from the neighboring Olney Christian School use the trail at the Bingham Street Gateway for recess, science education, and a place to hang out with friends and family after school. Safety is always a concern at any school in Philadelphia, but schools on the Roosevelt Boulevard face the challenge of making sure children are not injured by motorists. Lisa Kuzma, director of Olney Christian School, believes this underpass will protect her students. “The safety of them never crossing the boulevard again resonates very deeply,” Kuzma said.
The project is scheduled to be completed and open to the public in Spring 2018. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing the boulevard at any of the nearby intersections even if you have the right of way. GoPhillyGo will bring you updates on this project and other greeways throughout our region. Make sure you use our trip planner to get you to and from any of the ten Tacony Creek Park Gateways. To learn more about the Tacony Creek Trail and Park, click here.