Cruz announces $500,000 grant for Philadelphia Streets Department

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – Following approval by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced a $500,000 grant has been awarded to the Philadelphia Streets Department to rehabilitate and improve safety infrastructure along corridors to seven public elementary and middle schools that have been identified as “high child pedestrian crash schools” in Philadelphia.

“School zones are put in place to ensure the safety of our children in and around our schools. Unfortunately, many drivers do not obey the special speed limits, needlessly putting our children at risk. Only permanent physical measures would force motor vehicles to be slowed, thus reducing speed and improving safety in school zones,” Cruz said.

Cruz said the project will help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries in neighborhoods across the city including Cramp, Tiden, Hamilton, Sullivan, Zeigler, Gideon, and Solis-Cohen. The funding will go toward the installation of stop bars, continental crosswalks, pavement markings, curb bump-outs, new ADA curb ramps, speed cushions, pedestrian count down signals, and rapid flashing beacons on routes to and at the schools. The total project cost is $5,040,192.

“This grant is a great resource to coordinate transportation and infrastructure in Philadelphia. School zones and areas where safety measures are critical and indispensable,” Cruz said. “I look forward to mitigating risks, reducing accidents, and making our communities safer.”

Cruz recently introduced House Bill 1096, legislation that would require the Department of Transportation to establish and administer a pilot program to place speed humps, or similar devices, in a minimum of one school zone within a school district located in each of the nine county classes throughout the Commonwealth. The legislation was referred to the Transportation Committee.

The state’s Commonwealth Financing Authority is an independent arm of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development charged with identifying and supporting projects to improve the quality of life and financial health in communities around the state.