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Old Posted May 22, 2004, 2:15 PM
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EastSideHBG EastSideHBG is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Philadelphia Metro (Norristown, PA)
Posts: 10,288
Make intersection safer now, woman urges

Saturday, May 22, 2004
For The Patriot-News

During her 10 years living at 1901 Market St., Cassandra James said, she has suffered through 14 vehicles running the red light on the traffic signal outside her house and swerving onto her property.

One ran up a short bank and onto her front porch, two have hit the corner of her house, and several have hit the retaining wall she built to keep the intruders out.

"They can't see the stoplight," she said, pointing at the roughly 12-foot-tall traffic signal on the corner of 19th and Market streets.

She has jumped through all the legal hoops she can, she said, but hasn't seen the results she wants: A traffic signal suspended over the intersection and signs alerting motorists of the light ahead.

To call attention to the trouble spot, James and members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, known as ACORN, are taking to the streets. They are planning to block the intersection at 1 p.m. today.

Their goal is to stay until City Engineer Joseph Link meets with them to resolve the issue.

Link said the intersection will get a hanging traffic signal, but it may take some time.

"That project is already approved, already funded, already under design," he said. "It's just a matter of time."

The new signal should come in about a year, with signals on Maclay Street scheduled for installation first, followed by some on Market.

About $2.5 million dollars will be spent on improving traffic signals in more than 20 intersections in the city, with the devices costing $100,000 to $125,000 apiece.

Residents say the 19th and Market streets' intersection needs to be improved sooner. It's a high-traffic area, a few blocks from Bishop McDevitt High School and several other elementary schools, James said.

James knows the improvements are planned, but wants the new signal installed now.

"I think human lives have priority," she said.

For now, James, a foster mother who at times has had three to five children live with her, still can't help but repeatedly look at the traffic.

"I don't let my kids come out here," she said. "I don't even like them on the porch."

In fact, James says she is moving to Florida soon. But she said she wants to make a final stand.

"I don't feel like getting in a big battle I can't finish," she said, "but I would like one last gut punch before I go."
Right before your eyes you're victimized, guys, that's the world of today, and it ain't civilized...
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