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Roosevelt Boulevard (official name, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Boulevard), often referred to simply as "the Boulevard," is a major traffic artery through North and Northeast Philadelphiamarker. The road begins at the Schuylkill Expressway in Fairmount Parkmarker, running as a freeway also known as the Roosevelt Boulevard Extension or the Roosevelt Expressway through North Philadelphia, then transitioning into a twelve-lane divided highway that forms the spine of Northeast Philadelphia to its end at the city line.

Historically, Roosevelt Boulevard is a part of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across Americamarker, which ran for from Times Square in New York Citymarker to Lincoln Parkmarker on the Pacific Oceanmarker in San Francisco, Californiamarker.

Today, Roosevelt Boulevard is designated as U.S. 1 for its entire length, with small portions designated as U.S. Route 13 (between Hunting Park Avenue and Robbins Street), and Pennsylvania Route 63 (between Red Lion and Woodhaven Roads).

The road is notorious for two intersections which have been designated the second and third most dangerous intersections in the country by State Farm Insurance, at Red Lion Road and Grant Avenue respectively. The dangerous reputation of the road led to installation of the first red light cameras in Philadelphiamarker in 2004. The road has been the scene of numerous pedestrian casualties and studies are underway to allow pedestrian traffic to be separated from vehicular traffic.

Route description

The Roosevelt Boulevard Extension, also known as the Roosevelt Expressway, begins at the Schuylkill Expressway in Fairmount Parkmarker adjacent to the Philadelphiamarker city line, as an expressway also known as the Roosevelt Boulevard Expressway U.S. Route 1 . It crosses the Schuylkill River and runs eastward through the neighborhoods of East Falls and Hunting Park. East of Broad Street (Pennsylvania Route 611), U.S. Route 13 merges in from the south, and it transitions into Roosevelt Boulevard proper, a 12-lane surface arterial with local and express lanes and at-grade intersections.

The road continues east through Hunting Park and Feltonville, where it curves and starts running in a northeasterly direction. It meets Oxford Avenue (Pennsylvania Route 232) at a large traffic circle known as Oxford Circle (the express lanes pass through the circle via an underpass). The road carries northbound U.S. Route 13 one more mile until it splits off onto Robbins Street and Levick Street (both one-way streets). The road continues to a large interchange with Cottman Avenue (Pennsylvania Route 73) and the Roosevelt Mall and a traffic circle with Holme Avenue known as the Pennypack Circle. It continues past Pennypack Parkmarker and Northeast Philadelphia Airportmarker, passing through two notoriously dangerous intersections with Grant Avenue and Red Lion Road.

The road continues northeast, interchanging with Woodhaven Road (Pennsylvania Route 63), then narrowing as it approaches its end at an intersection on the Philadelphiamarker-Bucks Countymarker border. After 2 traffic light intersections in Trevosemarker in Bensalem Townshipmarker, U.S. 1 continues as a freeway to the north.

History

Proposed in 1903 by Mayor Samuel H. Ashbridge as part of the City Beautiful movement, the 300-foot-wide thoroughfare originally extended from Broad Street to the Torresdale neighborhood, and was first named Torresdale Boulevard, then Northeast Boulevard in 1914 when the road was completed. On its extension to Pennypack Creek in 1918, it was finally renamed to Roosevelt Boulevard, in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. The road was designated U.S. 1 in 1926, and was extended through Philadelphiamarker to neighboring Bucks Countymarker in the post-World War II years.

The Roosevelt Expressway was built to connect the boulevard with the nearby Schuylkill Expressway (I-76).

In 2000, the Boulevard was designated the "Police Officer Daniel Faulkner Memorial Highway" in memory of Daniel Faulkner, a Philadelphia police officer slain in the line of duty in 1981, by act of the state legislature. The designation is alongside the roadway's official name of Roosevelt Boulevard.

There have been several plans to change the boulevard into an expressway-like artery, like the Roosevelt Expressway itself, and construct a subway underneath the boulevard, but no such plans have been acted upon.

Today, Roosevelt Boulevard is among the most congested arteries in the country. According to a 2001 report by State Farm Insurance, the second- and third-worst intersections in the country are both found on the Boulevard, at Red Lion Road and Grant Avenue, respectively, only a mile apart from each other. Red-light enforcement cameras have been installed at these intersections, as well as Cottman Avenue, and have been operational since June 1, 2005. New cameras installed at the intersections with Southampton Road, Welsh Road, Rhawn Street, Levick Street, Rising Sun Avenue, and Mascher Street became operational in summer 2007. Additional plans include adding cameras at Tyson Avenue and Devereaux Avenue.

Major intersections

Note: Mileage is distance along U.S. Route 1 from the Maryland border.

Roosevelt Expressway

County Location Mile Destinations Notes
Philadelphia Northeast Philadelphiamarker 52.31 I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) - Valley Forgemarker, Central Philadelphiamarker Exit 340B (I-76)
52.86 Ridge Avenue/Kelly Drive Southbound only
53.33 Fox Street/Henry Avenue
53.53 Wissahickon Avenue south — Hunting Park Avenue Northbound only
54.01 Wissahickon Avenue north — Germantown Avenue
54.80 PA 611 (Broad Street)
Freeway begins/ends.


Roosevelt Boulevard

References

  1. "Focus on lethal Roosevelt Blvd.," The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 13, 2006
  2. The Roads of Metro Philadelphia: Roosevelt Expressway (US 1)
  3. "List of 'most dangerous' intersections released," CNN, June 27, 2001
  4. "Study Evaluates the Effectiveness of Red Light Camera Enforcement in Philadelphia," Government Technology, January 31, 2007
  5. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Legislative Journal, June 14, 2000, p. 1431 (PDF)
  6. http://www.northeasttimes.com/2000/1108/danny.html
  7. DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2007. Toggle Measure Tool. Retrieved on June 20, 2007.


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