A photograph by The Inquirer's Michael Bryant last week revealed most of what one needs to know about Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard. The day after an alleged drag racer killed a woman and three children trying to cross the thoroughfare, it shows another woman clutching a child as she runs through traffic on the same stretch of road.
The multilane Boulevard has exacted an inordinate pedestrian death toll for decades, and officials have promised to deal with it for almost as long. But as the photo illustrates, the road continues to encourage recklessness among drivers and pedestrians alike.
Last week's deaths, sadly, were only an especially horrific example of the predictable consequences. Fatally struck were Samara Banks, 27, and three of her sons, ages 4, 1, and 9 months; only her eldest boy, a 5-year-old, survived. Khusen Akhmedov, a 23-year-old from Lancaster who apparently counts reckless driving among his hobbies, was accused of racing with another man before striking the family. That brought the Boulevard's pedestrian toll to more than 20 dead in five years and more than 130 struck.