West Philly residents fed up with dangerous intersection

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FOX 29 worked to get results for drivers and pedestrians in one Philadelphia neighborhood. The malfunctioning traffic lights are behind numerous crashes and even more near-accidents over the past number of months.

The people who live and work near 59th and Catherine in Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek neighborhood have had enough. Enough of the car wrecks and near-accidents that plague this busy intersection. All, captured on security cameras at the A & T Deli on the corner.

"I think it's the light is together- green," explained Yessenia Aleman from behind the counter. "For both sides."

It's actually a little more complicated than that. Three of the four traffic lights facing east and westbound Catherine Street traffic have malfunctioning yellow lights. As you approach the intersection eastbound on Catherine, you've got a green light. Then, the signal goes blank.

And as you cross 59th, suddenly, a red light appears.

"God forbid an accident happens and a car jumped the curb and kills one of these children. That's the reason why we're trying to get this taken care of because we are trying to care for our children," block captain Troy Bard said.

That scene played out early Saturday afternoon-- one of three accidents within a 48-hour period.

The struck vehicle-- southbound on 59th-- careened onto the sidewalk where Odessa Mitchell's seven year old grandson plays.


"I have to worry about it all the time," she told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.
It could be worse. 

A huge hole in 59th street, just west of the intersection, and there since early summer,  forces drivers to slow down-- making them less likely to get through the intersection at high speed.

Neighbors say they have been complaining to the city about malfunctioning lights here for months, without response.

"Nobody has done anything," said Sharaya Gambrell. "Anything! If it wasn't for you guys coming out here today nothing still would have been done!"

Gordon immediately called his contacts at the streets department-emailed them as well- to report the problem. 

Just a couple of hours later, a Streets Department worker arrived to replace the bulbs in all three malfunctioning lights. The intersection is now safe!

FOX 29, Getting Results, and making our city safer, one neighborhood at a time!

 

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