Boulevard speeders, beware

City adds more cops to patrol highway

Speed demons, take note: The carefree days of zipping up and down Roosevelt Boulevard could be quietly coming to an end.

Last Sunday, state police expanded their control of the city's highways, gobbling up I-76 from City Avenue to South Street.

The takeover, which is expected to be finished by January, has freed up Philly cops who were long assigned to Expressway Patrol.

The suddenly displaced cops are being sent to patrol Roosevelt Boulevard around the clock, said Chief Inspector Richard Bullick, head of the Special Patrol Bureau.

"We're bringing together a number of resources to make it that much safer for the traveling public," Bullick said.

Bullick said the former Expressway Patrol cops have thus far been assigned to cover the lower end of the Boulevard, from North 9th Street to Whitaker Avenue.

"As the state police continue to take more sectors off of our hands, we will assign more officers to the Boulevard," he said. The state police previously took control of another stretch of I-76, from City Avenue to Montgomery, in January.

Earlier this month, the 12-mile highway was designated a "highway-safety corridor," enabling police to double speeding fines.

PennDOT also supplied a $250,000 grant that the Police Department can use to provide overtime to cops assigned to the notorious Boulevard, where five pedestrians lost their lives last fall in a series of car crashes.

Fourteen signs, each 10-by- 4 1/2feet, are also expected to be posted along the Boulevard at two-mile intervals, reminding drivers that they are traveling on a safety corridor. *