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Philadelphia traffic fines help pay for Western Pennsylvania projects

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Friday, April 5, 2013, 2:09 p.m.

Motorists who ran red lights in Philadelphia paid fines that will support more than $600,000 in safety improvements at Western Pennsylvania intersections, PennDOT said.

Seven municipalities in the region won grants, led by McKees Rocks, which is receiving $117,338 to improve its Chartiers Avenue business district.

“It's a really good step in the right direction for McKees Rocks,” said borough secretary Tricia Levander.

Levander said the borough will install LED lights in traffic signals along Chartiers Avenue, at Island Avenue and Furnace Street. New pedestrian signals also will be installed.

As part of the project, McKees Rocks will restore two-way traffic along Chartiers in a move that officials hope will reduce speeds along the main drag and give businesses a boost.

Chartiers is now restricted to one-way traffic between Island and Furnace.

Other municipalities receiving grants were: Butler, $94,000 for pedestrian improvements at two Route 68 intersections; Unity, $70,000 for warning signs near Route 30 and Beatty Road; Glassport, $53,200 for Monongahela Avenue safety improvements; Millvale, $45,800 for LED traffic signals and other improvements on North Avenue; Richland, $32,000 for LED traffic signals; and Greensburg, $30,000 for LED traffic signals.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a 10-county planning agency, will get $172,500 to help pay for LED signals at as many as 40 intersections in the region.

Philadelphia started using traffic-enforcement cameras at two dangerous intersections in 2005. Today, the cameras are at 21 intersections. Fines from infractions at the intersections will provide $4.7 million this year to 43 municipalities.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or

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