Following two delays to install safety measures at a relatively dangerous intersection on campus, the Philadelphia Streets Department expects bumpouts will be installed at 38th and Spruce streets this summer.
Two lawsuits have already been filed relating to an accident at the intersection last February.
Ramos & Associates, a Philadelphia contractor, will be constructing the bumpouts — segments of sidewalk protruding into the street — at the 38th and Spruce street intersection, as well as at four other intersections around the city, Streets Department spokesperson Keisha McCarty-Skelton said.
McCarty-Skelton added that although “the contractor’s schedule is not completely firmed up yet,” the Streets Department will ask Ramos & Associates to start work in June to complete the project by mid-July. The project will cost $1.22 million for installations at the five intersections.
McCarty-Skelton also said that the Streets Department is paying for the bumpouts with ARLE funds. ARLE — which stands for Automated Red Light Enforcement— is a program that allocates funds that are raised from using automated red light cameras to issue tickets for traffic violations. In February it was announced that the Streets Department would be receiving almost $5 million in ARLE funding.
In May 2013, the Streets Department said that bumpouts would be installed at 38th and Spruce streets by the end of that year. However, the Streets Department told The Daily Pennsylvanian in October that the installation would be delayed until spring 2014.
In January 2014, the DP reported that the construction had been pushed back for a second time after more intersections were added to the project. The second delay moved the expected installation period to its current timeframe.
In recent years, the intersection at 38th and Spruce streets has proven to be one of the more dangerous ones on campus. From January 2009 to Oct. 14, 2013, the intersection was the site of 159 total crashes, 32 of which were state-reportable, meaning that the accidents caused someone to be sent to the hospital or a car to be towed away.
Over the past few months, the University and several individuals have been implicated in lawsuits related to one of those reported crashes — a motor vehicle accident that sent three female students to the hospital on Feb. 22, 2013 around 9:15 p.m. The three student victims were all pedestrians.
Then-Nursing senior Katlin Luu, one of the pedestrians involved in the Feb. 22 accident, filed an arbitration lawsuit on March 11 against Penn and the two drivers allegedly involved in the crash, as well as another man named Gregory James.
Luu was standing at the southwest corner of 38th and Spruce streets as Thomas Parviskhan, a Penn employee, was driving a Penn-owned vehicle northbound on 38th Street. At the same time, Natasha Mitchum was heading southbound on 38th Street operating a vehicle owned by James. The vehicles then collided, striking and injuring Luu as a result, the complaint stated. Luu is suing for $50,000 or less, according to her complaint.
Mitchum, the driver of the southbound vehicle, filed a second arbitration lawsuit related to the incident on April 16, suing Penn and Parviskhan. She alleges that Penn allowed Parviskhan to drive his Penn-owned vehicle recklessly and at high speeds and that the University failed to train Parviskhan on how to operate the vehicle. Mitchum is requesting a sum of $50,000 or less in the arbitration case as compensation for medical expenses.
A day after Mitchum filed her lawsuit, another woman, Maura Weber, filed a lawsuit against the University, Parviskhan, Mitchum and James, seeking over $50,000 in a jury trial. It is unclear whether Weber was one of the students involved in the Feb. 22 accident.
Attorneys for Luu, Mitchum, Weber and Parviskhan did not respond to requests for comment. James could not be reached for comment. The University declined to comment on the lawsuits, citing its policy not to comment on ongoing litigation.
The parties involved in Luu’s case are scheduled to hold an arbitration hearing on December 1, 2014. Mitchum, the University and Parviskhan are set to attend an arbitration hearing for their case on January 14, 2015.Comments powered by Disqus
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