Saturday, April 1, 2023

Cincinnati government to hold public pedestrian safety discussion on June 8

Cincinnati City Hall - Photo: Jesse Fox

Photo: Jesse Fox

Cincinnati City Hall

Thanks to rising deaths and injuries, pedestrian safety has been on the mind of Cincinnati officials lately. Now they are looking for help from the community to do something about it.

This week, a group of officials will host a public discussion and problem-solving session to tackle pedestrian safety issues. The session will include “short presentations and comments from the city’s Department of Transportation and Engineering, police, the manager’s office, and the Ohio Department of Transportation,” says a June 6 release from the office of John Karp, interim city manager.

The session will be held June 8 at 6 p.m. at Cincinnati City Hall, 801 Plum St., 3rd Floor, Downtown.

According to the release, the following officers will be on hand:

  • Iris Rowley, City of Cincinnati/Allied Contract Sustainability Advisor
  • Vice Mayor Jan Michelle Lemon-Kearney-Co-Sponsor
  • Councilmember Scotty Johnson, chairman-cum-sponsor of the Public Safety and Governance Committee
  • Council member Mark Jeffries
  • Assistant City Manager Sherrill Long
  • Director John Brazina- Department of Transportation and Engineering
  • Tammy Campbell-Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Interim Police Chief, Teresa Thatge
  • Lieutenant Colonel Michael John-Cincinnati Police Department
  • Dr. Ebony Ruhland—University of Cincinnati

In April, Cincinnati City Council members unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that would provide an additional $1 million in speed-reduction measures and other equipment to help protect pedestrians. With the new one-time investment, Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) will increase the number of communities receiving speed-reduction equipment and produce new safety measures such as tighter center lines (forcing motorists to turn left). ) and collision curb-outs that provide some protection to pedestrians.

Pedestrian safety has been a growing concern in Cincinnati neighborhoods. In April, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said more than 300 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in 2021 and seven of them died.

Last year, DOTE installed a series of rubber cushions on Winnesté Avenue in the Winton Hills as part of a safety pilot program. A report published by the city showed that after the speed cushion was put in place, only 11% of vehicles traveling on that section were driving over the set speed limit of 25 mph. Before the speed cushion was installed, 95% of drivers hit speeds above 25 mph.

DOTE already had plans to install permanent vehicle speed cushions on high-risk roads in 10 Cincinnati neighborhoods, as last year’s successful pilot program demonstrated their effectiveness. With a recently approved $1 million in additional funding, the department is planning a speed cushion for an additional 20 locations, bringing the total number of neighborhoods to 30 with safety improvements. DoTE expects construction to begin this summer.

In addition, the city has restarted its Safe and Clean grant program for neighborhood protection, crime reduction and beautification projects.

Curp’s office recently released Cincinnati’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year. Residents can provide feedback on the budget during the final community commentary session on June 14 at 6-8 PM at the College Hill Recreation Center, 5545 Belmont Ave. The budget year of 2023 begins on July 1.

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