Street safety report to focus on pedestrian safety, reducing accidents

Street safety report to focus on pedestrian safety, reducing accidents
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 2:02 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Local leaders are looking at how to stop drivers from flying down Cincinnati streets. They believe speed enforcement has to be a part of making roadways safer.

A new effort will discover how fast people are going and the costs of crashes. The goal is to find out how to best utilize Cincinnati Police Department resources to address speeding.

“Cars are speeding like crazy, and they’re hitting pedestrians and cyclists and killing people.” City Councilman Mark Jeffreys said.

He said last year, 305 people were hit by a car in Cincinnati; seven were fatal. He said speed is a problem.

For example, the speed limit on Hamilton Avenue is 25 mph, but on Wednesday during city council’s meeting, they released the findings of a radar study done there the week of February 19 – 25, 2021. It said 681 cars were recorded going 55 to 100 mph.

Jeffreys reported more than 4,000 crashes happened on area highways, and CPD responds to those.

He also said with the number of hours spent on traffic accidents, it is the equivalent of having 20 full time officers solely working crashes in a calendar year.

“Twenty a year, and those are 20 officers who could be put on the streets to deal with gun violence or other issues,” Jeffreys said.

City leaders are now taking a look at how speed is enforced and where it is happening. A motion just approved by city council allows them to collect the data they need to make appropriate adjustments.

In 45 days, they’ll know the following:

  • How many speeding tickets are issued annually.
  • How much of CPD’s time and resources are used to respond to interstate crashes.
  • Cities in Ohio that utilize state highway patrol resources plus how often they enforce limits here.
  • How CPD recommends working with communities to cite individuals, because Jeffreys says there could be a lot of negative side effects with increased police patrol.

“Past history has told us that racial bias and other issues, so we have to proceed with some caution. And I think the partnership with communities and community councils with such activities is particularly important,” said Jeffreys.

City council members are pushing for complete streets, where residents can drive to and from but also where people can walk, bike, and commune safely.

“If streets are designed in a way where people want to hang out and it’s inviting for them to hang out, rather than they’re scared to walk across the street, then that creates community,” Jeffreys said.

The councilman said they most recently had a session on the issue in the communities of Bond Hill and Roselawn.

He hopes it is adopted across all neighborhoods, because he said the goal is to craft solutions with communities instead of imposing solutions on communities.

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