Cincinnati City Council working on long-term plan to address pedestrian safety

Cincinnati City Council working on long-term plan to address pedestrian safety
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Cincinnati city councilman says he and his colleagues are working on a long-term plan they hope will pedestrian safety.

Councilman Mark Jefferies has advocated for pedestrian safety in Cincinnati for years and says changes are coming.

“One is around expediting rush hour parking we know that slows traffic, another is something called leading pedestrian intervals where it gives pedestrians an advance to start walking,” explained Jefferies. “That works. The federal government recommends it. We need to make the changes on street design and continue to push on doing those faster.”

Councilman Jefferies says the city has $5 million in the current budget to address pedestrian safety which he says is not enough to handle the 52 neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.

Jefferies says he and the needed parties throughout the city will sit down and come up with a long-term plan.

“We’re applying for a federal grant to enable that even more,” said Jefferies. “They are working that even more, and with that will come with a price tag across all 52 neighborhoods.”

The councilman’s comments come after two people involved in separate hit-and-run crashes over the past few months died.

Sarah Sweeney, 35, died Sunday after being hit at this intersection on Hamilton Avenue and Pullan Avenue in July. Richard Tavares, 55, also died Sunday from he injuries he sustained when he was hit in Avondale in August.

Residents like Douglas Morris say they are tired of talking about pedestrian safety and want to see action from the city.

For years, Morris has lived in Northside.

He says he has noticed more and more drivers trying to speed through lights instead of stopping.

“There seems to be a lot more people I noticed trying to beat lights,” explained Morris. “So, the lights yellow, and instead of stopping, they kind of go through them, and by the time they get through them, they’re red.”

Morris says he advises residents to be more careful before stepping out in the street.

“I don’t try to cross against the light unless I don’t see any cars at all,” said Morris. “I don’t try to say, ‘oh, I can beat that car;’ I just say, ‘I can wait until the light changes.’”

Councilman Jefferies says by next spring, the city should have a finalized plan with an exact dollar amount to properly address pedestrian safety.

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