A Northern Kentucky foundation wants to give neighborhood groups in the region a big boost as they work toward safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and others.
The Devou Good Foundation's Vision Zero Task Force is sponsoring an initiative called the NKY Slow Streets Project that will award up to $50,000 to groups that demonstrate a need for street calming materials in their neighborhoods.
Vision zero is an approach to street safety that aims to eliminate deaths and injuries caused by traffic crashes through street-calming and other measures. Many communities across the country, including Cincinnati, have adopted vision zero.
“The NKY Slow Streets project contest is a way to further the vision zero movement in Northern Kentucky communities,” NKY Slow Streets Co-Chair Jeremy Worley said in a news release. "We know people in our communities want walkability, they want to be connected and most importantly they want to feel safe walking or cycling in their neighborhoods. NKY Slow Streets gives cities and community members the opportunity to collaborate and deliver effective traffic calming devices that fit their neighborhood and make the streets safer for everyone."
According to data from the Kentucky State Police, someone in the Bluegrass State dies in a traffic crash every 10 days and someone is injured in a crash every four hours. The cost of those collisions is estimated at $267 million a year, according to the National Safety Council.
In order to apply for the grants, neighborhood groups must show that a traffic-calming initiative such as signage, pavement markings, speed bumps or raised crosswalks has broad support from the community. That could come from resident petitions, letters or support from neighborhood institutions and elected leaders. Special consideration will be given to communities in close proximity to schools and recreation centers, transit and those with a high concentration of young people and seniors or a high incidence of crashes.
The Vision Zero Task Force will hold a kick-off event on March 3 at 10 a.m. at the Kenton County Library's Covington branch for those interested in applying for a grant. You can find more information about the initiative here.