Cincinnati Government to Hold Public Pedestrian Safety Discussion June 8

The city is attempting to tackle its recent rise in pedestrian deaths and injuries.

Cincinnati City Hall - Photo: Jesse Fox
Photo: Jesse Fox
Cincinnati City Hall

Thanks to escalating deaths and injuries, pedestrian safety has been on Cincinnati officials' minds lately. Now they're looking for help from the community to do something about it.

This week, an assortment of officials will host a public discussion and problem-solving session to tackle pedestrian safety issues. The session "will include brief presentations and remarks from the City’s departments of Transportation and Engineering, Police, Manager’s Office and from the Ohio Department of Transportation," a June 6 release from the office of John Curp, interim city manager, says.

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

Per the release, the following officials will be on hand:
  • Iris Roley, consultant to the City of Cincinnati/Collaborative Agreement Sustainability
  • Vice Mayor Jan Michelle Lemon-Kearney—Co-sponsor
  • Councilmember Scotty Johnson, Chair of the Public Safety and Governance Committee—Co-sponsor
  • Councilmember Mark Jeffreys
  • Assistant City Manager Sheryl Long
  • Director John Brazina—Department of Transportation & Engineering
  • Tammy Campbell—Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Interim Chief of Police, Teresa Theetge
  • Lt. Colonel Michael John—Cincinnati Police Department
  • Dr. Ebony Ruhland—University of Cincinnati
In April, Cincinnati City Council members unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that will provide an extra $1 million in speed-reduction measures and other tools to help protect pedestrians. With the new one-time investment, Cincinnati's Department of Transportation & Engineering (DOTE) will increase the number of communities receiving speed-reduction tools and produce new safety measures such as hardened centerlines (forcing motorists to make left turns more slowly) and curb bump-outs that offer some protection to pedestrians.

Pedestrian safety has been a growing concern in Cincinnati neighborhoods. In April, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said that more than 300 pedestrians had been hit by vehicles in 2021, and seven of those people died.
Last year, DOTE installed a series of rubber cushions on Winneste Avenue in Winton Hills as part of a safety pilot program. A report published by the city showed that after the speed cushions were installed, only 11% of the vehicles traveling on that stretch were driving over the posted speed limit of 25 mph. Prior to installing the speed cushions, a whopping 95% of drivers hit speeds above 25 mph.

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

In addition, the city has relaunched its Safe and Clean grant program for neighborhood safety, crime-reduction and beautification projects.
Curp's office recently released Cincinnati's proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year. Residents can express feedback on the budget during the final community comment session 6-8 p.m. June 14, at the College Hill Recreation Center, 5545 Belmont Ave. The 2023 budget year starts July 1.

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