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Cincinnati city council member hoping to create city-wide plan to address pedestrian safety

Councilman hosts 'Safe Streets Now' forum
Pedestrian walkway sign
Posted at 12:24 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 00:24:11-05

CINCINNATI — More than 300 pedestrians were hit by cars in Cincinnati last year. Seven people were killed. Every neighborhood is different, but each has its own story of damage, death or injuries caused by a crash.

City council member Mark Jeffreys hosted a pedestrian safety forum in Avondale Tuesday night, gathering experts from across the country in hopes of addressing the issue. Jeffreys said if nothing is done, deaths will continue to happen.

Just down the road from where the forum took place at Hirsch Recreation Complex, a pregnant woman was hit and killed in June 2021 while walking on the sidewalk on Reading Road. Korotoum Dao, 20, was hit near the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women after a man lost control of his vehicle. She gave birth to her baby at the hospital, but both died from their injuries.

On Langdon Farm Road, cars fly down the street despite a speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

"It is known for its reckless driving, car racing, accidents. We had a fatality in that road," Mackenzie Farmer Low said. "It really shouldn't be the state of our streets in Cincinnati."

Low, the co-chair of Pleasant Ridge's traffic committee Pleasant Streets, said solutions from the city after often slow to come to fruition.

"As we request changes, more crashes are happening," Low said.

Jeffreys said he is trying to change that, hoping to create a city-wide plan to create safer streets instead of going from problem to problem.

"Right now, we are playing a little whack-a-mole," Jeffreys said. "It's like someone is hit on that street, we need to solve that — oh, someone is hit over there, we need to solve that street."

Stakeholders brainstormed ideas at the forum. Sandra Jones Mitchell said slowing down drivers in Avondale, even just a little, will help keep people safe. She said she hopes more neighbors get involved.

"I think a lot of times we just assume it's someone else's problem, and it's not. It's happening right here in our neighborhood," Mitchell said. "Community engagement, I think that is so important."

Jeffreys said he now plans to request a comprehensive report from city administration for a "Safe Streets Plan" looking at how to calm traffic in all neighborhoods.

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