CINCINNATI -- Pleasant Ridge has been among the loudest Cincinnati neighborhoods to spend month calling for action after four separate incidents in which people were hit by cars in crosswalks. The Cincinnati Police Department announced a 30-day enforcement blitz during which officers will focus on three factors: Enforcement, education, and environmental design.
"It's been a problem for quite a while," Cincinnati Police Officer Thomas Haas said. "Right here (in Pleasant Ridge) we've had speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour; we've had red light violations occur right in front of us."
A WCPO crew in Northside had witnessed a Cadillac being pulled over and given a ticket for illegally passing a truck. That same driver got a ticket ten minutes earlier just up the road and still didn't slow down.
"This particular area has been a problem for speeding," Haas said. "It's only a 30 mile per hour zone. It's not 35. Then, it changes to 25 in the business district."
That's the area in which Tickle Pickle owner Sarah Cole was hit and killed in 2016. The increased enforcement doesn't just include Pleasant Ridge and Northside, and it's not just about giving tickets to speeders.
"This is an integrated approach where we will be focusing on education, enforcement and some environmental conditions to make these areas safe," Police Chief Eliot Isaac said.
The plan was born out of city-wide complaints about aggressive driving. The police department will put groups of officers in areas highlighted by residents as being especially dangerous. Those officers will be visible to aggressive drivers and try to change habits.
Mackenzie Farmer Low heads up the group Pleasant Streets -- a subset of the Pleasant Ridge Community Council -- where residents have requested increased enforcement along Montgomery Road for years.
"I'm really excited to see this program roll out and see the changes that are going to be seen in all neighborhoods across Cincinnati," Low said.
In Northside, the enforcement work is just beginning.
"We're not doing this for any sort of money pick-up or anything like that," Haas said. "It's simply because there are a lot of people being unsafe, and we're trying to correct the problem before someone gets hurt or killed."
The education portion of the blitz will focus mostly on pedestrians. With two weeks until Halloween, a lot of attention will be paid to kids and teens. For some agencies, that includes going back to the basics.
"We teach kids when they're 5 or 6 years old how to cross the street, but then we don't keep reinforcing that message," Hamilton County Safe Communities coordinator Sharon Garry said.
For the next 30 days, the message will be targeted towards children and those who watch after them.
"The kids have to make the right decisions, but drivers have to be on high alert," Garry said. "Put the phone down."
As for environmental design, the city is going through requests right now for how to spend half a million dollars on improvements next year. Mount Washington is asking for bike lanes and new crosswalks, and Northside residents made flags to keep pedestrians visible as they cross.