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City adds pedestrian incident reporting to online service request form

Posted at 11:55 AM, Mar 09, 2017

CINCINNATI -- For the first time, Cincinnati residents can report pedestrian-involved traffic incidents online.

The city added Thursday the pedestrian option to its Citizen Service Requests tool, which -- beyond road and traffic issues -- residents can use to report issues or request service from the city regarding: animal and pest control, grocery or restaurant quality, graffiti, sewer and water problems, and trash and recycling needs, among other requests.

The form is intended to assist the city's Department of Transportation and Engineering in tracking pedestrian crashes as well as "close calls," the website says. Residents can indicate where and when the incident occurred, what time of day, whether a vehicle was involved, and other pertinent details. Residents can also upload a relevant photo, if one is available.

The website stresses that this form is not intended to replace a report to Cincinnati police.

The city added an option to report cyclist-related traffic issues in 2013.

READ MORE: Council calls for report on city's most dangerous intersections

The pedestrian option comes in the wake of a somewhat tumultuous year for Cincinnati pedestrians. In a high profile collision early last year, a Metro bus operator turned illegally through an intersection near Hyde Park Square, fatally striking 73-year-old Stephen Frank.

Just a few weeks later, police said 36-year-old Ruby Estepp struck 11-year-old London Smith before fleeing the scene on Glenway Avenue at Winfield Avenue in West Price Hill.

The string of crashes prompted City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld to call upon the administration to prepare a report detailing the city's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists.

Last fall, Northside residents held a "walkabout" rally after well-known neighborhood business owner Sarah Cole was struck and killed Sept. 9 while walking across Hamilton Avenue. Another pedestrian was also struck and injured on Hamilton around the same time.

IN DEPTH: Northside residents are fed up, and now they're taking action

In just four weeks, between September and October 2016, eight pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in automobile-involved crashes across the Tri-State, prompting the Cincinnati Police Department in late October to issue a safety warning to the city's walkers and cyclists

According to the city's study, Cincinnati has seen 13 pedestrian deaths since 2014.

The city's new pedestrian incident report form went live Thursday morning. Residents can also make service requests and report incidents by phone at 513-591-6000, or through the city's Fix It Cincy! mobile app.

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur).