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'We need accountability on our streets': City leaders, community members discuss pedestrian safety

Cincinnati City Hall
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 08, 2022

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati leaders are meeting with the public at city hall Wednesday night to discuss pedestrian safety as concerns grow over safety.

There have been more than 100 pedestrian-involved crashes this year. Within the last six months, there have been 13 incidents in Over-the-Rhine and 12 downtown.

Jawan George has lived in Cincinnati his entire life and frequents the downtown area. He said he believes safety measures could be improved.

“It could be a little bit more increased,” said George. “By me being legally blind… you know people could just start helping people cross the street and stuff, find the right bus stops to sit at.”

Councilmember Mark Jeffreys said the purpose of the forum is to engage with the community, share information, and exchange ideas. He said pedestrian safety is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.

“You might have great parks and great libraries and great neighborhoods but if you can’t walk there and feel safe then it’s an impediment in living in a thriving neighborhood,” said Jeffreys.

He said the city leaders will discuss solutions around education, enforcement, and engineering which is street design.

When it comes to enforcement Jeffreys said it can come with negative consequences, so they will have to be careful. He noted any enforcement measures taken will need to be crafted with community members.

“There’s been a lot of discussion around do we look at traffic cameras again which are currently banned in the city of Cincinnati,” he said.

Jeffreys is also in favor of removing rush hour parking. He said it has been done in Clifton, Northside, and College Hill and has improved pedestrian safety.

“It’s proven to be effective in a couple of ways it first it calms traffic down it forces cars to go the speed limit through a neighborhood business district which is typically is 25 mph. It helps neighborhood businesses as well,” he said.

He said it allows cars to park in front of businesses, which helps local neighborhoods.

Once the meeting has concluded, Jeffreys said they will work on next steps to ensure that the community’s voice is heard in a systematic way.

“The last thing we want to do is have an engagement for engagement’s sake,” he said.

He said they will take the feedback they get Wednesday to create a road map on how to proceed.