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'What if that was your grandparents?' Hyde Park Neighborhood Council considers safety improvements after fatal crash

Two pedestrians struck in Hyde Park
Posted at 8:30 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 21:39:57-05

CINCINNATI — Hyde Park Neighborhood Council representatives are considering safety improvements after a couple was hit and killed crossing the street Monday.

The Cincinnati Police Department said Xiaobai She and Si Jue Wan, both 75, were crossing Linwood Avenue at Cryer Avenue around 8:30 a.m. when they were hit by a car. Residents who walk in the area frequently say more could be done to improve safety.

“The thing I think would be helpful would be more crosswalks and more crosswalks that are marked with the flashing lights,“ said Bill Froschauer, who has walked, run and biked through Hyde Park for decades.

The intersection where the couple was hit did not have a marked crosswalk. Police have not said what caused the crash or if speed was a factor.

“This intersection is notoriously treacherous,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails. “I think it's pretty common to see people going five to 10 over and, when you hit a pedestrian at that speed, it is not in the pedestrian’s favor.”

Johnston said improving safety starts with focusing on how roads are designed, including their width and speed limit.

“Ten miles-per-hour makes all the difference in whether or not you can stop your car in time,” Johnston said.

Lowering speed limits and adding elevated crosswalks or speed humps can make a big difference, he added.

“If our streets are difficult to speed through, physically difficult, cars won’t do it,” Johnston said.

These are things the Hyde Park Neighborhood Council is working on as they understand how active the neighborhood's residents are.

“There are a lot of people out running, walking, cycling,” said Todd Roe, the council’s head of transportation and pedestrian safety. “And the quantity of traffic for a fairly residential neighborhood is pretty significant.”

Roe said the council has worked with the city on projects like adding more signs to Hyde Park Square. It’s now exploring ways to reduce speeds on high-traffic streets like Observatory Avenue and Wasson Road.

The crash, Roe said, will trigger additional dialogue. Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering also installed new speed radar signs along Linwood Tuesday. A representative confirmed the new signs were a result of the crash. Johnston said cutting speeds by just a few miles-per-hour can make the difference between life or death.

“These are humans,” he said. “These are people that are getting hit and killed. And what if that was your grandparents?”