CINCINNATI — A new city report is breaking down speed enforcement by neighborhood.
According to the report, Cincinnati police officers wrote 9,520 traffic citations for speeding between 2017 and 2021. A majority were issued in 2018 at 3,482 tickets. The numbers steadily decreased with just 1,357 in 2020 and 1,090 in 2021. A decrease in drivers during the pandemic could play a role in the significant drop in numbers.
Council member Mark Jeffreys requested the report as a way to help lead policy decisions on pedestrian safety.
“Before we understand what we’re going to do, we have to get the data. And are we actually enforcing? Where are we enforcing by neighborhood,” he said. “It’s definitely disjointed. It is concentrated in a couple of neighborhoods. I think all of us would say speeding is not concentrated in those neighborhoods.”
The report names Lower Price Hill as the neighborhood where the most speeding citations were issued, with 1,568 tickets given in the five-year period. Mount Airy follows with 1,075; Queensgate with 1,070; Sedamsville with 514 and Northside with 429.
“They can slow down just a bit," said Shon Waller, who walks along State Street in Lower Price Hill daily. "It’s very, very unsafe sometimes because people are moving at high rates of speed."
However, Waller said he was surprised to see just how many tickets were given in that neighborhood.
“The most speeding tickets? That’s amazing," Waller said. "That’s bizarre."
Speeding tickets in Lower Price Hill, Mount Airy and Queensgate made up 40% of all speeding tickets issued. However, only nine of the nearly 100 reported crashes involving pedestrians in the last six months happened in those three neighborhoods, according to the city’s open data portal, Cincy Insights.
The city report noted “enforcement on interstates which go through a neighborhood may have an inflationary impact on the data for those neighborhoods relative to neighborhoods contain only surface streets.” Major interstates do not go through Lower Price Hill.
Jeffreys said the report leaves some questions.
“We’re enforcing a third of what we were a couple years ago. Why?” Jeffreys said. “By neighborhood, why aren’t we enforcing in other neighborhoods? We have five police districts.”
Courtney Klebau, who was walking through Northside Wednesday, said she has questions too.
“I think this road is 25 and I see people zooming past," Klebau said. "This area is known for having pedestrians so I’m not sure why they’d be zooming by."
Northside is fifth when it comes to speed citations. City data shows one pedestrian was involved in a crash there in the last six months. The city has made intentional improvements to increase pedestrian safety on Hamilton Avenue.
“I think there could be a greater effort, I’m not sure what that would look like per se,” Klebau said. “People just come speeding by and they seem like they don’t even have any regard for pedestrians.”
The report will be discussed next week in committee.