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Proposal would dedicate $1 million to addressing pedestrian safety in Cincinnati

Speed cushions, hardened center lines in proposal
Pedestrian walkway sign
Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 19:25:49-04

CINCINNATI — Mayor Aftab Pureval said he wants Cincinnati City Council to approve spending $1 million to curb speeding in 30 neighborhoods.

Pureval said the city's 300 pedestrians hit and seven killed in crashes over the last 12 months is "unacceptable" as he and others hope to lead a "culture change."

"We really need to put our money where our mouth is," said Councilman Mark Jeffreys, who led a town hall to brainstorm ideas to improve pedestrian safety last month.

The plan announced by Pureval Thursday proposes council spend federal funding given to the city to buy speed cushions for up to 30 of the city's worst spots for crashes. Already, city engineers have funding to install 10 as part of a pilot program. The plan would also bring tools no city street has: hardened center lines that slow left turns, wedges that force drivers to make square turns onto one-way streets and protected pedestrian lanes that community councils can decorate.

The plan would leave out 22 other communities. With enough money to take care of a little more than half of Cincinnati's neighborhoods, Jeffreys and Pureval said data will drive who gets selected, and communities that go without will not be forgotten.

"Where the reckless driving is happening, where the pedestrians are being hit, what the most dangerous parts of the city are for pedestrians, that is ultimately dictating where the resources are going," Mayor Pureval said.

Three years ago, Shawna Rodriguez lost her teenage daughter, Gabriella. While she walked to school, a car hit and killed Gabby. The driver never stopped. The case is unsolved.

"I've cried every day because I've not seen on change where Gabby died," Rodriguez said. "Maybe that's selfish. Gabby would tell me not to punk out and to be her voice and to fight for her. That's what continues to motivate us."

She and husband Eduardo pushed to get the council to spend more on pedestrian safety. While they understand resources are limited and accept the mayor's plan, it is hard to not want more.

"It shouldn't be this one (neighborhood) gets (traffic calming tools) because they've got 20 (people) hit," Shawna Rodriguez said. "But this one can't because they only got five. I think every neighborhood should be able to get those opportunities to make it safer."

Pureval expects the proposal to be sent to full council for a vote in the next two weeks.

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