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Sedamsville's most dangerous road could finally get a traffic light

Posted: 1:03 AM, Jan 21, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-21 01:46:18-05

CINCINNATI — Jason Manning didn’t mean to build his home along Sedamsville’s very own Motor Speedway, he said Monday night. But without a traffic light, that’s what River Road has become.

A City Council committee vote Tuesday could alleviate the problem or consign Manning’s neighbors to living feet away from a daily Indy 500.

“They’re doing 45-50 miles an hour” in a 30 zone, he said. “It’s obscene. Very dangerous. Between 2:30 and 6 o’clock, you can’t get across. My niece lives next door, and she’s not allowed out front due to the fact that people don’t look.”

Sedamsville has seen 42 crashes in the last six months, according to data gathered by the city of Cincinnati. Twenty-four of them happened on River Road.

Ray Brown, who owns a gas station and BBQ restaurant along River Road, said city representatives promised him before he opened they would install a light to help manage traffic and prevent crashes.

By August 2019, when he first spoke to WCPO, nothing had happened; the drive-through at his retaurant had a consistent backup and vehicles struggled to turn safely into his parking lot. He said he had attempted to alleviate the problem himself by adding a turning lane and redoing the sidewalk. It cost him $582,000, and it didn’t help.

He, Manning and other neighbors resorted to starting a petition to capture city leaders’ attention. They got it.

On Tuesday, the city’s budget and finance committee will consider an ordinance that would set aside $85,000 in capital improvement funds for a River Road traffic signal.

Manning and Brown both have their fingers crossed for it to get a green light.

“I’m hoping it’ll stop them,” Manning said. “They’ll only have maybe a half a mile between the lights, so they’re not going to think that they can speed up like they do.”