CINCINNATI — Construction crews are getting back to work Tuesday on projects meant to make Cincinnati a safer place for pedestrians, as part of the city's Vision Zero program.
The $1.75 million in projects will be paid for partially by a grant given to the city by the Ohio Department of Transportation, and they will be focused in three areas: near schools and recreation areas, close to business districts, and areas where there tend to be a lot of crashes.
Data from Vision Zero show that the number of severe or fatal crashes increased from 216 in 2019 to 253 in 2020. The number of pedestrians involved in crashes stayed about the same, though, with 45 in 2019 and 48 in 2020.
Some of the improvements the program will implement to combat the rise in crashes include speed limit markings on the pavement and altered timing of traffic signals to give pedestrians more time to cross.
"We frequently hear how, ‘Vehicles don’t stop for us in the crosswalk,’ or, ‘They’re driving too fast through our business districts,’" said John Brazina, the director of the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering. "Speed limit signs and pavement markings and raised crosswalks all work towards getting the drivers to drive slower and be more aware.”
There will also be a new system in place called a "light path system": Whenever a person crosses the street, the system shines a light beacon on the roadway, which makes crosswalks more visible to drivers.
"It’s for those early-morning, late-evening crossings," Brazina said. "That crossing will actually light up, and we have that going in on Warsaw in Price Hill where there’s that school where you have kids crossing in the early morning and evening, right at those times where it’s real important to see people crossing the crosswalk.”