CINCINNATI — In their continuing efforts to improve pedestrian safety throughout Cincinnati, City Council will consider adding "3D crosswalks" outside targeted Cincinnati Public School campuses.
Councilman Jeff Pastor introduced a motion Wednesday to study the feasibility of installing the crosswalks. In the motion, Pastor called them "inventive" and proposed that they be piloted at "school crosswalks that are located among some of our more dangerous school crossings."
They're called "3D crosswalks" because of how they are painted, to simulate a raised speed hump surface at the location of the crossing.
"I think it’s important to take up 3D crosswalks, to potentially slow down traffic around our schools," Pastor told WCPO.
As WCPO has reported previously, Cincinnati has seen a steady increase in pedestrian-involved crashes over the last five years. Among the 428 people struck in 2018, drivers hit 13 CPS students while they were walking to or from school last year. So far in 2019, approximately 120 pedestrians have been involved in a crash, according to Cincinnati police data.
Western Hills University and Gilbert A. Dater high schools -- which share a campus on Ferguson Road in West Price Hill -- have become notorious for seeing students struck by cars. School district officials told WCPO late last year they estimate drivers have struck at least nine students near the campus over the last three years. Among them was 12-year-old Dater student Kenya Austin, who was crossing Ferguson in a marked crosswalk when a motorist struck her.
She "flew" over the hood of the vehicle, her mother later described. She survived her injuries.
Not far from the campus, on Harrison Avenue was where two drivers struck Western Hills freshman Gabriella Rodriguez. She was not in a crosswalk at the time of the crashes, according to police. She was trying to cross the road quickly in order to catch her Metro bus to school.
The string of crashes outside the school led City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld to spearhead the installation of new LED street lighting along the stretch of Ferguson.
Cheri Jordan, with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, said the memory of the crash that injured Austin is still fresh in the neighborhood.
"My heart dropped. How many kids is it going to take to get hurt or just people in general before something more is done," she said. "Cars fly down the road. There’s really not too much thought of slowing down. And there really needs to be some additions to help that."
City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee will take up Pastor's motion at its next meeting on Monday, May 13.