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South Fairmount seeing spike in crashes with new Lick Run Greenway traffic flow

Wooden planks sit where new fencing along a new park in South Fairmount was flattened due to vehicle crashes.
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 19:44:34-04

CINCINNATI — After years of planning and construction, the Lick Run Greenway in South Fairmount will see more changes in order to prevent traffic crashes that have destroyed some of the new fencing along the new development.

"It's just a little heartbreaking and a little sad to see something really nice-looking in the blink of an eye just go south," said West Side resident Jeff McSwain.

McSwain has documented a number of crashes that have damaged the new fencing installed along the Greenway. He blamed drivers.

"I think it's just careless," he told WCPO. "It's distracted driving, and everybody wants to drive faster than they should."

McSwain said every week since the greenway opened last month he's seen another section of fence destroyed by an oncoming vehicle.

Amanda Orlando drives Queen City and Westwood avenues nearly every day. She shares McSwain's concerns.

"At first, they were fixing it as soon as it would happen, but I think they've slowed down a bit," she said. "So, you see, these big wooden barricades up in places where the fence was."

Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati director Diana Christy acknowledged there have been a number of crashes that have damaged the railings along the greenway.

"We are working with the city's Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) and Cincinnati Police Department...to try to address the issue," Christy wrote to WCPO in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon.

"DOTE is planning to install traffic-calming features on Queen City and Westwood later this summer and in the early fall in conjunction with a street rehabilitation project on Queen City Avenue," said DOTE director John Brazina in an email to WCPO. "DOTE will be improving and enhancing pavement markings to help motorists better distinguish the lanes along Westwood and Queen City."

The plans include planting trees between the sidewalk and road along the north side of Westwood Avenue this fall, and DOTE plans to make the street markings more visible to drivers, using vertical paddles on the road to help drivers better understand traffic flows.

West Sider Louise McGuffin desperately wants the problem solved before someone is seriously hurt. She lost her own daughter in a crash on Columbia Parkway.

"If someone's walking down on this Westwood Avenue sidewalk and a car jumps the curb, that could kill someone instantly," she said.