CINCINNATI — Last Monday, the City of Cincinnati approved $3.4 million for street light infrastructure and traffic signal infrastructure. So far, the city has invested nearly $6.6 million dollars into pedestrian safety projects.
It’s because in 2021, the city had 305 pedestrian crashes with 49 people either being seriously injured or killed.
Between 2018 and 2021, there have been nearly 20 pedestrian-related accidents on Cincinnati’s Warsaw Avenue. Thanks to newly installed speed cushions, it’s not only slowing down traffic, but heightening driver awareness.
Sheila Rosenthal is a resident in Cincinnati’s East Price Hill neighborhood. She said crossing on Warsaw Avenue has been a serious challenge for pedestrians.
That’s because some have been hit and killed. Julia Su Tienda Owner Federico Ventura was one of them. He was hit in November of 2017.
“He was struck and killed basically here,” said Rosenthal. “His body was dragged around the corner and down the block, and no one was ever arrested.”
It was his death and many others that fueled the need for something to be done on the busy corridor.
“That was a major call to action,” she said. “But there’s been a drive for the community to have traffic calming here for over a decade.”
Speed cushions have been something Rosenthal has been asking the city for a while now, and just last month, four sets of them were installed. Data from the city indicated that there have been no crashes there since the speed cushions were installed.
“We’re seeing that it impacts their rate of speed throughout the rest of the Warsaw business district and that’s important because we have so many residents who are pedestrians and who don’t have vehicles,” she said.
But Rosenthal said these installations are just a part of the solution. She would like to see more of them throughout the city.
“We have three main three-ways from the Westside to Downtown and people tend to abuse the speed limits in all three of those roads,” she said.
The speed cushions are one of 16 completed pedestrian safety improvements across the city this year. At this time last year there were 252 pedestrian crashes compared to 211 this year. Seven more curb extensions will be installed across the city within the next week and a half.
“It’s important that we have an environment that encourages drivers to slow down and be respectful of the speed limits and the residents and pedestrians here,” she said.