The Cincinnati City Council responded quickly to make streets in Northside safer for pedestrians after a local business owner was killed in a September 2016 accident, according to City Beat. Sarah Cole, who owned a restaurant on Hamilton Avenue, died after a car struck her during the rush hour commute.
During rush hour, commuters on their way to Clifton or northern neighborhoods pack the streets in the Northside business district. Designed before cars, the narrow neighborhood streets struggle to handle all the fast-paced traffic. Hamilton Avenue, especially, becomes a congested — and often dangerous — thoroughfare of cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.
What has the city done to make the streets safer?
Soon after Cole’s death in September, the Cincinnati City Council proposed and approved a plan to add a number of traffic calming measures and other safety improvements along Hamilton Avenue. This includes:
- Signage urging motorists to reduce speed
- More visible crosswalks thanks to a new paint scheme
- An additional crosswalk at Palm Avenue, for those visiting Hoffner Park
- Additional police patrols in the area
- Other infrastructure upgrades
In the coming months, residents and visitors can expect to see a heightened police presence enforcing both speed and pedestrian right-of-way laws. The City also plans to install curb ramps and a radar-actuated digital sign that will notify drivers of their current speed and collect traffic data to help plan future improvements.
Will other areas receive traffic improvements?
While traffic deaths on Hamilton Avenue and in the Northside community are a major concern for Cincinnati City Council members, it is far from the only area in the city dealing with concerns about pedestrian safety.
Residents in both Hyde Park and Clifton voiced concerns to the Council, according to the City Beat report. Hyde Park has some pedestrian safety infrastructure in place, including crosswalks and walkways that force pedestrians to only cross at certain points. With the speed of traffic and so many people on-foot, however, there are still concerns. For example, landscaping and design may cause blind spots for drivers, endangering pedestrians and cyclists.
Another area with issues much like those on Hamilton Avenue is Virginia Avenue. This narrow street has also grown into a congested commuter route shared by motorists, pedestrians, and others. Additional traffic control devices and crosswalks may be necessary to help keep pedestrians safe.
Unfortunately, these safety improvements might not come as quickly as residents would like. It is unlikely that Hyde Park and Clifton will see the same turnaround time as Northside. Amy Murray, chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, explained that the Northside improvements happened so quickly because of the tragedy.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Pedestrian Accidents
Even though officials are working to keep pedestrians safe, it is still dangerous to walk or bike in the city. In fact, a 2016 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed the state of Ohio had 124 percent more pedestrian deaths in 2015 than in the previous year, the largest increase in the nation.
If you and your family live, work, or play in an area of Cincinnati that lacks strong pedestrian infrastructure, it is paramount you take precautions when walking. Even if your neighborhood has sidewalks, crosswalks, and other safety features, you can never be too careful.
Follow these tips to stay safe on foot:
- Wear brightly-colored clothing, especially at night.
- Always ensure you are visible to drivers, e.g., not hidden behind signs, trees, etc.
- When possible, make eye contact with a driver before crossing the street.
- Avoid distractions such as texting or listening to music while walking.
- Follow all traffic rules, including walk and do not walk signals.
- Never assume a driver sees you or will stop for you.
- Use sidewalks and only cross at crosswalks.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk on the side of the road facing traffic to increase visibility.
- Never cross a busy street under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drivers can also do their part to keep pedestrians safe. When behind the wheel:
- Continually scan for pedestrians.
- Never assume a pedestrian sees you.
- Slow down in heavily-trafficked areas.
- Put the phone away. Send your texts and choose your music before you put the car in drive.
- Focus entirely on driving
Levy Law Offices: Your Cincinnati Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you suffered injuries or your loved one died in a Cincinnati pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Levy Law Offices can help you get the compensation you deserve. We analyze all available evidence and investigate the cause of your accident, identifying all liable parties. Then, we hold the at-fault party financially responsible for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Call our office at 513-651-CASH today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers. We work on a contingency fee basis meaning you have no upfront out-of-pocket costs and do not owe us a thing unless you win your case.