Cincinnati residents are keenly aware of the dangers they are likely to face whenever they venture out on the city streets as pedestrians. Drivers are acting in reckless ways, ignoring the law and failing to adhere to the simplest facets of driving safely by paying attention to the road. This is causing a spike in auto-pedestrian accidents with the accompanying injuries and fatalities. In 2020 – the most year for which comprehensive statistics are available – there were more than 300 pedestrian accidents in the city and seven people lost their lives. To address the known problems, a new initiative is planned to use technological advancements to try and avoid these collisions.
$1 million pedestrian safety plan
A new plan will spend $1 million to get drivers to reduce their speed and help pedestrians. The ideas are being put forth by a city councilman and the mayor has expressed support. Included are speed cushions, slow turn wedges, hardened centerlines and artistic bump-outs. Obviously, these terms might sound confusing to laypeople, but when they are described, their benefits are clear.
Speed cushions are essentially speed bumps with gaps. They let emergency vehicles advance at full speed. Their design will force passenger vehicles to slow down, but the way emergency vehicles like ambulances are built lets them pass through unimpeded, which is crucial for them to reach their destination quickly. One area of the city – Winneste Avenue – was notorious for drivers speeding before experimental speed cushions were installed with 95% of vehicles going beyond the speed limit. With the speed cushion, that lowered to 11%.
Turn wedges and hardened centerlines make it necessary for drivers to make a sharper turn when they are at an intersection and forces them to reduce speed. The artistic bump-outs extend the crosswalks. The traditional way these were constructed was deemed overtly expensive. A new construction method would be easier and less expensive. The recently passed infrastructure bill will cover the costs.
Pedestrians should remain vigilant
These ideas are worthwhile and may have a positive impact on pedestrian safety. Unfortunately, until they are put in effect, people will be in jeopardy. In fact, there will likely still be pedestrian accidents even after they are implemented because many drivers simply ignore the fundamentals of safety. Those injured or who have lost a loved one might need guidance with how to recover financially, personally and emotionally whether the accident resulted in injuries or fatalities. Discussing the circumstances with experienced people can yield advice with what options are available and move forward with putting them in action.