I moved right here from Pittsburgh a number of months in the past, and the similarities made Cincinnati instantly really feel like residence. Each cities have hilly topography, nice parks alongside the Ohio River, many distinct neighborhoods − every with its personal vibe and native companies, and individuals who love residing right here.
However the primary distinction I’ve observed is that it’s way more harmful to get round in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky when you’re not in a automobile. To this point this yr, there have been 190 automobile crashes involving pedestrians and two deadly bicycle owner crashes, each on the identical day. Different information shops have reported on these tragedies and issued requires this area to spend money on street security. I’m scripting this to point out that it’s attainable to make Cincinnati streets safer for all customers, as a result of I’ve seen it work in Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati has very huge roads that encourage folks to hurry and drive dangerously even when the posted restrict is low. Within the few months I’ve lived right here, I’ve seen that it’s common to have a four-plus lane operating straight by way of a neighborhood. One of the egregious examples I’ve noticed up to now is Madison Street in Walnut Hills the place there are as much as 5 lanes and vehicles drive effectively over 45 mph, but, this street is a designed bike route. Inserting bike route signage and sharrows (shared lanes designated by painted bike picture with an arrow) onto quick, huge roads is definitely worse than doing nothing as a result of it encourages weak street customers to take harmful routes, with out encouraging safer driving behaviors.
The answer is to not create extra leisure areas for cyclists and pedestrians away from vehicles. Whereas these locations are nice facilities for town, they don’t assist transport folks to the place they have to be of their day by day life. It’s important to look at the design of our streets and see the place we will alter them to make them livable areas which can be safer for everybody who makes use of them, regardless of their mode of transportation.
Pittsburgh did this by way of the creation of “neighborways,” low-traffic streets designed to be secure and extra comfy options to busy arterial roads. By way of traffic-calming measures, route-defining signage, and a deal with connectivity, these streets permit for navigation across the complete metropolis whereas minimizing interactions with vehicles. This isn’t only a bike versus automobile situation, it is acknowledgment that slower streets are safer for everybody and higher for native companies too.
Imaginative and prescient Zero is a dedication to zero visitors deaths, and it’s each a daring idea and a actual risk. Infrastructure and avenue design selections usually are not costly on a metropolis funds scale however the affect they’ve on how we transfer by way of town is monumental. Examples of what this seems to be like are “street diets” to lower the variety of lanes, concrete bumpouts close to crosswalks to extend the visibility of pedestrians, and bike lanes protected by flex posts and inexperienced paint.
The excellent news is that there’s the start of a Imaginative and prescient Zero Plan for town of Cincinnati, in addition to the CROWN initiative, a deliberate 34-mile loop of off-street trails from Tri-state Trails, however we have now a lot farther to go earlier than Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky could be secure locations to reside and get round for all street customers.
Becky Forgrave lives in Mt. Auburn and is an environmental scientist who researches human impacts to water assets and a passionate neighborhood advocate for bicyclists and secure streets.
Leave a Reply