Cincinnati neighborhood councils push to protect pedestrians


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CINCINNATI – Some neighborhood councils are seeking their own grants to purchase pedestrian protection that the City of Cincinnati cannot afford.

It’s not a freeway, but living along Hamilton Avenue in College Hill cost Brooke Cook so many pets and so much property that her family ordered cement poured into their yard to widen their driveway. and provide customers with more secure parking than what is reserved on the street.

“We had a dog killed,” Cook said. “We had three cars in total. This apparently was a problem long before I lived here. People drive down this street like it’s basically a freeway.”

Less than two weeks earlier, James Towns had died while cycling on Northbend Road. The driver who hit him drove away without calling for help, Cincinnati police said. The case is still not resolved.

“[City crews] had put a speed sign here at one point, ”said neighbor Charles Reynolds. “People would see it and they would slow down, but then they took it off and people went back to drag stripping right away. “

The College Hill Community Council (CHCC) wants to do more than the City of Cincinnati’s budget allows.

“It’s a matter of safety,” said Julie Brown, CHCC board member.

In 2018, the city budgeted $ 405,900 for safety improvements, according to city records. A year later, city council allocated $ 500,000 for pedestrian safety. The current budget is $ 750,000, but the cost of materials is also increasing.

Council member and vice-mayor-elect Jan-Michelle Lemon Kearney said the city’s engineers regularly seek outside grants to supplement their regular budgets.

“They don’t just ask for funding from the city,” she said. “They’re looking at outside sources. The fact that our community councils get creative and so do: we all need to work together. I mean, pedestrian safety is a huge issue. “

In the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood, volunteers from their community council found grants to help purchase pedestrian flags for people crossing multiple intersections along Montgomery and Ridge Roads.

Northside Community Council has planted yard sign recalls as grantmakers target larger purchases.

“We have really engaged residents at College Hill and when we have the chance we can make a big impact with small changes,” said Brown.

While still relying on the police to enforce traffic and hoping for more investment from the city, the CHCC volunteers also plan to dig for the money on their own. Their first target is a grant from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.

“It’s a matching grant,” Brown said. “So we’re going to do fundraisers to raise money. “

It’s the kind of effort that Cooks and Towns’ grieving girlfriend is supporting.

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