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What's Being Done To Improve Pedestrian Safety Near Cincinnnati Schools?

western hills university high school crash

Cincinnati officials are working on a number of alternatives to make it safer for kids walking to schools in the city.  

They're particularly focused on the areas around Dater and Western Hills High Schools.  

Meanwhile, the family of 15-year-old Gabriella Rodriguez is still looking for answers. She was killed in September after being struck by two vehicles while crossing Harrison Avenue to catch a Metro bus. One driver stopped, but the second has not yet been found.  

Her father, Eduardo, addressed Council's Law and Public Safety committee Monday morning.

"You can't put a kid on the street with a 3,500-lb. vehicle," Rodriguez said. "Who's going to win? The vehicle is going to win."

The family told council members they believe the city police department could be doing more with its investigation of the fatal crash.

Since the beginning of the school year in September, 13 Cincinnati Public School students have been struck by vehicles while walking to school.

Cincinnati transportation officials are recommending nine possible solutions to improve pedestrian safety around Dater and Western Hills high schools.  

So far they've added new LED lighting and replaced the in-road signs designating crosswalks.  

They also want to study adding warning systems for such crossings and working to slow down traffic on Ferguson Avenue.  

City Traffic Engineer Dennis Lechlak said there's also education for pedestrians about when vehicles have to stop for them.

"If the pedestrian is still waiting on the curb, a driver does not legally have to stop, that's the way the law is written," Lechlak said. "Should they stop? Certainly they should stop. But in terms of the way the law is written, that's not the case."

Cincinnati School Superintendent Laura Mitchell said they can teach students how to use crosswalks, but added drivers also need to be educated on driving safely around schools and to slow down.  

"How can our drivers across the city be more cognizant of pedestrians as they're crossing the streets, and how can we develop a campaign around the safety of our communities as it relates to driving in general?" Mitchell said.

The school district is also asking the city to fund more crossing guards too.

The Law and Public Safety Committee is expected to revisit the issue in about six weeks, and want transportation officials to update them on the progress of the seven additional proposals still being studied.

You can see the full list of improvements from the Department of Transportation & Engineering below.

Department of Transportatio... by on Scribd

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.