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How Cincinnati's 'Complete Streets' safety policy performed over the last year

Plastic curb extension at a crosswalk on McHenry in East Westwood, with a community-painted pavement mural.
City of Cincinnati
Plastic curb extension at a crosswalk on McHenry in East Westwood, with a community-painted pavement mural.

A new report shows nearly every Cincinnati neighborhood got at least one new feature under the city's "Complete Streets" policy last year.

City Council passed the Complete Streets ordinance in late 2022; the report is the first analysis of the project.

"Complete Streets is the philosophy that everyone — regardless of age or physical or economic ability — has the right to feel safe and comfortable traveling throughout the city's transportation network," said Melissa McVay, pedestrian safety program manager in the city's Department of Transportation and Engineering.

RELATED: Cincinnati adopts a 'complete streets' policy to prioritize people over cars in road design

Complete Streets features vary based on the context of the street, but can include bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, and speed cushions.

See the full report below (story continues after):

Council Member Mark Jeffreys introduced the Complete Streets ordinance. He says the report is a good start, but he has questions about the information.

"Especially the context around how many rehab projects we did; how many of those included some of the Complete Streets points, how many did not and what the reasons are," he said. "Because part of the reason for the report is to understand, are there barriers to making more progress in this area?"

The city has had some significant progress in traffic safety over the past decade, according to Ohio Department of Transportation data provided by the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering.

RELATED: 6 pedestrian safety ideas being piloted in Cincinnati

There were 12,810 traffic crashes in 2023, the lowest number in 10 years and a 15% decrease compared to the previous five-year average. Crashes involving pedestrians are also trending down, although were up in 2023 compared to the record low in 2022.

Overall traffic fatalities were up about 8.5% in 2023 compared to the five-year average, and the 11 pedestrian deaths is the highest since at least 2014.

See more of the data below. Note: the numbers are provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation and are the same source used in the Complete Streets report above. The numbers vary slightly because the ODOT database is frequently updated as crash investigations are completed.

Corrected: January 22, 2024 at 3:53 PM EST
This article has been updated to fix a misspelling of Melissa McVay's name.
Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.