City Reveals Plan To Improve Downtown Traffic Flow, E-Scooter Use

Mar 19, 2019

Cincinnati traffic officials are beginning the process of re-timing stop lights in Downtown Cincinnati. That process is expected to take three to five months. When it's complete, pedestrians will have more time to cross the street, in compliance with federal guidelines.  

Council Member Greg Landsman spoke about the issue Tuesday during a committee meeting.

"Essentially (at) 140 intersections the timing will be updated to optimize both pedestrian and vehicle traffic," he said.

The city said the goals are to amend traffic signals, balance efficiency for all users and update pedestrian timings to meet federal guidelines.

There will be three timing plans for each intersection - morning, afternoon and evening. It will be a computerized system and will operate on the new Downtown fiber network that's expected to be complete this summer.

City Council could also approve spending $80,000 to give the streetcar traffic signal priority at four locations. Those would be: Race and Liberty; Ninth and Walnut; Elm and Liberty; and Second and Walnut.  City officials said if the signal prioritization is implemented, it would benefit all vehicles with extended "green" time.

Meanwhile, right now both Lime and Bird have e-scooters operating in Cincinnati. By later this year, there could be just one provider in the city.  

Around June 1, the city could award a contract for a one-year citywide pilot program for e-scooters.  

Assistant City Manager John Juech was asked why the city is pursing this plan.

"It does give us some leverage, we think, as the city to address some of these issues and really force the companies to come up with their best proposal on all of these issues that we're talking about, so, revenue; safety; how well do they balance the system; how well do they make sure that scooters are being driven where they should be," Juech said.
 
The city reports that in the last eight months, more than 69,000 people have taken more than 305,000 e-scooter rides. The city has also collected $69,000 dollars in revenue from the e-scooter program.

For now, the city will also allow Bird to expand their fleet size by 200 scooters into Evanston, Avondale and North Avondale.