Cincinnati’s streets remain the most dangerous for both motorists and pedestrians among Ohio’s three biggest cities, and this might be because law enforcement isn’t enforcing traffic laws such as speed limits as strictly as they should, claims Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman.
Landsman was reacting to crash data from state sources showing that Cincinnati has the most crashes per resident among the state’s three biggest cities (the other two being Columbus and Cleveland). No longer considered a statistical anomaly, the persistently high street accident situation in Cincinnati is already a trend that’s been here for years.
An in-depth report by WCPO-TV shows Cincinnati has led in injury crashes per capita since 2012, and in total crashes per capita and property damage crashes per capita since 2015. It also revealed this trend includes crashes that involved injuries; crashes that resulted only in property damage and traffic injuries overall.
Cincinnati, however, had fewer deaths per capita from street accidents compared to Cleveland and Columbus. The WCPO report was based on data from January to September 2017.
Landsman knows the reason for Cincinnati’s unenviable road safety record. “There’s no enforcement,” he said.”Traffic enforcement is a part of this, but it goes well beyond traffic enforcement,” he pointed out. “We need a multi-faceted approach. That’s the work ahead.”
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He said the city needs to have a collaborative effort between the Cincinnati Police Department and the Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE), which is responsible for the construction, maintenance and preservation of the city’s public streets, bridges, sidewalks and bike paths.
James Heller-Jackson, chairman of the Northside Pedestrian Safety Committee, is of the same mind as Landsman, and says he’s convinced that police aren’t pulling people over for speeding.
Cincinnati’s most dangerous intersections
The full extent of the road safety problem plaguing the city is best exemplified by its dangerous intersections. Two separate studies released at different months in 2016 agree on the most dangerous intersections in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Business Courier, one of the city’s leading dailies, reported that 12 out of the 100 intersections in Ohio where roadway accidents are the most common are located in Cincinnati. It said this data is based on data from 2013 to 2015 from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The top five most dangerous Cincinnati intersections are:
- Winton Road and West Kemper Road. The city’s most dangerous intersection had 74 accidents and 29 injuries from 2013 to 2015. It is also the scene of the third highest number of accidents involving injury in the entire state.
This might be because the intersection is located next to two heavily populated areas: Forest Park Square shopping center and Winton Woods High School where 1,500 students enter its parking lot every day.
- Hunt Road and Painfield Road saw 90 accidents and 21 injuries from 2013 to 2015. The small number of lanes at this intersection that lead directly to an on-ramp for the Reagan Highway has been blamed for a large number of accidents during rush hours.
- Diversion Road and Dixie Highway was the site of 56 accidents and 26 injuries from 2013 to 2015. This intersection is the area’s third most dangerous and the 20th most dangerous in all of Ohio.
- Beechmont Avenue and Five Mile Road in Anderson Township sees more than 57,000 vehicles traveling through it daily, making it one of the most dangerous intersections in the Greater Cincinnati area. There were 48 accidents and 24 injuries at this intersection from 2013 to 2015. This intersection was the top-ranked intersection for crashes in Hamilton County in 2013.
- Dixie Highway and Symmes Road had 36 accidents and 25 people injured from 2013 to 2015.
Cincinnati’s most dangerous roads
More than 50 of Ohio’s 350 most common roadway crash sites are in Greater Cincinnatibased on ODOT data for 2013.The locale in Greater Cincinnati with the highest average crashes in a year is Route 126 eastbound at Interstate 71. It recorded 666 crashes with 103 injuries and fatalities in 2013.
The most dangerous site in terms of average injuries and fatalities per year is Interstate 71 northbound where it merges with Pfeiffer Road. It had 661 road accidents resulting in 209 injuries and fatalities.Next on the most dangerous roads list are Interstate 71 northbound where Interstate 471 merges; Interstate 71 (near Blue Ash) and the beginning of Norwood Lateral Parkway where Interstate 75 merges. All these roads are urban freeways.
Fewer road deaths, however
Deaths on U.S. roads in 2016 rose to their highest level in nearly a decade resulting from a spike in traffic fatalities but Ohio reversed that trend, registering a decrease in fatal crashes. Fatalities nationwide rose six percent in 2016 to 40,200 deaths compared to 37,757 deaths in 2015.
The Ohio Highway Patrol (OHP) reported 1,029 fatal crashes in the state in 2016 compared to the 1,036 fatal crashes in 2015. Human error is a factor in more than 90 percent of crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, negating the advantages offered by new electronic safety features on motor vehicles.
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