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Cleveland Could Improve Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety in Future Road Projects

Cropped shot of a woman walking through a Cleveland crosswalk in the morning.

A new ordinance provides the city with an opportunity to help reduce serious roadway accidents.

Public safety is important to the people of Cleveland. Still, pedestrian accidents and collisions between cars and bicycles happen far too often here. According to Ohio State Patrol, 176 pedestrians died in traffic accidents last year. As a result, the Cleveland City Council’s Transportation and Mobility Committee recently passed an ordinance to change how the city reviews and designs future road projects.

The “complete and green streets” ordinance aims to implement changes that will calm traffic and protect all road users, using strategies such as installing raised crosswalks. It seeks to replace a similar law passed in 2011 that fell short, according to News 5 Cleveland.

For the past few years, Cleveland has seen an uptick in pedestrian deaths. This latest ordinance was adopted to combat the problem and help prevent tragic accidents that result in severe injury or death.

Unsafe roads in Cleveland?

In 2020, Fulton Road south of Lorain Avenue was redesigned and reconstructed, but little has changed with regard to improving roadway safety. Citizens in the area have criticized the remodel for removing traffic control devices such as a traffic light at Fulton Road and Chatham Avenue. Since Fulton Road reopened, speeding and crashes on the road have reportedly increased. For example, people have been seen going anywhere from 50 mph to 65 mph since the light was removed, even though the speed limit is 35 mph.

“It’s been horrible. The speed is insane. People are going anywhere from 50 to 65 mph,” one resident who lives off of Fulton Road told News 5 Cleveland. “Because they took the light out, it just an opportunity for people to cruise through and they really don’t care about pedestrians walking through.”

The new ordinance that the city recently passed requires city planners to consider safety features such as dedicated bike lanes, speed tables, and other traffic calming features.

“Streets are one of the city’s greatest networks of public space and I really think we need to begin thinking of it as such,” the city planner told News 5 Cleveland.

The ordinance will also include the implementation of landscaping features and building materials to reduce stormwater runoff.

Ohio accident statistics

In Ohio, traffic accidents and fatalities have been increasing annually for the past 5 years. Statewide since 2017, there have been:

  • 13,637 pedestrian-related accidents
  • 6,232 accidents involving bicyclists
  • 748 pedestrian deaths
  • 5,529 fatal crashes

Engineering roadways with the safety of all road users in mind is one way to help prevent serious accidents. Nevertheless, it only takes one reckless driver to cause a serious collision that leaves you injured, in pain, and wondering what to do next. In short, accidents will still happen, and holding negligent drivers accountable for the pain and damage they cause is still critical

Crash victims have recourse through the civil justice system, but negligent drivers often deny responsibility, and insurance companies have a financial incentive to keep settlements as low as possible. That’s why if you were injured in a Cleveland pedestrian accident, it’s in your interest to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to go over your legal rights and options.

Hit by a car in Cleveland? Make my team your team.

At Merriman Legal, LLC, our highly skilled legal team advocates and fights for the best interests of our clients with passion and persistence. If you were hit by a car while on foot or riding your bicycle, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses—and we can help. Let our dedicated legal team help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and fight for every dollar you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Cleveland pedestrian accident attorney.

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