Feb 1, 2023 - News

Cuyahoga County car crashes down, but a long way to zero

A handmade yellow street sign advising motorists, "Slow down, kids play here."

A handmade sign on West 50th Street. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

More than 29,000 car crashes occurred in Cuyahoga County in 2022, a decline of roughly 1,400 from 2021, according to state data obtained by Axios.

  • Fatalities also decreased last year, per the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS): 130 people died in crashes in 2021. In 2022, fatalities fell to 86, with 45 in the city of Cleveland.

Why it matters: The sharp decline shows progress, but it's still far from meeting the goal of the local "Vision Zero" task force, which wants to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2032.

Details: 21 of the local traffic fatalities in 2022 were pedestrians, including a 5-year-old Congolese refugee named Apolina Asumani, who was struck by a reckless driver in the Stockyards neighborhood in April.

What they're saying: "I've long believed that as a community we should always be prioritizing people over cars," Bibb said at the time. "We've seen too many deaths due to cars that are speeding way too fast on our streets."

Between the lines: Vehicle size and street design are leading contributors to pedestrian deaths.

Zoom out: Vision Zero efforts are percolating statewide. In Columbus, officials held a public hearing yesterday to discuss reducing the downtown speed limit to 25 mph.

  • That city will also adjust its traffic signal intervals at seven popular intersections to give pedestrians a head start crossing the street, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
  • Columbus is following in the footsteps of Austin, Texas, where officials made similar changes and found an 18% reduction in pedestrians hit by left-turning vehicles.

What we're watching: Whether the traversable mini-roundabouts recently installed on Franklin Boulevard as traffic calming measures result in fewer crashes.


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