May 15, 2023 - News

Cleveland traffic calming pilot reduces driving speeds

A handmade yellow sign reading, "Slow Down Kids Play Here" with a tree lawn memorial in the background

A handmade sign posted at the site where Apolina Asumani was struck and killed in 2022. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Cleveland officials last week released results from a speed table pilot program.

Why it matters: The traffic calming initiative launched last summer after 5-year-old Apolina Asumani was struck and killed by a speeding driver on West 50th Street.

By the numbers: Across 10 locations where speed tables were installed, average vehicle speeds were reduced by 7.8 miles per hour.

  • Plus: Nearly 80% of residents who responded to a February survey said they support more speed tables citywide.

How it works: Speed tables are like speed bumps, but flat on top and not quite as abrupt to traverse. The city targeted residential streets with documented speeding issues.

  • West 50th, where Apolina Asumani was killed, was among the streets selected on the west side.

What they're saying: "We continue to hear from residents who are concerned about speeding in their neighborhoods, and we take these concerns very seriously," Mayor Justin Bibb said in a press release.

  • "We will continue to curtail this dangerous behavior through physical traffic calming and data-driven solutions to create safer streets."

What's next: In Bibb's latest (and probably final) proposal for federal stimulus spending, he has asked for $3 million to fund additional speed tables and other traffic calming measures.

💭 Sam's thought bubble: Traffic safety is sometimes waved away as an elite or lefty preoccupation.

  • Yes, but: It's one of the more universal issues I've encountered in Cleveland. Some of the most ardent proponents of traffic calming are residents of low income neighborhoods where reckless driving is rampant.
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