Mar 6, 2024 - News

Cleveland had 550 car crashes with cyclists and pedestrians in 2023, per report

A yellow handmade sign reading, "Slow down, kids play here"

Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

At least 550 cyclists and pedestrians were struck by cars in Cleveland in 2023.

Why it matters: The high number of collisions, including nine that were fatal, demonstrate that Cleveland has a long way to go if it's serious about its Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2032.

Zoom in: The crash report, produced by local advocacy nonprofit Bike Cleveland, assembled data from the city's GIS system, which includes 911 calls and the state's crash reports. The collisions were broken down by location and type.

By the numbers: Ward 3 (downtown, Ohio City, Tremont) saw more than double the number of collisions than any other ward, with 84 total.

  • Ward 7 (Asiatown, Hough, St. Clair-Superior) saw the most fatal crashes, with 3.
  • Ward 15 (Detroit-Shoreway, Edgewater, Cudell) saw the most collisions with pedestrians and wheelchair users, with 26.

Between the lines: Bike Cleveland says the total number is almost certainly an undercount, because people don't always call the police or file a report.

What they're saying: "Still, the picture we are seeing is alarming and shows that as a city we need to make transportation investments that make our streets safe for all road users, especially the most vulnerable," said Jenna Thomas, advocacy and policy manager for Bike Cleveland.

What we're watching: The report includes a list of policy priorities that Bike Cleveland submitted to the City of Cleveland at the beginning of the year.

  • It includes upgrading 15 miles of standard bike lanes in the city to "separated" bike lanes, which connotes a physical separation from vehicular traffic.
  • It also calls for expanded traffic calming measures — like speed tables, which the city piloted in 2022 and expanded in 2023 — and an electric bicycle rebate program.

The latest: A new survey conducted by Baldwin Wallace University found that Clevelanders overwhelmingly support these measures.

  • 75% of respondents say the city should make additional public investments to improve bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

What's next: Jacob VanSickle, the director of Bike Cleveland, will appear on a panel Wednesday evening alongside transit consultant Angie Schmitt and Cleveland's senior strategist for transit and mobility Calley Mersmann to discuss pedestrian and cyclist safety.

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