Jun 16, 2023 - News

Columbus' new plan for safer streets

Illustration of cars, a bicycle, and a scooter parked by a safety cone and a no parking sign.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Columbus has reaffirmed its Vision Zero plan of reducing local crash deaths and plans to invest in safer bike lanes and roadways over the coming years.

Why it matters: Our streets are getting deadlier. Columbus averaged 62 traffic fatalities annually between 2018-2022, but the total exceeded 70 each of the past two years.

Catch up fast: Since the original plan's 2021 launch, the city has installed new crosswalks, redesigned various intersections and lowered the downtown speed limit to 25 mph.

Driving the news: City Council approved an updated plan this week with new goals for 2023-2028:

🚲 Build 25 miles of protected bike lanes. Workers installed traffic posts and concrete blocks this week along an East Long Street bike lane, Department of Public Service spokesperson Debbie Briner tells Axios.

  • A citywide plan to review and improve Columbus' bike infrastructure is in the works.

🚗 Fix dangerous intersections. Around two-thirds of serious crashes occur on just 10% of the city's streets.

  • Columbus will target 25 dangerous intersections each year for safety improvements and prioritize roundabouts as an alternative design option because they reduce head-on collisions.

🚓 Enforce the distracted driving law. Drivers are now banned from texting or manually inputting GPS directions while driving, except when stopped at red lights.

  • This is a "primary offense," meaning you can be pulled over solely for distracted driving.

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