COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A campaign calling an east side thoroughfare “the most dangerous street” in Columbus for pedestrians is pledging safety improvements. On average, traffic studies found a person is hit by a car on Cleveland Avenue at least once every 23 days.

“We’ve seen a little bit of everything here on Cleveland Avenue,” said Bo Burns who runs a barber shop near a busy intersection of the corridor. “You see a lot of people running the lights and stuff like that. And it can be a little and it can be dangerous for some of our kids walking.”

Between 2015-2019, 78 people were struck, including 4 killed and 15 seriously injured.

The safety concerns inspired the creation of Walk Safe on Cleveland initiative. The project, which promises safety enhancements and an awareness campaign, aligns with the Vision Zero Columbus principles. The action plan, based on traffic studies and mobility planning, focuses on reducing the city’s fatal and serious injury traffic crashes.

I fear for the kids’ safety a lot going back and forth to school,” said Michael Ross, who lives in a home on Cleveland Ave.

Ross and Burns both pointed to speeding as a top concern and believe there should be more traffic enforcement in the area.

“Maybe more police presence would reduce the speed,” suggested Ross.

Walk Safe on Cleveland is a partnership between the City of Columbus and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) with input and support from Linden area community leaders. By combining resources, they plan to improve pedestrian walkways at seven intersections along Cleveland Avenue: Camden Avenue, E. 19th Avenue, Kenmore Road, Republic Avenue, Lakeview Avenue, Agler Road, and Lehner Road.

The improvements will include better crosswalk markings, the installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB’s) or Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHB’s) at each intersection and new ADA-compliant curb ramps. The city says the improvements will require minimal pavement resurfacing. Signage and striping will be updated to accommodate the additions.

A public input meeting will be scheduled during the 2021-2022 winter so neighbors can weigh in on the plan and add their own suggestions. Construction of the infrastructure improvements is expected to begin in summer 2023.
You can read more about the city’s plan for pedestrian improvements by clicking on this link or visit walksafeoncleveland.org for more details about the initiative and safety concerns on Cleveland Ave.