There’s been a huge problem on Ohio roads that has risen exponentially this year, and that is pedestrian safety. In 2021, 703 people died and another 3,390 were seriously injured on the roads, and none of them were in cars. This is never good and Governor Mike DeWine is ready to take action that many residents believe couldn’t come soon enough. He partnered with Dr. Jack Marchbanks, the Director of the Department of Transportation, to make the announcement. They announced that the state would invest $51 million in new traffic and safety improvement projects. These projects will span 44 roadways across 32 counties throughout the state. The goal of these projects is to focus on pedestrian safety and traffic safety in Ohio.
The biggest problem that DeWine and Marchbanks face is that the incidents are not as prevalent on Department of Transportation (DOT) run roadways. Therefore, the plan is to allocate $30 million to local governments and townships. This way, local communities can improve their infrastructure according to the needs of their residents. They will have to outsource the work to local contractors and develop their own project plans. This will allow unique solutions that cater directly to the communities in need.
The Traffic Safety Plan
ODOT plans to invest $25.6 million in roadway-departure prevention projects across the state. This includes widening the roadway shoulder, installing center and edge line rumble strips, and modifying ditches and culverts. This is because most of the accidents come from unaware drivers veering out of the lane, which accounts for sideswiping accidents. Another $25.5 million will focus on the parts of the roads that drivers don’t have access to. This includes sidewalks, paths, marked crossings, and high-visibility pedestrian crossings. Talks about “Road Diets” are also in the works. This is when they narrow lanes and roads to encourage drivers to slow down.
They made the announcement on May 6th, which means that final plans are still under review. The governor and director both plan to have some of these projects underway this year. There is no official timeline set.