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Using Inclusive Community Feedback to Create Low-Cost Pedestrian Safety Solutions

Ohio City Incorporated – Ohio City Mobility Study

Ohio City

When foot and bike traffic increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio City planners knew they would need quick, low-cost solutions to make the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Instead of looking to expensive structural changes, Ohio City Incorporated – the community development corporation for the neighborhood – decided to partner with local consulting firm 3MPH Planning to solicit feedback directly from residents about their experiences walking, biking, and driving in the area.

In late May 2022, project planners launched the Ohio Mobility Study outreach site on the coUrbanize platform, including a map with color-coded pins that residents could use to identify areas that are dangerous and need improvement. At the same time, organizers hit the streets to canvas near transit hubs, stop passersby, attend block club meetings, and share information about the study at community meetings.

Ohio City map

By placing pins on the map and sharing comments, community members were able to share helpful feedback such as:

  • “The building at the southwest corner has been hit by cars three times.”
  • “In the winter, the townhomes never clear their sidewalks forcing people, including kids, to walk in the middle of the street.”
  • “The hospital has had a dumpster blocking the sidewalk for more than a year which makes it difficult for pedestrians.”
  • “Can we add a redlight camera here? People run this light often.”
  • “The timing on this light no longer serves this intersection with the recent influx in nearby residents.”

After collecting more than 700 online comments and speaking with more than 300 individuals in person, as well as conducting a crash analysis using data from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the project team put together a report on 9 problem zones that they then shared with the community. To address those problems, the report recommends low-cost, easy-to-build interventions that will protect residents from traffic danger.

Ohio City comment

Looking ahead, the City hopes to use the same methods of inclusive engagement to inform the City’s transportation plan and minimize environmental harm – all while encouraging greater civic participation.

With coUrbanize, Ohio City Incorporated and 3MPH Planning were able to:

  • Gather feedback directly from residents on their experiences walking, biking, and driving in the neighborhood
  • Inform a comprehensive mobility study that combined online comments with in-person feedback
  • Report back to community members with a plan to improve mobility in the neighborhood based on their recommendations

Ohio City Incorporated and 3MPH Planning are working to identify safety and mobility problems as well as opportunities to promote better access in the neighborhood. Addressing the issues the community identifies, they plan to make the neighborhood safer and more comfortable to get around. Read more about the project here.


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