Mayor's Corner: Lakewood Continues To Focus On Being A Pedestrian Friendly Community

I recently shared some updates on Lakewood’s holistic approach to overall safety. In this edition, I’d like to delve deeper into Lakewood’s ongoing effort to maintain and improve our city’s status as one of the most pedestrian-friendly communities in Ohio, if not the nation. Being a truly walkable community where people value the ability to safely walk and meet their daily needs is a key quality-of-life factor and priority for our residents.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the U.S., which makes sense with so many more pedestrians out and about walking as weather improves, and because distracted driving is a major cause of injuries to people on foot. This month also will see Ohio’s new restrictions on drivers’ use of cellphones in full effect. With very few exceptions, anything that involves using, holding, or supporting a cellphone while driving is now illegal, and repeat violators will be subject to escalating penalties.

I encourage everyone to review this new cellphone law for drivers – you can obtain a helpful fact sheet by visiting the Ohio Department of Transportation website:

https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odot/phonesdown/resources/fact-sheet. Here in Lakewood, our officers will be enforcing this law if they observe a violation. We also have been informed that Ohio State Highway Patrol officers will have a focus on enforcing the law on state and federal routes, a number of which traverse Lakewood.

Another way we aim to build on Lakewood’s pedestrian nature and protect walkers is by continuing to introduce pedestrian hybrid beacons, also known as HAWKs (High-intensity Activated crossWalK), for pedestrian crossings at key intersections. For those unfamiliar, HAWKs are crosswalks that feature traffic control devices that walkers can use to stop vehicular traffic and cross safely. One has been in place at Manor Park and Detroit and another at Clarence and Madison for several years. Our planning, public works, and police departments all work in partnership to assess where additional HAWKs might be appropriate given high pedestrian usage and other key factors. You can review the fact sheet on HAWK signals on our website for more information on how they work: https://www.lakewoodoh.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/PHB-Handout.png

The HAWKs are another element of Lakewood’s work to address concerns with traffic and walkability. As Ohio’s most densely populated city and a place that was designed and built for walkers, Lakewood’s focus on protecting pedestrians is a high priority and a key element of our holistic approach to safety. This also can be seen in Lakewood’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (NTCP) and our recently adopted Active Transportation Plan, which focuses on modes of getting around our city without a personal vehicle (walking, cycling, etc.).

Lakewood’s status as a highly walkable community remains an important focus for all of us at City Hall, and we are committed to building and maintaining our pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and assets.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024