Saturday, July 08, 2000

City acts on street safety

Garrison Ave. awaits report, looks at options

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS — Carla Crabtree says she hasn't had a sound night's sleep since June 28, when 10-year-old Stephen Schroder was struck and killed near her home on Garrison Avenue.

        But she's hopeful that, with involvement from the city of Fort Thomas, safety on Garrison will be improved by reducing the number of cars using it as a shortcut to River Road and by lowering the speed limit.

        “I'd give anything to have a full night's sleep,” said Ms. Crabtree, who has two children, ages 4 and 8. “I wake up hearing the screech of tires and the screams.” Earlier Friday, she and another Garrison resident, Dick Lienhardt, met with city officials.

        At Friday's meeting, held outdoors on Garrison, City Administrator Jeff Earlywine said the city was committed to making Garrison a safer and more liveable street for the residents and their children.

        “Since the accident, police presence has been higher on the street, and we've installed "No through traffic' signs at the top of the street,” he said. “Officers issued six warning tickets to people who did not live on the street and were driving through.”

        Mr. Lienhardt said it was obvious that the signs and police patrols had an effect on the traffic. “There was much less traffic since the signs went up,” he said. “But unless we do something else soon, that's going to change and things will be back where they were when Stephen was hit.”

        Philip Bridges, 51, who lives in Fort Thomas just a few blocks from the scene of the accident, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the boy's death. Police said Mr. Bridges was

        traveling a minimum of 40 mph in a 25 mph zone on Garrison when he struck the boy, who was in the middle of the street.

        “The man who struck Stephen is 90 percent responsible for his death, in my opinion,” Ms. Crabtree said. “But the city is 10 percent responsible. The residents on this street have complained to the city several times about the speeding cars and the danger to children, and the city did nothing.”

        She added, however, that she was pleased the City Council responded so quickly to citizen demands for some changes on Garrison.

        Mr. Earlywine, who was joined by city public works director Tom Morrison and city engineer Mark Brueggemann, outlined several possible solutions to the traffic and speeding problems on Garrison.

        After some discussion, it was decided to have Mr. Morrison and Mr. Brueggemann and their staffs prepare a report outlining action that would provide immediate assistance to the residents.

        “We can have a report ready to discuss in two weeks,” Mr. Brueggemann said. “We'll look at all the options.

        Those options include:


  • Installing speed “humps” similar to those used in Boone County and Cincinnati to reduce speed and discourage non-residents from using the street.

            „Devices to create what Mr. Earlywine called “traffic calming.” One mentioned Friday was a type of traffic island that would create an S curve in the street and force vehicles to slow.

            „Banning a right turn from Garrison onto River Road, which would eliminate the reason people used the street as a shortcut to River Road and Ky. 8.

            Mr. Earlywine said the first effort probably would be the speed humps. “We can evaluate how well they work and then make a decision on whether we need to do something else,” he said.


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