Walkable Olean Replies

LE, LK and DW, all from Olean
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LE from Olean wrote:


I very much like Option 1. I like the parking suggestion, the greenspace, bike lane, etc. - it's all very, very appealing. I feel it would be a great enhancement to totally remove the aged parking meters. They are a detriment to any "new look" that you are trying to secure on North Union. The annual income received from these meters cannot possibly make that huge of a difference in Olean's overall economy. Take the meters out. Thank you for all your hard work on this very important project.


Dear LE,


Thank you for writing and thank you for your kind words! (All design options eliminate meters, so you'll like that too!)

Respectfully, WO




LK from Olean wrote:


These 4 designs all stink! Olean 's No Union St is beautiful the way it is....wide, maneuverable...for good traffic flow...LEAVE IT ALONE...just maintain existing street. Olean was always known for thatbe4autiful wide street. Have you figured the cost of repairing breakage from plows big trucks? or the cost of maintaining landscaping? or the many accidents I can envision happening??? PULLEASE...leave No Union St alone.


Dear LK,


We understand your concerns. For what its worth, the Public Works Commissioner in Hamburg likes their new street design and actually states that the roundabouts are easier to plow than signalized intersections. Also, remember that Olean’s Union Street has a median. It’s made of snow and it is present downtown every year for a few weeks or more.


Landscape maintenance will cost money. So does electricity for traffic lights. With roundabouts and medians, these ongoing expenses will be recycled into the local economy rather than being paid to National Grid in London.


Best regards,





DW from Olean wrote:


To City of Olean I like Option 1-2-4 I do not know about option 3 with the bricks. You need to check into the bricks and see if they will hold up with the traffic and the winters over time. I do not like the bricks. Right now you have car pulling in the parking areas. Then the car has to back up into traffic lane. My friend was driving on n union st and a car was backing up and hit my friend’s car. With option 3 you have the same diagonal parking. Sometimes it is hard to back out because it is hard to see. You need to put a buffered zone between the parking areas and the traffic lane. People can back onto the buffer zone and they can see better. When it is clear they can back up onto the traffic lane and go. We do need a bike lane on n union st. My family and I we have bikes. I know other people have bikes. I like to see the bicycle lane between the parking area and the side walk. We have families with small kids. The kids bikes and the kids are small. It will be safer for the kids. We need bike racks on n union st. There is a bike rack by the Olean Library. It is a nice one. They have roundabout in downtown Buffalo and in E Aurora. I drove around then. I like then. You can put 2 to 4 on n union st and see if the people will like them. It will keep the traffic going. It will be less stop and go driving. This will help out Olean.


Dear DW,


Wow! You hit all the points! Rest assured the design engineers and architects are reading your post.


As for the bike lanes… the jury is still out but take a look at our reply to some of the other posts about “cycle tracks”. They seemed like a great idea ten years ago when cities began experimenting with them but they turned into bicycle expressways that presented their own safety problems.


It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We have good intentions. It will take a community effort and lots of careful examination of role models and experiences in other cities to make sure we don’t wind up at an untended destination!


Thank you for writing!




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