JY, AC from PA, two CC's from Olean
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JY wrote:


Here is what I am calling the Santa Parade Plan for North Union: 4 feet = 2 x 2 feet for a sidewalk with no curb in the center 8 feet for parallel parking 13 feet for a traffic lane 6 feet for a bike lane 8 feet for parallel parking 4 feet for portable greenspace (move indoors for winter) existing curb 14 feet for existing sidewalk total is 110 feet In the Santa Parade Plan for North Union, we can use the existing sidewalks and curbs, even traffic lights, and if the center sidewalk is not raised, the Santa Clause Parade can still use the fuill width of the road. I suggest portable greenspace, trees and such in planters that can be moved indoors during the winter. The parking is intended to be "every other space" so parking and departing will NOT require the use of reverse in the traffic lanes (or the parking lanes). Each space is 20 feet by 8 feet. If using traffic lights, there is still enough distance between the curbs to allow for a left turn lane, a straight lane, and a right turn lane at the intersections with room for the 4' center sidewalk. In the future, if more parking is required, the center two parking lanes (and sidewalk) could become perpendicular parking (once again, no reversing required to park or depart).


Dear JY,


I think I get it! You should attend the next public meeting and bring a sketch!


This sounds a bit like a “Ramblas”, typical of many cities in Spain. XXX California implemented something along these lines. You could check it out at http://www.sss.com/


Thanks for writing!





AC from Pennsylvania wrote:


To create a two lane road would create a nightmare. Why dress up downtown when there is nothing there. Fill the stores, or tear them down, & then dress up downtown.


Dear AC,


You are correct. We want to fill the stores and this is how its done. The current owners of vacant stores can’t be forced to act or “torn down” without extensive and expensive due process. The best solution is to obey the golden rule of real estate:


Location. Location. Location.


That’s what gives a retail space its value. The Walkable Olean Transformation seeks to restore the value of location to downtown shops and restaurants. When this succeeds, the owners will reinvest or sell to someone who will invest. Right now, we’re stuck at top-dead-center, waiting for a spark. This vision will provide the spark.


Best regards,





CC from Olean wrote:


All 4 plans have merit. My two cents follows: (1) Overall I favor Option 1 but with bike lanes as in Op. 3. (2) There are too many driving-challenged people in Olean to make back-in parking feasible. (3) Snow removal must be kept in mind for any plan adopted. (4) Parking meters should be eliminated. (5) Median lights add a very warm, homey touch. Hope they remain included. Keep up the good work.


Thank you CC,


The Design Team will take all of your recommendations into consideration, for sure. They will also help us think-through operating scenarios, like snow removal, and they’ll provide traffic flow simulations so this won’t feel like such a big leap-of-faith.


Best regards,





CC from Olean wrote:


Comparing the four options for Union Street in Olean, I like the parallel parking idea in option 1. If we stayed with angled parking I don't feel backing in would work and feel we should still head in. If a driver were to pull ahead of a space to back into it, someone could come up behind them preventing a driver from then backing into the space. People are more apt to wait for a driver to back out of a space, usually so they can take that place. I really like the idea of a median in the middle of the road with greenery in options one and two. It is attractive and gives pedestrians a safe place to stop in between lanes instead of trying to rush across all traffic. Concerning the bike lanes, I like the idea of option 3 where the bikes are between the side walk and the parking. I feel it is safer for the bikers. I visited Carlise, Pa after they did their project and the bike lane is between the parking and traffic lane similar to option one with no median. I ride a bike and didn't feel it felt safe with cars pulling in and out of the parking spaces. I am in favor of the roundabouts at each end of Union street tieing in the two parks that are on each end of Union Street.


Dear CC,


Thank you for this input based on your direct experience. I think the Design Consultants would enjoy speaking with you at the next public meeting.


Best regards,




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