Safety is the top priority within the North Union Complete Street Transformation Project, and modern roundabouts are designed to be safer for pedestrians than traditional intersections. Vehicles are moving at a slower rate of speed in roundabouts - typically between 15 and 20 miles per hour. Additionally, the crosswalks are set further back from traffic, allowing drivers more time to react to pedestrians before merging into or out of the roundabout. Triangular islands between lanes of traffic give pedestrians a safe place to wait.[i]
Since roundabouts are new for our community, they bring some changes in how pedestrians must approach walking the streets of downtown Olean. Here are some tips for pedestrians entering a roundabout:
- Always stay on the designated walkways approaching and leaving the roundabout.
- Only cross at the designated crosswalks; NEVER cross to the center island of a roundabout and NEVER cross at the direct entry/exit of a roundabout.
- Once getting to the desired crosswalk location, wait for an acceptable gap in traffic before entering the crosswalk. As when crossing any other intersection, look for oncoming cars before entering the crosswalk.
- Do not assume that cars will stop to let you cross. Only enter the crosswalk when there are no cars coming or when you are certain that all of the oncoming traffic is yielding to you.
- Proceed to the splitter island. The splitter islands offer a safe refuge between the two different directions of traffic flow allowing you to concentrate on traffic coming from only one direction at a time.
- Again, wait for an acceptable gap in traffic before entering the crosswalk.
- Just like before, do not assume that cars will stop to let you cross. Only enter the crosswalk when there are no cars coming or when you are certain that all of the oncoming traffic is yielding to you.
- After crossing the roadway, proceed to your desired location.[ii]
We encourage the community to stay apprised of the project and impacts on traffic through our Walkable Olean Facebook page (Facebook.com/walkableolean) or through the website at www.walkableolean.com.
For additional information, please contact the Olean City Public Works Department at 716.376.5651.