One of just 52 grants nationwide, Olean's project is on-trend with the latest, best thinking on economic development. Read Mayor Witte's press release here or link to the City of Olean Website for all press releases.
The DOT’s TIGER - Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program is designed to fund transformational projects that will directly spur private sector investment.
Traffic calming and walkability in Central Business Districts is the most effective economic development tool in America today -- that's according to Chris Leinberger, Senior Economist at the Brookings Institute who spent his entire career in real estate economics.
Olean has strong institutions and large, healthy employers. North Union Street is treasure of historic architecture, dotted with locally owned shops and restaurants. A downtown community college and an urban mall provide nodes of activity, as yet untapped for their potential to spur vitality.
Walkable, bike-able and yes, still drivable and park-able street design is proven to foster a virtuous cycle of vibrancy, economic renewal and private sector investment. The Olean makeover will receive national attention. This could become a primary role model for other small cities that have been hollowed out by suburban sprawl and core disinvestment.