Walkable Olean Replies

DE, DM & CB all from Olean
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DE from Olean wrote:


With all the businesses moving out of Olean I don't see where all the money is going to come from to do these Projects. And get rid of the parking meters the city can't be making a whole lot of money with those eye sores.


Dear DE,


Good question, DE! We’re flipping every stone in the money hunt. Please remember that the City is required to do some digging on North Union Street in order to comply with a Consent Order to reduce runoff into the sanitary sewers and the Allegany River. The goal is to “kill two birds with one stone”.


Also, when Cities and Villages implement walkability, stores come back. This is happening in Hamburg now as stores leave the suburban strip malls and return to downtown.


As for the parking meters, we hope they go! But, it’s too soon to say if street parking should be free. Usually when the commercial district starts to thrive again, shop owners ask for pay-to-park in order to promote customer turn-over. A good way to achieve this is with a parking kiosk that prints a receipt. They’re cheaper, easier and more reliable than meters.

Respectfully yours,



DM from Olean wrote:


Although I am in favor of backing in diagonal parking, I am going with option number 3 because it seems to offer the best protection for bikers. I believe it (option #3) is the best plan. Thank you all for the hard work you have put into this project.


CB from Olean wrote:


Option #3 is a great choice...it keeps the cyclists away from traffic and cars moving in and out of parking spaces. Safety first....thank you for allowing comments.


Dear DM & CB,


You’re right! Option #3 would be most preferred by cyclists and this is a viable option for consideration. Recent experience with this format has revealed some weaknesses, however.


It turns out, that in a downtown, one really must put the pedestrian first. That means that you wouldn’t want a design that could encourage speeding cars or speeding bicycles. The newly observed problem with “cycle tracks” – the Option 3 idea, is that the bikes begin to scare or even collide with the pedestrians. For this reason, many places that adopted them in pedestrian-rich environments are taking them out, in favor of bike lanes next to car driving lanes.


And do remember, the goal and the result will be traffic calming. Cars and trucks will flow slowly but smoothly – probably no more than 20 miles per hour. Drivers will have their eyes on the road, not the traffic lights. Traffic models (and Hamburg’s experience) demonstrate that drivers will cover the distance in the same (or maybe less) time but they’ll drive slower with fewer stops. This will make the street safe. And the bike lanes in the road will feel safe to use.


Finally, we are fortunate to have wide sidewalks so there is room for pedestrians, children’s bikes, sidewalk cafes and people in motorized chars – safely, on the sidewalks.


Best regards



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