Olean, NY – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke about major pedestrian safety legislation she has pushed for in the Senate, and the local benefits these bills can bring to communities like Olean.
Standing at a local woman-owned small business on one of Olean’s main retail thoroughfares, Senator Gillibrand commended the Walkable Olean project, which received a $6.5 million TIGER Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2013, and called for it to be used as a model for communities nationwide.
“The Walkable Olean project is a perfect demonstration of the good that can happen when federal, state, and local governments work together,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Turning downtown Olean into a walkable, pedestrian-friendly zone will have a positive influence on the business community here, and I hope to see the changes happening here on North Union replicated in cities around New York State. I will continue to push to commit resources to projects like this around the state and country through the Pedestrian Safety Act of 2014 and the Safe Streets Act of 2014.”
In the 113th Congress, Senator Gillibrand introduced the Pedestrian Safety Act of 2014, and co-sponsored the Safe Streets Act of 2014. The Pedestrian Safety Act would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop new standards for the bumpers and hoods of motor vehicles to reduce their impact on pedestrians; would make more pedestrian safety projects eligible for 100% federal funding, to incentivize states to do more of these projects; and would make pedestrian public awareness campaigns eligible for funding through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.
The Safe Streets Act would change the way federally funded roads are planned, designed, and built, ensuring new roads follow Complete Street policies, safely accommodating travelers of all ages and abilities, including drivers, transit passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The Walkable Olean North Union Complete Street Transformation Project is designed to help alleviate traffic and boost pedestrian safety in the area through innovative street redesign. Once finished, North Union will have one 11-foot lane in each direction and one seven-foot bike lane in each direction, with a tree-line median and raised mid-block crosswalks.