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TRAFFIC STUDY OPTIONS SOUGHT

The Olean Common Council will consider funding one of several West State Street traffic-study options after three firms submit proposals and cost estimates for the work.

Problems of traffic congestion, speed, and lane changes at the city's western boundary with the Town of Allegany have escalated with retail mall development in both municipalities and with the construction of feeder routes over the past 10 years.

Because West State Street, New York State Route 417, is under state jurisdiction, road widening, turning lane reconfiguration, curb cut restrictions, access alternatives and other solutions have been suggested by city officials, but the city is unable to undertake its own remedies.

The state Department of Transportation has refused to take action, citing guidelines dictated by traffic counts and other conditions.

Also, when Independence Avenue was dedicated to connect West State Street with Constitution Avenue, a large portion of a heavily traveled west bound lane near the intersection was closed off by the DOT using lane markings.

Those conditions and the prospect of continued development in that area prompted the city to seek new data to bolster its arguments for state highway improvements.

Aldermen asked Community Development Director John Sayegh to solicit proposals and cost estimates several different ways. Consultants have agreed to include information from the Town of Allegany's portion of the highway. Officials also want to consider estimates east of the targeted area as far as North Union Street in the city's center.

Information in the final analysis will include some accident rate data and records of traffic violations, plus previous studies done in 1982.

Sayegh told aldermen that the goal is to gather enough information to lobby elected officials and place pressure on the DOT to eliminate hazardous conditions.

The Common Council is expected to choose a consultant as soon as proposals are received.

The Council will also consider a proposal for an $11,400 traffic study in the Boardmanville section near Olean General Hospital.

The study would require the city pay 20 percent of that cost. Olean General Hospital has promised to pay for the work that would point the way to improvements needed to alleviate traffic congestion caused by the hospital's expansion. That study is to be completed in the next two months by TVGA Consultants.

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