Role Models

The City of Olean has beautiful, accessible natural scenery, a thriving college and university, and a grand American main street. Union Street is Olean's downtown district, the cityís main commercial thoroughfare, dotted with many eclectic businesses.

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Role Models
 
Hamburg, NY

How did this Rust Belt village of 10,000 people resurrect itself from a 30-year slide? It started with a road. Twelve years ago, the State Transportation Department proposed improving U.S. Route 62, the villageís mile-long Main Street, by adding another traffic lane, removing parallel parking and narrowing sidewalks. When Susan Burns, a lifelong Hamburg resident, saw the plan, she remembers ...

 
 
Burlington, VT

One of the most successful and widely-known downtown revitalization projects in the country, Burlington's transformation of Church Street, the city's main commercial street, began in the late 1970s.

Planners realized that if Burlington was to remain the regional center of commerce, the city had to create something special. They believed that an economically diverse and strong city center translated into a strong sense of community and regional identity. Other values ...

 
 
Corning, NY
Corning's nationally acclaimed Market Street Restoration Program was a pioneering 1970s effort to revitalize Market Street and downtown Corning, a model that inspired locally-organized rebirth of Main Streets in countless downtowns large and small across the country.

A devastating 1972 flood left much of the historic downtown in ruins. Many nearby communities affected by the same floods simply neglected their damaged waterfront regions, letting them fall even further into decay. ...

 
 
East Aurora, NY

More than six years of planning and development went into the restoration of East Aurora's Main Street. Taking a cue from the nearby Village of Hamburg, citizens brought in nationally-recognized traffic-calming expert Dan Burden to help develop a vision and consensus.

The construction project restored the stripís historic brick pavement, replaced broken sidewalks, and added bike lanes, benches, trees, lighting, and other street furniture. A roundabout at the western gateway to ...

 
 
Petoskey, MI

The people of the small lakeside city of Petoskey, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, decided their main commercial drag was too dangerous and needed to be more pedestrian-friendly. Several 'traffic-calming' measures were implemented as part of a redesign of Mitchell Street, including center islands with traditional street lamps, narrower vehicle lanes, curb bulb-outs at corner crosswalks and mid-block crossings, and additional pedestrian-oriented lighting and street ...

 

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