Mayor’s Press Release – Back to School Message


August 31, 2023—Olean–As the school bells start to ring, local drivers will have to share the roads with over 2,000 students in the City of Olean.

William J. Aiello, Mayor of the City of Olean and Chief Ron Richardson of the Olean Police Department would like to mention changes that have taken place since last year and remind residents of some of the rules of the road before school starts.

The Olean City School District has four schools located on East Spring Street, Washington Street, Wayne Street and West Sullivan Street. Southern Tier Catholic School has moved to the former St. John’s School on North Union Street.  The New Life Christian School is also located on North Union Street.  Head Start is housed on East Elm Street and the former Boardmanville School on Main Street hosts the BOCES affiliated Rise Academy.

Front Street has two new STOP signs: a three-way STOP located at its intersection of Prospect Avenue and a four-way STOP at the intersection of Spring Street.  The new traffic pattern may affect traffic on Front Street before and after school.

“Please beware of the posted speed zone around each school,” said Chief Richardson.  “Motorists should be alert and reduce speed when necessary.  They should also be aware of crosswalks and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks.”

There are two crossing guards to assist children to safely cross the street and parents should teach their children to cross with the guard.  The guards will be located, before and after school, at the Olean Intermediate Middle School and on 15th Street near Washington West Elementary.  Motorists should be alert to the crossing guards and stop their vehicle when told to do so.

School buses are also on the roads.  “Motorists should be aware that it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload students,” said Chief Richardson.  “School buses are equipped with yellow flashing lights that remind motorists that the bus is preparing to stop.  Red flashing lights signal that the school bus has stopped and motorists on both sides of the road must stop as well.  Keep an eye on the children after they exit the bus; make sure that they are on the sidewalk and out of harm’s way before driving away.  Children can be unpredictable after they get off a bus.”

“It is important that drivers pay special attention to children walking to school as they may sometimes abruptly enter the roadway,” Mayor Aiello added.  “Be observant of the flashing speed limit school zone signs near the Olean schools, reduce your speed and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks.  The Olean Police Department will be out actively enforcing violations.”