"I love my family, bicycling and skiing...creating balance is the key to work and life. We’re making the world a better place, one project at a time."
Jeff Olson has spent most of his life trying to create better connections between people and nature. He grew up in suburbia, where he saw how quickly a landscape of open space could become a placeless sprawl...and realized that better planning and design were the keys to the future. Jeff studied architecture and public policy, but there were two experiences that really shaped his vision: a year living in Rome, and a bike trip with friends between New York and Boston. He says, "I've worked in the non-profit, public and private sectors, but it has always been a vision of wanting to create a better world that has moved me forward." Jeff served as the first New York State DOT bike/pedestrian program manager, and then went on to lead the US Millennium Trails program before joining Alta. "I love my family, bicycling and skiing...creating balance is the key to work and life. We're making the world a better place, one project at a time."
Jeff Olson is an architect and planner who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living and alternative transportation projects for more than 20 years. He has had a diverse career with experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. His unique vision and leadership ability are important assets to projects ranging from regional planning to site specific projects and programs. He is an avid bicyclist and skier who has the perspective of a parent with three young children.
From 1998-2001, Mr. Olson served as Director of Millennium Trails, an award winning initiative to create a national network of trails as part of America's legacy for the year 2000. The Millennium Trails partnership was supported by the White House Millennium Council, the U.S. Department of Transportation, American Express Company and a "Green Ribbon" panel of national leaders. From 1993-98, he served as the New York State DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager and supported the development of the 1,000 mile state bike route system, the 350 mile New York City Greenways system, the Erie Canal Trail and the Hudson Valley Greenway. He teaches America’s first university course in bicycle and pedestrian planning, and is Co-Director of the SUNYA Initiative for Healthy Infrastructure, which creates model plans connecting public work with public health.
- 1,000 Mile New York State Bicycle Route System
Mr. Olson was responsible for developing the numbered on-road bicycle route system throughout New York state, an award-winning project which served as a catalyst for efforts by 12 Metropolitan Planning Organizations and 11 NYSDOT regions. The system celebrated its 10th year with the addition of four new routes in 2004.
- New Haven Greenways Plan
Mr. Olson was commissioned by the International Festival of Arts and Ideas to develop a concept plan for a new greenway system in New Haven, Connecticut. He worked with teams from throughout the community in a public workshop format, creating an overall system vision along with creative solutions for public art, historical interpretation and urban design themes.
- Traffic Calming: Old Bennington, Vermont
Mr. Olson worked in cooperation with the State University of New York graduate planning studio to create an innovative streetscape plan for a New England community where every house is on the national register of historic places. The project was developed as a model of context-sensitive design and traffic calming techniques.
- I-90 Patroon Creek Trail, Albany, New York
Mr. Olson was the lead consultant to develop a 6.5 mile urban greenway plan for the I-90 interstate corridor in Albany. The new trail will connect urban inner city neighborhoods with new high tech development sites and three nature preserves through creative re-use of excess highway, utility and railroad rights of way.