Spring Creek Drive is the first project in a planned network of Complete Streets aimed to help manage Canmore’s transportation demands into the future. About half a kilometer in length from Main Street south into Spring Creek Mountain Village; this project will create an inviting link between multiple neighbourhoods and the Town Centre, especially for trips people take by foot, bicycle, or mobility aid. This "Complete Street” project will have dedicated separate spaces for people in cars, on bikes, and on foot: providing comfortable and welcoming spaces for people travelling to and from the Town Centre.
The Town is working with Spring Creek Mountain Village as a partner on this project.
This project will involve:
- Rehabilitation and construction of the municipal road: including separated sidewalks and bicycle lanes
- Construction of a 250mm water main
- Life-cycle replacement and rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer
- Improvements to sidewalks, pathways, lighting, and the Main Street intersection to meet requirements of the Spring Creek Mountain Village Area Structure Plan
- Construction of a protected intersection at Main Street to continue separation between vehicles, and spaces where people walk and bicycle
Below are pictures roughly showing what the Town is working towards for Spring Creek Drive and Main Street:
With its proximity to the Town Centre, a Complete Streets approach is ideally suited to Spring Creek Drive. The project will contribute to achieving Council’s Strategic Priorities by;
- Address parking and congestion in the Town Centre – by creating a welcoming street for residents and visitors to walk or bike rather than using a car.
- Effectively manage assets – Spring Creek Drive was constructed in 1973 and subsequent upgrades were done in 1990. Reconstruction in 2017 will rehabilitate the existing infrastructure.
The enhancements to the corridor aim to deliver on guiding principles identified in the Council approved Integrated Transportation Plan including:
- The transportation system will provide mobility and access for all;
- Where vehicle capacity is required, new multi-modal linkages will be favoured over adding lanes to existing corridors;
- A multi-modal transportation network will connect neighbourhoods and places of interest;
- The transportation system will reinforce the Town Centre as a commercial, civic, and cultural focal point in Canmore ;
- Active travel options will be available for all trips, year-round.
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Spring Creek Drive Complete Street Improvements - FAQ
Why place emphasis on walking and bicycling?
Transportation plans over the past two decades have identified a need to place emphasis on walking, cycling, and transit as the primary ways to accommodate growth. This approach recognizes the need to address growing transportation demands in a way that's consistent with our community values.
We all need to drive at least some of the time, and for that we need capacity in the network. By providing options for residents and visitors to walk, bicycle or take the bus for some or all of your travel needs creates room on the roads and frees up spaces to park.
How is traffic being managed at Main Street?
Traffic studies have shown that changes to the intersection of Main Street and Spring Creek Drive move congestion to the intersections at Railway Avenue and 6th Street. Designing the intersection to move vehicles makes it worse for people walking and driving – longer waits, longer crossing distances, less safety. The Town is taking a different approach, by reducing space for vehicles in the intersection.
• Shorter crossing distances and times for people walking and bicycling
• Slower speeds, safer design with fewer blind spots and more predictable vehicle movements
• Separate facilities for bicycling and walking
• A welcoming place, and larger public space at Main Street
It is estimated that Main Street will see a reduction of over 1000 vehicle trips per day in future summer months. Avoiding vehicle traffic on Main Street will maintain our road networks capacity into the future.
• Elimination of turn lanes for vehicles means longer cueing times, particularly during busy summer days.
This negative effect is local to the intersection, and will not impact the community beyond this point.
Why can’t we just have people bicycle on the road?
On-street bicycling is an important component of our network on residential roads with very low speeds and traffic. On important corridors in the network, particularly around the Town Centre, combining traffic comes at a tradeoff. While the vast majority of people are at least interested in cycling, except for a relatively small percentage, most are uncomfortable doing so in traffic. For an incremental investment in our projects we can create a space for people to cycle out of traffic and in turn maximize the number of people who will feel comfortable doing so. On a cost / benefit basis, this separation is more impactful than alternative traffic management approaches such as road widening and parkades – which are very costly investments.
What changes are being made to the intersection of Spring Creek Drive and Main Street? Will we still be able to make left turns by car?
People will be able to make all of the vehicle movements they can make today. Traffic analysis suggests that improvements to the intersection such as signals or turn bays may alleviate some congestion locally but simply moves the congestion to the adjacent signals on Main Street at Railway and 6th Avenue. A different approach has been taken: turn bays have been removed and crossing distances have been significantly shortened. These changes shorten the time it takes for people to cross, make room for spaces for walk and cycle as an attractive alternative to driving, and, along with traffic calming measures, reduces through traffic on Main Street and Spring Creek Drive. While delays can continue to be expected when trying to turn when busy, the overall effect for the area and Town Centre is to reduce traffic congestion and parking demand.
Why focus on Spring Creek Drive when other areas need attention, like Railway Avenue or Bow Valley Trail?
The road is due for rehabilitation and we have an opportunity to partner with Spring Creek Mountain Village to complete the project together with the Malcom Hotel. As development is underway in SCMV, and associated road works and utilities are required: we can complete the project together to reduce disruption and costs. Railway Avenue is scheduled for design in 2017 with a first phase of construction to start in 2018.
What are the Town's share of the costs, and how is this funded?
The Town's share of project costs for surface works is $1,800,000, of which $1,700,000 is grant funded and $100,000 from reserves. The deep utility work is budgeted at $900,000 which is funded by utility reserves.
How are costs being shared with the developer?
The developer is responsible for all roadway and utility costs within the development area, as well as a cost share for other elements of the project based on the requirements of the Area Structure Plan. This includes a cost share for improvements to the Main Street intersection, bicycle and pedestrian facilities connecting to Main Street, and full responsibility for lighting, gateway signage and associated landscaping. The Town is responsible for the lifecycle rehabilitation of existing municipal infrastructure, enhancements to Main Street, and a share of pedestrian and cyclist facilities throughout the project.
Why will Spring Creek Drive become a Complete Street when the traffic volumes and speeds are low?
Spring Creek Drive represents an opportunity to better accommodate walking and bicycling. With a large and growing population served by this connection to the Town Centre, thousands of cars can be expected to use this road during peak summer days in the near future. Our goal with this project is to ensure that during peak times most people are enticed to walk and bicycle.
This approach of separation follows our strategy to address traffic congestion and parking in the town core. This reduces the number of vehicle trips from existing traffic conditions and reduces future traffic impacts as we grow. Spring Creek Drive connects a number of neighbourhoods with key destinations; for example, it connects South Canmore to grocery stores in the Gateway District, and Cougar Creek and Kananaskis Way to the Town Centre. Making Spring Creek Drive a Complete Street will help avoid new vehicle traffic; while making it a safe, quiet, and comfortable space for people to travel and be active.
The Town is trying to encourage walking and bicycling but winter maintenance is an issue. Will the snow be cleared on the sidewalks and bicycle paths?
Yes, the snow will be cleared and maintained by the municipality along Spring Creek Drive. All road designs require space for snow to be cleared into. The design of Spring Creek Drive accommodates this by allowing for, snow to be stored between the bicycle path and the road. When heavy snowfall occurs, the bike path and sidewalk will become a multi-use space, and remaining space will be used for snow storage. Once snow melts in the spring, the spaces will be used separately.