Town of Canmore

Benchlands Trail Rehabilitation

Benchlands Trail will be re-paved to prolong the life of the road and provide a better travelling surface. Rehabilitation projects present an opportunity to make functional improvements in a cost effective manner and in ways that align with the goals of the  pdf Integrated Transportation Plan (15.09 MB) . As part of this project we have a small budget to make functional improvements along with the rehabilitation works. 

Council has approved a temporary pilot project to trial the improvements before committing to permanent installations. These trial measures have been identified to address concerns raised by the community through a public consultation process held in 2017 and 2018. Recognizing that the behaviour of users is influenced by the form and shape of the road, the pilot has been designed to create an intuitive street design that encourages drivers to travel at or below the speed limit, and creates a more comfortable environment for pedestrians.  

Pilot Project Goals

  1. To slow vehicle speeds on Benchlands Trail 
  2. Improve safety for people walking and riding bicycles
  3. To provide for easier left turning movements onto Benchlands Trail due to slower and more consistent vehicle speeds
  4. To assess the impact of the pilot project measures 

Get Involved

We will be looking for feedback during the pilot project. The following opportunities to provide feedback will be available:

    1. Online mapping tool - available below until July 3
    2. Targeted Social Media Questions - targeted questions posted on Town of Canmore Facebook page - July & August

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Use White Bollards?
These temporary devices are industry standard tools used to deploy traffic calming measures in a cost effective and rapid manner. They are intended to improve safety by encouraging drivers to focus on the road and to reduce vehicle speeds by creating an apparent constriction in the road. The bollards that are in place will be removed in the fall. The white bollards and yellow concrete barriers are temporary measures only and would be replaced with regular curbs and minimal signage in the final design. 
What About Snow Clearing?
The white bollards and yellow concrete barriers are temporary measures only and will be removed in the fall.
How are Cyclists Being Considered?
The permanent design would encourage cyclists to use off street facilities, either the multi-use pathway or the sidewalk (uphill traffic only). The simulated crossing in place at the bike skills park would be a location for cyclists to cross and use the multi use pathway.
Confident cyclists travelling downhill on Benchlands Trail should take the lane and travel at the speed of traffic, otherwise they are encouraged to use the multi-use pathway.
Why Eliminate Right Hand Turn Lanes?
These have been eliminated in the pilot for the following reasons:
1. To create a safer pedestrian environment by reducing crossing distance and reducing the number of vehicle conflict points
2. Sight lines for right turning vehicles are obstructed by vehicles waiting to turn left, making it difficult to see oncoming traffic
3. The volume of vehicles turning left was measured prior to the installation of the pilot, and greatly outnumbers those turning right.
Were Large Vehicles Considered in the Design?
Yes. The intersection geometry was designed using industry standard software and was tested on-site using Canadian Rockies Public School Board’s largest school bus prior to implementation.  
Why Move the Cougar Creek Crossings Further Back?
Moving the crossings further away from Benchlands Trail means that vehicles can yield to pedestrians prior to negotiating a left or right turn onto Benchlands Trail. It also means that traffic exiting Benchlands Trail has space to stop for pedestrians, out of the flow of up or downhill traffic.  
What do the White Triangular Paint Marks at the Intersections Mean?
The white triangular marks at each of the Cougar Creek Drive intersections signify the yield line for vehicles exiting Cougar Creek Drive. Vehicles should yield first to the crosswalk and when safe they can move up to the triangular line for better sight lines while waiting to enter Benchlands Trail. See the photos below for a visual representation.

Pilot Project Design 

Upper Cougar Creek Intersection pdf Pilot East Cougar Creek (362 KB)

Lower Cougar Creek Intersection pdf Pilot West Cougar Creek (395 KB)

Benchlands Terrace Intersection pdf Pilot Benchlands Terrace (304 KB)

Assessing the Pilot Project

The following criteria will be used to assess the pilot project and be used to provide a recommendation to council in the fall on next steps:

  1. Data gathered prior to implementation of the pilot on vehicle speeds on Benchlands Trail and vehicle queue lengths and dealy times at both Cougar Creek Drive intersections
  2. Data collected while the pilot is in place to measure it's impacts on vehicular traffic
  3. Feedback received from the public during the pilot


If you have any questions or want to provide feedback on the pilot project contact:

Brian Kinzie
Project Engineer
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