Table of Contents
Managing transportation is a challenge for communities everywhere. Vehicle transportation is a critical component of any transportation system, in most towns and cities there is little space to increase vehicle capacity without taking away homes, businesses and parks. In Canmore we are particularly constrained with rail lines, rivers, creeks and the Trans Canada Highway. Providing attractive sustainable transportation facilities will provide people choice and allow driving to continue to be an efficient option.
The pdf 2014 Integrated Transportation Plan (ITP) (15.09 MB) is a policy document that establishes the guidelines for Canmore’s transportation network, and was developed with input from citizens. The purpose of the ITP is to outline a long-term plan for Canmore’s transportation network as the town grows.
On peak summer days, congestion is an ongoing concern. Our population and visitation are anticipated to continue to grow for the forseeable future. Without changes to the function of our roads and the way people travel, congestion will significantly worsen in the future.
Managing parking in the Town Centre is a priority for citizens and Council. The 2016/2017 Canmore Town Centre Parking Study found that current parking management practices in Canmore are inefficient, resulting in a lack of available parking during peak times, excessive cost to meet parking supply requirements and increased automobile traffic. For more information on parking click here
The economic, environmental and social costs of vehicle infrastructure are high. An estimated 85% of open space in the Town Centre is dedicated to vehicles (travel lanes, parking, laneways, signals, signage), consuming valuable public space that could be used for people and requiring ongoing, expensive maintenance. Congestion creates additional emmissions that negatively impact air quality, creates noise that makes public spaces uncomfortable and results in people having less time doing the things that are important to them. The costs for driving are typically a households third highest expenditure.
Historically, transportation planning has used vehicle delay as the primary metric for success. But we now know that some of the costs of focusing solely on vehicles and vehicle delay are detracting from the things our community values, like nature, open space, vibrant public spaces, affordability, sustainability, and more.
The 2014 ITP was developed with the intent that the outcomes from the plan would be consistent with our community values. It sets ambitious goals for managing the anticipated population growth, including a multi-modal transportation network and street classifications for a variety of functions. The 2014 plan is an excellent guiding document, and as projects have been completed, it was determined updates to the plan were required to better inform how we build and manage our roads to meet our community goals. This update simplifies the street classification system, provides design guidelines for each street classification, clarifies the multi-modal targets for the next 10 – 15 years, and includes an implementation plan for short- and long-term improvements to achieve the targets and overall vision for the network.
What Does This Mean For Our Streets
The plan outlines five key strategies for addressing the parking and congestion issues we see in the Town Centre today, and worsening in the future: encourage alternative transport, develop an all ages all abilities bicycle network, activate Main Street and the Town Centre by improving the flow of traffic, identifying and implementing parking management strategies and continuing to invest in transit. By implementing the strategies outlined in the 2018 ITP Update, we can maintain efficient traffic operations as Canmore grows, and potentially even reduce vehicular congestion levels to less than they are today.
A Plan For Getting There
As part of the 2018 ITP Update, we gave considerable thought to the timing and sequencing of any changes to the network. We recognize that if we want to create a thriving, vibrant, inviting Town Centre we need to provide the right conditions. The ITP Update details improvements to traffic flow to move traffic around the Town Centre. We’ve developed a pro-active implementation plan to guide our investment over the next several years that addresses vehicle needs while continuing to encourage transportation options.
It will take a number of years for our transportation network to evolve and there will be many projects along the way that we will need the public’s help with. We will be looking for your input as we design and implement transportation projects. Designs are better and more effective when they reflect knowledge and input from stakeholders.
Upcoming Engagement Opportunities:
- Thursday, April 19 - Transportation Planning Presentation & Open House - 7 p.m. presentation followed by open house at the Canmore Civic Centre
Upcoming projects include:
- Planning short-term town centre intersection/corridor adjustments - engagement starting summer 2018
- Railway Avenue Design – engagement starting summer 2018
- Palliser Trail Concept Design - engagement starting summer 2018
- Benchlands Trail Traffic Calming Pilot - spring 2018
- Integrated Parking Management Plan - engagement spring 2018