Town of Canmore

Encouraging Alternative Transportation

Encouraging alternative transportation is about making walking, cycling and taking transit more appealing so that the ways people travel becomes more balanced. By redistributing some of the trips that might have been taken by car to another mode, we can continue to maintain capacity in the roads for people who want or need to drive. 

Many people already choose to walk, bike or take transit in Canmore. By gradually improving our active transportation network over the next decade we can encourage more trips by bus, foot or bicycle and achieve the target of 40% of summer trips being non-vehicular. Many people will continue to make all of their trips by personal vehicle, and that the vast majority of all trips will still be taken by car – especially in the winter. By enabling a greater number of people to choose to make some trips without a personal vehicle, we can manage congestion so that trips by car continue to be efficient.

 

Functional, recognizable streets

User behaviour is is influenced by the road design. When we use the desired function of a street – shopping or activity street, residential street, highway or freeway, etc. – to inform the road design, we end up with streets that are more predictable, less confusing and safer. Which means choosing to make some trips by foot or bicycle is more appealing.

There are two main traffic functions on every street: flow and exchange. Flow refers to vehicles along a street and exchange is about the flow of traffic across the street. Using these principles, we’ve developed three street classifications for Canmore: Multi-modal Arterial Street, Multi-modal Collector Street and Multi-modal Local Street.

Reducing speeds

The average weight of a car is about 4000 lbs, and the average weight of a person is around 137 lbs. Research shows that when pedestrians or cyclists are hit by cars travelling 50 km / hour, the likelihood of the pedestrian dying is almost 60%. At 60 km / hour that likelihood jumps to 85% and at 80 km / hour the fatality is nearly certain. Conversly, speeds 30 km / hour and below drop to less than a 10% likelihood of pedestrian death. 

Where people and vehicles are moving together, speeds should be lowered to reduce the severity of a collision. On roads where speeds are greater than 30 km / hour, walking and cycling spaces should be physically separated from vehicles. Reducing speeds reduces danger and encourages people to feel more comfortable choosing to make trips by foot or bicycle.