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 (12.16 MB) . As part of this project we have a small budget to make functional improvements along with the rehabilitation works. 

Pilot Project

The pilot project is complete.

Next Steps


  1. Council was provided with an update on the pilot at the Aug. 21 business meeting, you can view the minutes (once approved) and watch the webcast here.
  2. Data collection and feedback is complete. 
  3. Administration will return to Council in November with recommendations for next steps on the Benchlands Trail corridor in conjunction with the budget process.

What We Heard

We received 95 emails and 169 comments using the online feedback tool during the engagement period. The feedback was summarized into eight themes and classified as either positive or negative. Below is a chart outlining the themes and comments by classification, followed by a summary of the main points heard for each theme.

Bike Safety 

  • The edge treatments (flex bollards) on Benchlands Trail create hazardous conditions for people riding bicycles since they are required to share the driving lane with vehicles 

Pedestrian Crossings

  • The addition of new crossings at the bike skills park and Settler's Way would accomodate desire lines and encourage use of the multi-use path
  • The addition of new crossings is not necessary, there are already enough in the corridor
  • The new setback crossings on Cougar Creek Drive were confusing to drivers. There were both positive and negative comments on their impacts on traffic

Pilot Aesthetics

  • The white flex bollards and concrete traffic calming barriers create visual clutter in the corridor

Right Turn Elimination

  • The elimination of the right turn lane caused longer delays, specifically at the Summit Cafe intersection
  • The elimination of right turn lanes improved safety and convenience for drivers, allowing the vehicle at the stop line better sight lines

Large Vehicles 

  • Transit operators experienced challenges with stops at both Cougar Creek Drive intersections 
  • Challenging conditions for large vehicles to turn in and out of Cougar Creek Drive

Vehicle Speeds 

  • Comments on both sides: some indicating a reduction in speeds and other that there were no effect on speeds
  • Increased photo radar presence and enforcement was suggested to improve compliance

Traffic Queuing

  • The elimination of the right turn lane increased queue lengths and delay at peak times
  • The change from a Stop to Yield sign on both Cougar Creek Drive exits improved vehicle flow. While others suggested that it created a hazardous situation

Snow Clearing

  • Snow accumulation in the winter would effectively decrease the lane widths, creating narrower lane widths in winter 
  • The presence of the traffic calming measures would make snow clearing difficult  

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)