Encouraging alternative transportation is about making walking, cycling, and taking transit more appealing to balance the ways people travel. 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, especially in the winter. By providing options, more people will choose to make some trips without a personal vehicle, helping to manage congestion; trips by car can continue to be efficient.
Functional and Recognizable Streets
User behaviour 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
- Multi-modal Local Street
The average weight of a car is ~4,000 lbs, and the average weight of a person is ~137 lbs. Research shows that when pedestrians or cyclists are hit by cars travelling 50 km/h, the likelihood of the pedestrian dying is almost 60%. At 60 km/h, that likelihood jumps to 85% and at 80 km/h, the fatality is nearly certain. Conversely, speeds 30 km/h 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/h, 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.