Background - Transportation in Canmore
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 Integrated Transportation Plan (12.16 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.
Future Transportation Issues – Congestion, Parking and Costs
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.
Taking Action That Aligns With Canmore's Values
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.