The pdf 2018 Integrated Transportation Plan (12.16 MB) has a focus on safely and efficiently moving people, by car, bus, on foot and bicycle. Building roads that provide a range of travel options is the most efficient way to move people. In order to prepare for the future our network must include options that make more efficient use of our limited road space.
Building Infrastructure to Move People
Why 4 lane roads? When cities were undergoing expansion in the mid to late 1900s, four lane roads were standard and little consideration was given for those travelling by foot and bicycle. As a result, rates of walking and bicycling declined precipitously. Towards the turn of the century, as community builders started looking to add bicycle facilities, sidewalks, and to improve road safety, they began converting four lane roads to three lane roads. There are many studies and examples that show car capacity can be maintained, while creating safer, higher capacity streets.
By enabling choice we increase our capacity for moving people - as in this illustrative example. Below is a typical road diet envisioned for future transformation of Canmore's arterial roadways.
And rather than a 'war on cars', these streets can move the equivalent number of cars, while significantly increasing the number of people accomodated. This is accomplished by encouraging more people to use transit and carpool, and by encouraging some people to make some of their trips by foot and bicycle. The expectation of course is that most people will continue to need to and want to drive for the majority of trips.
A Canmore Example
We hear many reasons why some believe complete street approaches will not work in Canmore such as the weather, distances and hilly slopes that we have. However, these conditions have been successfully overcome many towns and cities around the world, including Calgary, where steps were taken to make streets more complete. Our first complete street project in Canmore, on Spring Creek Drive to Main Street, was completed in 2018. Travel counts on Spring Creek Drive show that these approaches work here too – much faster and more effectively than even optimistic projections. For the first three months of 2019, summer targets for 2025 were reached.
And the trend has been increasing, with walking and cycling representing about a third of trips taken. And on a warm Saturday in March the 50% trip share goal for community buildout was reached.