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 - Spring Creek Drive
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.
The data below shows that when you build the infrastructure people will use it.
Baseline Counts and Q 1/2 2019 Data
Peak Travel Days April to June Data
Railway Avenue - Projected Experience
The following graphic illustrates the current experience for vehicles, transit, cyclists and pedestrians on Railway Avenue. It also shows the projected future experience if we do nothing and if we implement the proposed design. The projections show that the overall user experience with the proposed design would improve compared to doing nothing. Yes it is true that travel times for vehicles will increase slightly, however this is also the case if nothing is done. Offering choice gives people the option to choose other modes (some of the time) which frees up more space on the road for those that need or want to drive for all of their trips.
Projected Vehicle Travel Time Increases
Yes, vehicular travel times will increase slightly based on 2030 projections with the proposed design, however they would also increase if nothing is done. The graphics below illustrate projected travel time increases for vehicles for certain trips based on 2030 projections.
Trip originating near A&W on Bow Valley Trail and destined for the Fire Hall
Trip originating on Benchlands Trail and destined for the Fire Hall
Trip originating near Dead Man's Flats and destined for the Fire Hall