In anticipation of the Government of Alberta easing restrictions and entering stage 1 of the relaunch strategy as early as May 14, the Town of Canmore is discussing ways to keep the community safe.
With the May Long weekend approaching, it is likely that we will see an influx in visitation, even with the continued guidance to avoid non-essential travel.
We want to manage pedestrian traffic on Main Street and maintain safe pedestrian traffic flows.
Creating a pedestrian-only environment on Canmore’s Main Street is an option, and we are considering the appropriate timing of making this temporary modification. We want to support downtown businesses in their re-opening, and have heard from them that taking this step too early could create perceived barriers and be detrimental to the businesses that are choosing to open.
In addition, we would need 10-14 days to do coordinate everything required to set this up properly, including: painting lines on the road, adjusting signage at surrounding intersections to accommodate new traffic flows, changing the timing of adjacent traffic signal lights, creating signage, and setting up barricades. We could also use this opportunity to modify the traffic signal at Main Street and 6 Ave to pilot a pedestrian scramble crossing.
To be clear, it is not our intent to create a vibrant or welcoming space for people to congregate, rather it is about creating a functional space for people to safety navigate Main Street while physically distancing as they work, shop or eat.
We will keep council and the community informed as the Emergency Coordination Centre makes the decision on the pedestrian-only Main Street, in conjunction with the downtown businesses. It is possible the timing could coincide with the opening of campgrounds and once restaurants indicate that they are ready to open.