When you think of the future of Banff, what do you see? Imagine our community in 2025 or 2040. Is it the same Banff as today? Or have we made changes for the better to improve our quality of life? Hopefully, your vision doesn’t include bumper-to-bumper cars on Banff’s streets, causing major gridlock and traffic backups.
The future holds better options for transportation in our community: easy, convenient ways for residents and visitors to get around, while not negatively impacting the environment. If we want these options for the future, we need to start working on them now.
The Town of Banff's Long-Term Transportation Study is a key strategy that can transform Banff’s future. We are in Phase 2 – implementation of preferred ways to get around, as recommended by you in Phase 1 – and continued investigation of innovative technology that will replace our dependence on private vehicles.
The Transportation Master Plan and Long-Term Transportation Study influence strategic planning and council decisions. Since adoption, data collection has been greatly enhanced, new infrastructure has been created, and there has been greater communication with stakeholders and the public.
Both documents – and the public they generated – will be used when developing a new strategic plan. That plan, covering 2019-2022, will be adopted in 2018.
Of the 4 million visitors to Banff each year, 93% of them arrive in a personal vehicle. They want to explore the town, visit attractions, and experience the national park environment, including clean air. They don’t want to be stuck in a traffic.
Residents’ transportation needs are different. They want to get to their workplace in a timely manner, complete necessary errands, and ensure their family is transported to school, daycare or appointments safely and efficiently. They don’t want to be stuck in a traffic jam.
Banff’s road system is at capacity when the daily vehicle count exceeds 24,000 (entering and exiting). In 2017, this occurred 97% of the summer. Vehicle volume increased 4% in 2017 over 2016, and has increased 21% since 2014.
While the Town has implemented a range of tactics to mitigate traffic and parking challenges in Banff during the summer, and minimize the travel delays, they are not long-term solutions. Without new interventions, congestion delays are expected to increase in both severity and frequency.
A limited land base and Banff’s commitment to being an environmental role model means we cannot build our way out of traffic congestion and lack of parking. The community must embrace creative solutions to reducing vehicle volumes, particularly at peak travel times.
The Long-Term Transportation study was made public in July of 2016, and between September 8 and October 10, 2016, we conducted a survey on all the ideas presented: intercept parking, conventional transit, aerial transit, and expanded road capacity. We received 448 submissions, including many thoughtful comments about the future of transportation in Banff, and where we should be headed as a community.
Overall, respondents agreed traffic congestion was an issue, and that the future of transportation in Banff should move people, not cars.
The following pages show a breakdown the results for each question we asked. These survey results, and all comments, have been presented to town council and will be used for decision making and strategic planning for 2018 and beyond.
Expanded Road Capacity
Read the full survey results verbatim, or other Transportation Master Plan documents.