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Why not add a fourth lane to the Bow River Bridge?
The concept of an additional lane on the bridge was modeled as a part of the Transportation Master Plan. Unfortunately, the model showed it would have limited effect. While two northbound lanes may provide additional queuing storage, the limited capacity of Banff Ave/Buffalo St intersection will continue to cause backups. And we can’t tear down the buildings on the corner to build capacity.


The addition of a fourth lane would require the sidewalks on the bridge to be narrowed on both sides from by one metre. This will negatively impact pedestrians and is contrary to council’s strategic priority of promoting sustainable modes of transportation. As well, a crash barrier between the sidewalk and driving lanes would likely be required with four driving lanes on the bridge leading to a further reduction in sidewalk width on a designated heritage structure.


A structural review is needed to assess the impacts of an additional load. In the long term, traffic volumes are likely to increase beyond the capacity that fourth lane could provide.


Council considered a trial lane reversal in November 2014 to assess the efficiency of two northbound lanes. The trial was not approved because Council felt the limits of the Buffalo/Banff Avenue intersection would make the trial ineffective.

Traffic Management FAQ

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1. Why not add a fourth lane to the Bow River Bridge?
2. Why not use flaggers to manage traffic on very busy days?
3. Why not build a giant intercept parking lot?
4. Why don’t you remove the mid-block crosswalks on Banff Avenue to eliminate traffic flow interruptions?
5. Why doesn’t the Town build a new parkade?
6. On busy summer days, I occasionally see people at the mid-block crosswalks on Banff Avenue controlling when people cross the road. Who are they?
7. Why don’t you limit the number of cars that cross the Bow River Bridge, similar to the concept of restricting vehicles on the Moraine Lake Road?
8. Why have scramble crosswalk intersections? Don’t they slow traffic movement?
9. How come the pedestrian crossing time at the scramble intersection is 25 seconds long?
10. Large delivery trucks block and/or slow traffic when backing into the alleys. Why doesn't the Town do something about that?
11. Is the Town going to install traffic signals at Buffalo St/ Bear St intersection?
12. Why does the Town report both incoming and outgoing vehicle volumes for entrance traffic counters? Isn't just incoming vehicles that are the problem?
13. Why does Bow Avenue have only one lane of traffic? How come that one-way traffic flow changed direction in 2015?