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Bear Street Woonerff
WoonerfWelcome to the Bear Street Woonerff 
We’re turning the 200 block of Bear Street into a Woonerff.

Wait, what’s a Woonerff?
It’s a Dutch word used to describe a shared street. On this stretch of road in Banff, pedestrians, cars and cyclists all share the road. Cars drive at a very slow speed, pedestrians have the right-of-way and cyclists travel through at a leisurely pace.

That sounds crazy.
Sure does, but it’s not an unheard of idea. It’s done throughout Europe and is gaining popularity in North America. Banff is a very walkable community, so it was a natural step for us.

Why do this crazy thing?
We’re trying it out as a way to make Banff more pedestrian friendly. The Woonerff could become a permanent, year-round feature at the end of this trial.

How do you pronounce Woonerff?
Any way you like. Technically it’s VONE-erf, but however you say it, we’ll know what you’re talking about.

I’m Dutch and I know for a fact Woonerff is spelled with only one F.
You’re right, you caught us. But in Banff, we have a thing for words with two fs in them.

More Information
Turning Bear Street into a living street was one of the recommendations in the Transportation Master Plan. The Town has been testing the design and impact of the Woonerff to assist with long-term decision making. 

Bear Street is not considered a main arterial road in the downtown core and receives a fraction of the vehicle and pedestrian traffic of nearby Banff Avenue or Lynx Street. Living streets, or shared roads, are designed to foster more sustainable, active modes of transportation, and enhance the vibrancy of downtown spaces.

Next Steps
This year is the fourth and final year of the Bear Street Woonerff trial. The detail design for the Woonerff is funded for 2018 with construction in 2019. The project scope includes a new roadway surface as well as full reconstruction of the deep services (water, sewer and storm). As a next step in the design & construction process, the Town will issue a Request for
Proposals (RFP) to design groups, asking for schematic designs to meet a set of performance requirements that will be specified in the document.