CPR Pedestrian Crossing

CP crossingThe Town of Banff will work with Parks Canada and CP Rail to explore improvements to the route outside the town – a pedestrian/cyclist path down Banff Avenue and along Compound Road to connect the town with the Industrial District. Council also wants a report on costs and the feasibility of increasing year-round Roam Public Transit service to the Industrial District starting in 2024. 

This direction came after council met with representatives of CP Rail to review the crossing many people use illegally to walk or cycle from the residential area to the Industrial District as part of their commute. The only legal crossing is over the tracks at Compound Road, but many people cross Whiskey Creek over an old wooden bridge to connect the townsite because the legal route adds significant time and does not have maintained and separated trails the whole route.

At the illegal crossing, the rail tracks are on CP Rail land, surrounded by Parks Canada land. A trail counter recorded approx. 130 people each day using the path, but that number could be more as there are multiple places to cross in that area.

CP rail determines what crossings are allowed over or under their tracks. They told council they do not support a level crossing as there are too many safety issues. The Town previously estimated the cost to build an overpass for pedestrians at $12.5 million. An underpass is not likely to be possible due to the environmentally sensitive area.

Council voted to look at other ways to improve access to the Industrial Compound, including improvements and increased bus service. Reports will be presented during the 2024 service review process.