The first few recommendations from the updated Banff Transportation Masterplan are being put into action over the next few weeks.
Council adopted the masterplan, and authorized the immediate implementation of several of the 30 recommended actions, phasing in the others over the next year.
The first, and most noticeable change for residents, is the elimination of on-street parking in front of the Canada Post building on Buffalo Street to create a right-turn lane. Monitoring showed that congestion at the Bear Street/Buffalo Street intersection caused tie ups on Banff Avenue, the bridge, Mountain Avenue as well as Lynx and Bear Street. Turn lanes are expected to ease congestion. Council asked for a summer trial of the change.
The changeover will begin June 24, with no stopping and no parking on Buffalo Street in front of Canada Post or in front of 101 Bear Street (the library and senior's centre), effective daily through September 15 and then on weekends and statutory holidays year-round.
Eight new stalls will be created in Central Park parking lot, opposite Canada Post. Four handicapped only stalls and a senior's bus stopping zone will be created on Bear Street by the Whyte Museum, and two handicapped only stalls will be created on Buffalo Street past the corner of Bear Street.
Banff Avenue heading north off the bridge will be repainted to direct through traffic into the right hand lane, and the town's entire signal light system will be optimized.
Stalls will be added in front of Banff High School, and the high school parking lot (accessed from Beaver Street) is open to public both during the summer only. Railway Avenue is designated for RV parking only.
Parking on the west side of 100 block of Beaver Street will be eliminated to accommodate angle parking on the east side. More cars can fit into angle parking, but it will not be suitable for wide trucks or motorhomes. Angle parking is also slated for the 100 block of Bow Avenue, after resurfacing is completed.
Other recommendations being undertaken this year include improving the visibility of parking signs on the Town's wayfinding system, and of the Roam public transit stops, connecting the Banff Avenue terminus of the Legacy Trail to Marmot Street to enhance safety, designating a cycle route through town toward the pedestrian bridge, and investigating options around the possibility of pay parking.
Earlier this year, the Town launched banffparking.ca, a website designed for mobile devices, to help visitors find parking locations easily. The site provides real-time availability at the Bear Street parkade.
Scramble crosswalks and a woonerf-style street for Bear Street will be trialed in 2014.