Survey shows support for Banff Pedestrian Zone
Visitors overwhelmingly supported the Banff Pedestrian Zone this summer, while most residents also supported it, but had some concerns. This feedback was the result of public opinion research on the Pedestrian Zone conducted this August in collaboration of Liricon Capital, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and the Town of Banff.
Council received a briefing on the results, which showed 92% of visitor respondents reported it enhanced Banff’s image. Eighty-four percent reported it made them feel safer and less crowded during the COVID pandemic. A total of 97% of visitors would like to see the Pedestrian Zone return as permanent summer feature while 94% would like to see it open for festivals and 55% would like to see it as a year-round feature.
Residents supported the Pedestrian Zone but there were concerns, such as reducing tents and clearing walkable spaces. Residents also wanted to see the zone be more inclusive to other businesses. There were also concerns about parking and traffic.
Paid downtown parking was expressly supported by 36% of visitors if it means they can find more reliable parking. Fifty percent of Banff residents who responded to the survey said they support visitor pay parking and 68% of Banff residents said they support some form of parking passes to prevent visitors from parking on residential streets.
The survey was formed with results from 500 visitors, 176 businesses and 349 Banff residents. The full survey results are available at http://Banff.ca/BanffAve.
There are currently three active cases of COVID-19 in the Banff/ID9 region, and significant increases in active cases in Alberta and Canada. Council received their regular COVID-19 briefing from director of emergency management Silvio Adamo, who urged all Banffites to follow recommended health protocols and remain vigilant as the virus is still out there.
Local COVID testing is available at the Bear Street Physicians clinic and Alpine Medical offices. Asymptomatic testing is also available by appointment at IDA Drug Mart.
Large social gatherings remain a high risk for virus transmission and Banff residents and visitors are urged to follow recommendations from Alberta Health Services: Stay home if you’re feeling sick, maintain physical distancing, wash your hand frequently and avoid larger indoor gatherings.
Residents can pick up a supply of disposable masks, 16 per bag, for free from Town Hall during regular business hours.
Architect Selected for Banff Avenue Housing
Council approved issuing a letter of intent to finalize drawings to Studio North & Lola Architecture for the 33 unit affordable, for-purchase housing development at 338-342 Banff Avenue. Administration will return to a future meeting of council with a borrowing bylaw for construction.
There were 13 expressions of interest from design/build teams across Alberta for the three parcels of land on Banff Avenue owned by the Banff Housing Corporation.
The selected design has a total of 33 units, with a mix of one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom units. One bedrooms will be 550 sq-ft, one bedrooms with a loft will be 715 sq-ft. Two bedrooms will be 840 sq-ft, with a loft the two bedroom will be 1,000-1,020 sq-ft and three bedrooms will be between 915-1,220 sq-ft. Two of the 33 units will be barrier free, representing six percent of total units.
All units will have private balconies and a total of 48 parking stalls have been included in the submitted design, along with 66 indoor secured bike stalls.
According to the Town of Banff’s Municipal Sustainable Building policy, the building will achieve a minimum certification level of Silver under LEED.
The total project cost for the construction of this proposed design is estimated at $13,277,000. Units will be sold below market values, based only on total construction cost. Estimated unit sale prices range from $450,000 to $695,000.
Details and survey results can be found at https://banff.ca/1089/Banff-Avenue-Affordable-Housing-Developm