Against train station parking

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Editor: In anticipation of community feedback and resistance, Liricon Capital Ltd. have presented a down home two-page advertisement feature in both Rocky Mountain Outlook and the Crag and Canyon.

I believe many residents have been confused by the advertisement, not knowing it was an advertising feature paid for by the Liricon Developers.

It is easy to confuse facts. The homey, professionally composed article elicits dialogue that ambles us lazily through a depiction of the developers’ utopian big dream. I believe it is written and conceived to let the reader ignore the real reality that this green corridor space will no longer be available for the very use that the Liricon developers had the very real opportunity to enjoy on their morning walk.

A morning walk like most Banff locals and residents residing on or by nearby streets surrounding this projected development have had their daily walks, enjoyed the solitude away from crowed downtown streets, enjoyed the green buffer zone with their homes shielded from the many trains passing by.

Through presentations and excerpts gleaned in news articles, Liricon has quoted future projects in the plans, such as old historic buildings restored and the new commercial district billed as a secondary commercial hub, an alternative to Banff Ave., passenger train service, mass transportation hub and Gondola service to Norquay.

By the time this letter hits the paper. Liricon’s development plans will be public and made available to residents online and at the Town office.

The parking intercept lot is presented firstly to the Town as a vision of solving all our parking headaches. A “gift” as one excited resident coined the project.

But this development plan will just present the unpaved parking lot and the two secondary accesses to the lots, both of which will access through residential neighbourhoods.

There is no offer to disclose how the development will progress further, or how future phases of this development will impact offsite roadway improvement costs to the taxpayers of Banff.

I believe the increase in traffic on residential streets not designated as commercial traffic routes will increase exponentially, as described in the WSP study initiated by the Town, which can be viewed on the Town website.

The residential streets backing on to the intercept lot will expose residents to lack of privacy and increased noise dust, lighting and other intrusions, greatly impacting residential quality of life.

Where is the Town of Banff Environmental Stewardship Policy? According to the Banff Community Profile, the natural environment is both Banff’s central attraction and chief reason for its existence.”

The WSP traffic study also predicts the current and future increase of traffic; bus and cars train schedules, and the existing lack of road infrastructure being an identified current issue on our existing busy days. It makes the statement that road infrastructure will shortly be inadequate for this intercept lot to function with increased traffic flows of the very near future.

Are we residents, entering the community on busy days, not to be able to access our own community?

The Town has projected and set aside funds to shore up infrastructure to accommodate this development; we have yet to see the Liricon developer’s share or offer of those costs. They want cars to park there so visitors come to their development.

The implications of this project do not just touch the hearts, the natural enjoyment of green corridors, and peace of the surrounding neighbourhood, but affects all residents of Banff, with the resulting lack of green space, another large commercial development with its own traffic problems, and increased taxes to all Banff residents.

Some residents feel that the Town has already made up their minds on this issue and they feel defeated, and the Town is not listening to their concerns, which is not a good comment on the performance of our council.

Please attend the Municipal Planning Committee on March 5 at 9 a.m., or voice your concerns in a letter to the MPC before March 2. Email me at Fmilburn@shaw.ca for studies or documents if you are not able to access off the Town website.

Francine Milburn,

Canmore

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Rocky Mountain Outlook