Skip to content

LETTER: Not supportive of Banff pedestrian zone

LETTER: I encourage all voters and taxpayers to watch for the referendum in August.


My heartfelt thanks to the more than 1,000 responsible, caring Town of Banff voters, obviously impacted by the pedestrian zone, who signed the recent petition. Clearly, the taxpayer community has spoken. Town council voted to not listen, and again barricade the street, then hold a referendum, in case the petition signers are all stupid.

Council is driven by high-level Town management, catering to a few businesses in the Banff Lake Louise tourism bureau, their mandate to increase unnecessary visitor count, and by some environmentally conscious individuals.

Apparently idling vehicles, on Lynx Street to the Trans-Canada Highway, on Beaver and Muskrat streets and two roads south of the Bow River bridge, is a great idea. These totally negate any effects of Banff’s so-called idling bylaw.

Council chooses to thumb their noses at our Cascade House seniors, and residents on Beaver and Muskrat streets, who can’t sit outside, or open windows, due to noise and fumes, and at hapless visitors trapped in their vehicles.

Mass evacuation strategies leave me skeptical, especially when impacted by infrastructure repairs, a recent occurrence at the bridge. 

Other safety concerns are access/egress of emergency vehicles. Responding rescuers endorse the golden hour, a target time from occurrence of a crash or health emergency, to arrival at the hospital. Fire doubles every 30 seconds. Every second counts for response and return times. Has council even considered liability implications?

Flowers to Max Wilkie for astute commentary, in the May 30 and June 6 editions of the Outlook. Max, born and raised in Banff, likely has no axe to grind, excepting social consciousness.

Fish heads to Simon Moffatt, sales and marketing director at Mount Norquay Ski Resort, for a self-centred letter in the June 6 Outlook, who is clearly biased toward the Banff and Lake Louise tourism bureau mandate. Please do not pretend this business stance is an environmental concern.

Mayor and council, please stop the nose-thumbing and think about safety, possible liabilities, and concern for those exposed to unsafe response times, congestion, noise and exhaust fumes. An apparent quote from our mayor was two-thirds of Banff businesses approve of the road closure. I would like to see that data.

I encourage all voters and taxpayers to watch for the referendum in August. Please try to be active in the referendum process, to help put this short-sighted road closure policy to rest.

Jim Abelseth,


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks