I attended the meeting on Nov. 21 for “What’s next for Banff Avenue Pedestrian Zone” at the Banff Park Lodge. It was hosted by the Town of Banff along with some professional facilitators.
There was no context or it was very limited to remind everyone that our town has a federally legislated boundary, and we cannot grow beyond it, or that the cap on commercial development has almost been reached, and that we are close to our target population of 10,000 residents.
The Town's position stated: “With the provincial population expected to surpass seven million in the next 30 years, we should expect to accommodate a growing visitor base.” Apparently, we must provide safe access for everyone who might wish to take a selfie shot of Cascade Mountain.
Two options for how the pedestrian zone might be developed were presented and participants were asked to discuss what the best option might be. Keep in mind that the summer season is only six months away, and it took two years to construct the Bear Street pedestrian lane.
Nor was a third option that we might try a summer without a pedestrian zone was not on the table. A chance to use Banff Avenue as it was designed to be used and an opportunity to study alternative traffic patterns. Perhaps the Town could be evacuated in a state of emergency, as this is not possible with current road configurations.