What better way to talk about some of the safe and affordable transportation initiatives that are taking place in the Bow Valley, than by bike on one of the most widely used pathways in the Bow Valley?
On June 16th some key people involved in the success of safe and comfortable street for all, including MLA Cam Westhead, Canmore Mayor John Borrowman, Canmore Community Cruisers, Canmore Business and Tourism, BOWDA, The Town of Banff and The Town of Canmore set out on two wheels on the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail. This ride, being the first of many to come, had really been in the making for many years.
Snapshots of Canmore’s Guiding Documents from 1998 to 2016 show some of the background work that has gone into making some of our recent successes possible. In the 1998 Municipal Development Plan, the Town set out to “maximize the safety, convenience, and attractiveness of walking and cycling rather than accommodating the private automobile”. Fast forward to present day, the 2016 Municipal Development Plan in its second reading identifies being “recognized as Alberta’s premier walking and cycling community” as a strategic goal for the Town with a “focus on creating a multi-modal transportation network”.
This has all led us to this point where we are now in a position to not only talk about where we are headed but some of our successes as well. Completing the 4.5km section of the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail from Banff National Park’s East Gate into the Town of Canmore in 2013 has been an incredible success. Ridership counts between the two communities have doubled from 55,862 in 2012 to 115,415 in 2015. The social, economic, transportation and tourism benefits of the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail are evident in its extraordinary popularity with local, regional, and international users.
There has also been success since with the introduction of Roam Transit Canmore-Banff Regional Service. Since its introduction, the regional service has grown from 59,000 riders in 2013 to 99,000 in 2013. In 2016 we are seeing that the frequency has doubled during peak hours and ridership is continuing to grow.
While this ride and talk was a great opportunity to showcase some of our recent successes it was also an opportunity to discuss where we are going next. Some of the exciting projects well underway in 2016 include a Local Roam Service in Canmore, Bow Valley Trail CPR Crossing Corridor Improvements, Bike Friendly Business, and Cycling Without Age.
I’m excited to see where we will be next year as we work toward making “Canmore Alberta’s premier walking and cycling community”.