Banff’s town-wide speed limit will be reduced to 30km/h
Council voted to reduce speed limits to 30km/h on all roads in the town that covers an area less than 4 square kilometres. Many residential streets in town are 40km/h while school zones and main roads such as Banff Avenue and Norquay Road are already 30km/h. The move aims to create safer roads for people to get around by cycling, skateboarding and walking. Many studies show injury or risk of death to pedestrians hit by a vehicle travelling 30 km/h is significantly reduced even compared to 40 km/h. With 30,000 pedestrians per day in the downtown core in peak season, the move is expected to maintain safety for visitors as well as residents.
There is ample evidence that reducing speed limits stimulates an increase in more people travelling by active modes of transportation. Promoting active modes of travel that maintain good air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce traffic congestion and nurture healthy lifestyles are priorities for the Town of Banff. Banff already has 17% of residents commuting by bicycle and 45% by walking (62% by active modes in summer) which is unparalleled in Alberta.
The previous regulations banned skateboarders from commuting on certain roads. With the slower speed limit, skateboarders, cyclists, roller skaters and push-scooter users are allowed to use any road to get around. They continue to be banned from using sidewalks, unless 12 years old or younger.
The new speed limits are scheduled to come into effect in late February.
Town will stop mailing postcards for development notifications
Council voted to stop mailing cards to notify residents of developments in their neighbourhood and will instead focus on tools such as signs, web postings and emails.
Following a public hearing on the topic where no public input was received, council gave second and third reading to Land Use Bylaw Amending Bylaw 460. Sending out postcards goes beyond what’s required by the Municipal Government Act, and beyond the typical notification practices of Canadian municipalities. The postcards were used over the past couple years to direct people to an online tool with detailed information about development applications. A survey of users of the online tool showed preference for other methods of notification. The elimination of postcard notification reduces costs for the process.
Residents can sign up for email notifications at https://permits.banff.ca/ and customize the area of interest, either near a home or a business.