Bear Street businesses and residents will be asked for input on communications and marketing to promote the street during redevelopment. The 200 block of Bear Street is scheduled to undergo renewal in 2020 to replace ageing underground utilities, and transform the road into a shared street that’s more inviting to pedestrians. The Bear Street Shared Street project will add public seating, patio space, trees and landscaping, more parking for people with mobility challenges, and an integrated sidewalk/road design. Over four summers, the Town piloted designs with temporary seating, café patios and landscaping, to prepare for a permanent concept. The renewal will create a better visitor experience to the street consisting of shopping, dining and services. Evidence from other municipalities suggests a more walkable street will provide economic benefits to the Bear Street businesses. The reconstruction in 2020 will rebuild the sidewalks and road surface at the same time as renewal of drainage, sewer and water main systems, to avoid reconstruction of the same street in different years.
The Bear Street renewal will extend the Banff Refreshing design standards developed for the Banff Avenue reconstruction in 2007. The Town is proposing a communications on par with Banff Refreshing marketing used to maintain business and visitation. The proposed communications includes pre-construction strategies, marketing during construction, and a wrap-up activity. Town staff will be meeting with businesses and residents to develop the plan, and will request funding from council during budget deliberations. Bear Street business owners and residents interested in participating and sharing their input on construction communications are asked to submit contact information at banff.ca/BearStreet.