Building a parkade has been considered but is inconsistent with the findings of both the Transportation Master Plan and the Long Term Transportation Study (LTTS). Both studies assessed the capacity of the road network and recognized that road network capacity is exceeded for the peak summer months. Both studies recommend intercept parking outside downtown as a way reduce vehicle congestion by reducing unwanted trips of vehicles circulating to find parking (these trips account for approximately 20% of all vehicle trips during congested periods). A survey carried out as part of the LTTS indicated that 78% of respondents disagreed with the statement that “The future of transportation in Banff should involve building more road capacity to move more cars”; 74% of respondents to the survey agreed with the statement that “The future of transportation in Banff should be financially self-sufficient (pay for itself)”. Building a second downtown parkade would require road upgrades to access it and, the parkade operation and associated debt-financing would be costly for tax payers.
A 500 stall intercept lot opened in September 2019 and has proven to be well occupied at peak times since the implementation of the Visitor Pay Parking. Transit ridership continues to grow with further expansions to local and regional services planned for 2020 and beyond.
Moving towards a sustainable transportation future is enshrined in Council’s strategic priorities in the areas of both transportation and environment. Intercepting vehicles and improving alternatives to driving by improving trail quality and connectivity and enhancing public transit are key priorities in the Strategic Plan.