LAKE LOUISE – Beginning this fall, two sets of permanent traffic lights will direct vehicles at busy intersections in Lake Louise to improve flow and safety in the tourism hotspot.
Around 4.5 million visitors travel to Banff National Park annually, with about 75-80 per cent, or 3.2 million flocking to Lake Louise.
“We’ve been seeing visitation increase over the years [in Lake Louise] and it’s definitely at a point now where we’re managing vehicle flow and congestion for safety reasons,” said Jed Cochrane, Parks Canada's visitor experience manager for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay.
“We’ve been doing that over the past few years with a team of flaggers and what we’re hoping with the lights is that we can reduce the need for traffic flaggers at two of the busiest intersections.”
The first set of traffic lights will be located at the westbound off-ramp into Lake Louise from the Trans-Canada Highway, where motorists can turn right to Lake Louise Ski Resort, left to the village or straight to return to the highway. A dedicated right hand turning lane was also added as part of the construction for traffic heading to the popular ski hill.
The second set of lights will be at the village’s entrance at the Lake Louise Drive and Village Road intersection, which is currently a four-way stop.
“Lake Louise is a busy spot and we want to continue to make sure we make steps to reduce congestion and improve the flow of traffic and that’s what we’re working on here with the lights,” Cochrane said.
Cochrane added that he believes traffic flaggers will still be necessary for exceptionally busy days at the well-loved tourism area.
Boasting a population of under 1,000, the installation of Lake Louise's first-ever set of traffic lights is in the final stages of being completed and will be operational this fall.