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LETTER: Disappointed with proposal for Banff Avenue pedestrian zone

Editor: I am writing to express my complete disagreement with establishing the Banff Avenue pedestrian zone for the next three years. It helped to alleviate the social distancing with COVID-19, but going forward out of the pandemic it only adds to

Editor:

I am writing to express my complete disagreement with establishing the Banff Avenue pedestrian zone for the next three years. It helped to alleviate the social distancing with COVID-19, but going forward out of the pandemic it only adds to the traffic congestion we experience as residents.

There is no benefit to the local residents. The pedestrian zone only benefits the business sector and inconveniences the residents. The traffic implications of this closure have an enormous impact on the residents of Beaver, Muskrat, Lynx and Buffalo streets, and every resident of the south side of the Bow River. Walking and biking are often not an option for residents due to different circumstances.

This will only get worse when tour bus traffic returns to Banff. How do you propose to accommodate tour bus traffic with the implementation of the Banff Avenue pedestrian zone?

All residents of Banff – be they seniors or newcomers – are the fabric and foundation of our town. The pedestrian zone does nothing to benefit us, only the business sector. The only ones who benefit from the pedestrian zone are the businesses within the zone. The residents and businesses not in the zone see no benefit, only inconvenience.

The voices of concerned residents and some of the business community are not being heard by the mayor and council on this issue. It was the residents who elected you to represent our views, but you seem to be only considering the views of select businesses within the pedestrian zone, and Banff and Lake Louise Tourism.

It is time that the mayor and council consider the implications of their decisions on the residents of Banff. The Banff Avenue pedestrian zone does nothing for residents. It only creates traffic congestion that affects all of us in many different ways. The Banff Avenue pedestrian zone and its traffic implications do nothing to enhance the lives and health of the residents.

Guy Ferrari,

Banff