Editor:I don't understand how Parks Canada ever have allowed the Town of Banff to develop Banff's industrial area where it is currently located.
For a pedestrian, to legally travel from the Banff Industrial Area into the town, it requires a person to make a more than 2-kilometre detour via Compound Road. It's a detour that requires the pedestrian to walk much of the way on the road pavement itself. This is especially true when the walking route is covered by snow for months of each year.
It is no surprise to me in a non-COVID-19 year in excess of 350 pedestrians cross the tracks illegally each weekday. Based on the normal distribution of movements, that equates to around 150 pedestrians in the morning peak period.
Even if a high barbed wire-topped fence were constructed along the CP Rail corridor – very unlikely given the importance to Parks Canada that the wildlife corridor not be obstructed – I'd have little to no hesitation in cutting a hole in the fence to save myself the long walk on the road itself. Remember the road has no shoulders and is obstructed by snow for a significant portion of each year.
It is obvious where the pedestrian desire line is and it is not along Compound Road.In my view, the responsibility for funding the grade-separated crossing required by CP Rail lies almost entirely with Parks Canada. It was the body that, at a minimum, agreed that the Town of Banff could develop its industrial area where it is currently located.
When built, grade separation of the CP rail line needs to be designed at a grade and width suitable for use by wheelchair-bound pedestrians, cyclists and, if you agree with Coun. Chip Olver, incorporate a viewing platform for pedestrians.
From memory, wheelchairs require a grade less than one-in-40, which is also suitable for cyclists. In terms of the width required, I suggest because the structure will incorporate a 200-metre long bridge, the width needs to be very significantly wider than that adopted for the relatively short bridges on the Legacy Trail. Perhaps wider than four metres.
Of course, for the bridge to be attractive to users all year, Banff council will need to prioritize snow clearing on the bridge and its approaches at a level above that accorded to other routes in Banff. I'm not sure how quickly snowfalls in Banff in a typical winter, but it is probable the bridge will require clearing while the snow is falling.Lastly, if the structure is to be lit, I suggest the lighting be designed for a low lumen level and incorporated into the bridge's handrails, not the top of the anti-throw screens which will be required over the tracks themselves.