I detect more than a little whiff of sanctimony and moralizing in the letter “Intersection design will have longterm benefit for Canmore” in the August 19 issue of the Outlook.
The intersection in question – known to many as “that #!*!! intersection” – is situated right off the Trans-Canada Highway, such that almost all vehicles arriving and departing Canmore must pass through it before being redirected to their final destination. It shouldn’t have to be pointed out people travelling to or from Calgary and their weekend home or visitors arriving at or departing from their hotels aren’t travelling by e-bike or on foot. They are driving since in most cases they are coming from over 100 kilometres away.
Deliberately creating massive traffic backups and delays, compelling vehicles to idle while burning gas and creating more pollution in the hope travellers will become frustrated they start riding e-bikes from Calgary or avoid the town altogether is one of the most foolish "solutions” imaginable.
Furthermore, being irritated by an ill-conceived intersection, clearly located in the wrong place, does not mean someone is opposed to making the town pedestrian and bike friendly. Canada’s population is expected to increase by up to 400,000 people per year, which is a city the size of Calgary every three years.
Given how congested things already are, we should not be introducing inefficiencies into the transportation system at major highway on/off ramp intersections if reducing vehicle emissions is our objective. Vehicles should be quickly and efficiently processed to a centralized parking area, from which their passengers can perambulate, bike or e-bike to their heart’s content.
Finally, I’m pretty sure no one has a mandate to prevent travellers from stopping here by making traffic so congested and annoying they “bypass town,” as was righteously suggested. Nor should everyone be encouraged to rush out and purchase expensive e-bikes with toxic batteries, the proliferation of which is already being viewed as a scourge on society in many places, since they often ride on paths, rather than roads, and move far too quickly and silently, weaving in and out of pedestrians.
The money spent on this intersection could have been put to better use diverting pedestrians and cyclists to their own bridge or overpass away from the intersection, as is done in Europe, rather than funnelling all these different users through one dysfunctional space.