Managing transportation is a challenge for communities everywhere. Vehicle transportation is a critical component of any transportation system, in most towns and cities there is little space to increase vehicle capacity without taking away homes, businesses and parks. In Canmore we are particularly constrained with rail lines, rivers, creeks and the Trans Canada Highway. Providing attractive sustainable transportation facilities will provide people choice and allow driving to continue to be an efficient option. 

The Integrated Transportation Plan (12.16 MB)  is a policy document that establishes the guidelines for Canmore’s transportation network, and was developed with input from citizens. The purpose of the ITP is to outline a long-term plan for Canmore’s transportation network as the town grows.

Future Transportation Issues – Congestion, Parking and Costs


On peak summer days, congestion is an ongoing concern. Our population and visitation are anticipated to continue to grow for the forseeable future. Without changes to the function of our roads and the way people travel, congestion will significantly worsen in the future.


Managing parking in the Town Centre is a priority for citizens and Council. The 2016/2017 Canmore Town Centre Parking Study found that current parking management practices in Canmore are inefficient, resulting in a lack of available parking during peak times, excessive cost to meet parking supply requirements and increased automobile traffic. For more information on parking click here


The economic, environmental and social costs of vehicle infrastructure are high. An estimated 85% of open space in the Town Centre is dedicated to vehicles (travel lanes, parking, laneways, signals, signage), consuming valuable public space that could be used for people and requiring ongoing, expensive maintenance. Congestion creates additional emmissions that negatively impact air quality, creates noise that makes public spaces uncomfortable and results in people having less time doing the things that are important to them. The costs for driving are typically a households third highest expenditure.


Taking Action That Aligns With Canmore's Values

Historically, transportation planning has used vehicle delay as the primary metric for success. But we now know that some of the costs of focusing solely on vehicles and vehicle delay are detracting from the things our community values, like nature, open space, vibrant public spaces, affordability, sustainability, and more.

The 2014 ITP was developed with the intent that the outcomes from the plan would be consistent with our community values. It sets ambitious goals for managing the anticipated population growth, including a multi-modal transportation network and street classifications for a variety of functions. The 2014 plan is an excellent guiding document, and as projects have been completed, it was determined updates to the plan were required to better inform how we build and manage our roads to meet our community goals. This update simplifies the street classification system, provides design guidelines for each street classification, clarifies the multi-modal targets for the next 10 – 15 years, and includes an implementation plan for short- and long-term improvements to achieve the targets and overall vision for the network.  

The 2018 Integrated Transportation Plan (12.16 MB) has a focus on safely and efficiently moving people, by car, bus, on foot and bicycle. Building roads that provide a range of travel options is the most efficient way to move people. In order to prepare for the future, our network must include options that make more efficient use of our limited road space.

Building Infrastructure to Move People

Why four-lane roads? When cities were undergoing expansion in the mid to late 1900s, four-lane roads were standard and little consideration was given for those travelling by foot and bicycle. As a result, rates of walking and bicycling declined precipitously. Towards the turn of the century, as community builders started looking to add bicycle facilities, sidewalks, and to improve road safety, they began converting four-lane roads to three lane roads. There are many studies and examples that show car capacity can be maintained, while creating safer, higher capacity streets.

By enabling choice we increase our capacity for moving people - as in this illustrative example. Below is a typical 3-lane complete street envisioned for future transformation of Canmore's arterial roadways. 

These streets can move the equivalent number of cars, while significantly increasing the number of people accommodated. This is accomplished by encouraging more people to use transit and carpool, and by encouraging some people to make some of their trips by foot and bicycle. The expectation of course is that most people will continue to need to and want to drive for the majority of trips, but when we make it easier and safer for some people to choose other modes of transportation, there will be less congestion on the roads for people who need to drive.

Canmore Examples & Data 

Below you will find data from areas in Canmore where work has been done to improve the travel experience for all modes of transportation. This information will be updated on a yearly basis.

Spring Creek Drive

Winter Mode Splits




Summer Mode Splits




Long Weekend Mode Splits

July Long Weekend 2021

August Long Weekend 2021

September Long Weekend 2021

New Intersection at Bow Valley Trail & Railway Avenue

Summer 2021 Walk/Cycle Trips Per Day

Summer 2021 Vehicle Trips Per Day

* When vehicle trips are at or below 30,000 trips per day the intersection will function with normal operations, meaning all vehicles in the intersection will clear each cycle.*

Legacy Trail

Annual Counts

Daily Counts by Year

We need to better manage our parking resources. Parking is not free. Residents, businesses and visitors pay indirectly through higher taxes, higher rents, and increased costs of goods and services.

Traditional approaches to parking management aimed for abundant and free parking at each destination, and costs for parking are incorporated into building and development costs and subsidized by governments through taxes. However, providing and requiring too much parking is as harmful to community goals as too little. New proposed strategies focus less on an ever-increasing supply of parking space, and rather seek to use facilities more efficiently. 

A parking study was conducted 2016 with a focus on the Town Centre, to view the study  click here (7.36 MB) . In June of 2018, Council adopted an Integrated Parking Management Plan, which can be found here (2.24 MB). The plan was developed with input from stakeholder groups in the community. 


  1. Provide the right mix of parking options to meet the needs of residents, visitors, workers, and shoppers 
  2. Ensure high use parking areas are not exceeding capacity during peak season days on a regular basis
  3. Focus on using parking facilities efficiently, not simply providing more parking space which comes with a cost

Current Situation

A parking study was undertaken in 2016 with a focus on the Town Centre to provide data on parking usage and a general overview of the problems we are facing around parking. To view the full study click here (7.36 MB). Despite many initiatives geared towards easing parking in the past few years, problems still persist. The parking study highlighted that parking is presently unavailable at peak times and in certain locations in the Town Centre. This results in people hunting for convenient parking and contributing to congestion at the busiest traffic times. Without improved parking management practices, these problems will worsen. Parking comes at a significant cost, and uses up most of our available space in the Town Centre. During off-peak business hours – roughly 88% of the time, parking is under-utilized.

Some key findings from the parking study include:

  • parking utilization currently exceeds the 80-85% threshold in high use areas for approximately 21% of business hours during peak season days.  
  • when considering the entire parking stock, the overall stock is not over-utilized
  • parking is under-utilized when considering all business hours
  • approximately 85% of open space in the Town centre is used for vehicle lanes, laneways, private & public parking, and signage/traffic signals
  • a lack of people parking space (walking, dwelling and social connection)

Over the past two years many initiatives have been completed to help improve the parking situation, some of these include:

  • Local transit implementation, doubled frequency of regional transit;
  • Improve connectivity for people who choose to walk and cycle:
    • Bow Valley Trail CPR Crossing Improvements
    • Spring Creek Drive Complete Street Improvements
    • End of trip facilities – 200 bicycle parking stalls in and around Town Centre, bicycle maintenance stands installed
  • 160 Centennial Park bicycle parking stalls for events 
  • Vehicle wayfinding signage
  • Improvements to Pan Handle parking area by Elevation place
  • Additional surface lot adjacent to 10th Street (little house demolition)
  • Angle parking on Civic Lane (adjacent to Civic Centre)
  • Angle parking 6th Avenue
  • Parking stall delineation on Main Street for efficient parking
  • Bicycle friendly business program
  • Several new on-street patios (people parking)
  • 4-hour time restriction pilot
  • On-it Regional Transit 

The diagram below shows planned transportation improvement projects in the Bow Valley Trail & Teepee Town areas. 

Phase 2A (2023 Project) - Bow Valley Trail West

The scope of work for 2023 includes:

  • Replacement of underground utilities, including sanitary and water lines.
  • Drainage improvements.
  • Construction of separated cycle and pedestrian pathways from Williams Street to Hospital Place

Phase 2B (2024 Project) - 2 Avenue

The scope of work for 2024 includes:

  • Replacement/rehabilitation of underground utilities, including sanitary and water lines.
  • Surface improvements (street and sidewalk) on 2 Ave from the end of Phase 2A to 17 Street.
  • Cycle pathway adjacent to Bow Valley Trail from the Spice Hut Crossing to 17 Street.
  • Raised intersections at 13 St/2 Ave and 15 St/2 Ave.
  • Improvements to drainage adjacent to Bow Valley Trail.

Future Work

The opportunity to provide feedback on this area took place in February 2023.

Elk Run Boulevard and Glacier Drive were initially constructed in the 1980's and 1990's, with only minor lifecycle maintenance completed since. The corridor requires replacement of some deep utilities as well as surface lifecycle pavement rehabilitation work.

Current project includes:

  • gathering feedback from the public on use and experiences in the area,
  • developing a concept design,
  • developing a preliminary cost estimate,
  • Concept design and cost estimate will be brought forward as part of the budget process in the fall of 2022 for consideration as a capital project in future years.
  • Future public feedback will be needed on the concept design, once the project is closer to starting construction.

Get Involved

To read a report on what we heard during phase one click here. The timeline for the project has been delayed, as a result the second phase of feedback will take place in late 2023 or early 2024.


If you have a question, please fill out the Contact Engineering Form and a member of the Engineering team will respond to you.

Railway Avenue is a key transportation corridor. It is due for underground utility work and at the same time we will be making sure its design is consistent with the goals set out in the Integrated Transportation Plan. This project has been split into three main sections - Railway Ave South (complete), Railway Ave Central and Railway Ave North.

Goals for the project include:

  • Enable a greater range of transportation options and opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • Apply a functional and recognizable street design that accommodates all modes: walking, cycling, transit, goods movement, private passenger vehicles.
  • Apply best practice guidelines for street design that will enable 40% non-vehicular travel at peak times (summer, long weekends).
  • Facilitate movement of people into the Town Centre and encourage through-traffic and transportation of goods around the Town Centre.

Get Involved - Railway Avenue Central Concept Design Refinement - May 16, 2023
This phase of engagement has concluded, thank you for providing your input. You can find a summary of the engagement and updated concept plans on the engagement page.

Railway Ave Central

Railway Avenue Central is focused around the Main and 10th Street intersections and connects through new pedestrian and cycle facilities to the north and south sections of Railway. Intersections are proposed to be protected, similar to the new intersection at the Shops of Canmore corner on Bow Valley Trail/Railway Avenue.

Updated Concept Designs (after public engagement):

Original Concept Designs (prior to public engagement):

Elevation Place to Main Street - Updated Concept Design

Main Street to 10 Street - Updated Concept Design

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the design consider emergency vehicle access? 
Transportation design engineering is based on current best practices and adheres to professional standards and guidelines. These standards and guidelines include emergency vehicle access requirements. 
How does the design consider snow clearing? 
The designs has been reviewed by the Streets & Roads team to accommodate snow clearing requirements. 
Is the Town of Canmore looking at formal intercept parking lots? 
Yes. 175 stalls of all-day parking were promoted for intercept parking near Elevation Place, including an area of private land configured for parking by Home Hardware. Concept design for an expansion of the Elevation Place parking area has been completed, however there is no planned implementation for this expansion at this time.

We continue to explore other intercept parking options, however we are limited due to the availability of land. 
Do we need new cycle infrastructure, when there is an existing multi-use trail infront of Elevation Place and parallel to the CP track?
The plan focuses on providing infrastructure for all modes of transportation. Overall transportation planning and specific projects such as Railway Avenue are guided by the Town of Canmore's Integrated Transportation Plan, which is focused on creating infrastructure that works for all modes of travel. Improving the overall network, connections, and desire lines are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of active modes. Recently constructed pedestrian, cycle, and public transit infrastructure have resulted in significant increases in usage.  
Will a reduction in lanes results in traffic delays?
In the short-term there will be small increases in delay during busy periods with the new design. However, this is balanced against the longer-term impacts of not addressing our congestion challenges and having increasing delay in the long-term. If we do nothing we will see longer delays and a poor experience for all modes of travel in the future.
Why build cycling infrastructure when most people will not use it in the winter?
We have limited space for the expansion of our transportation network and planning assumes that most trips will be made by personal vehicle. It is not expected that people will switch to cycling in the winter (even though some will choose to with the new infrastructure), it is there to take pressure off the transportation network during our peak periods. 


If you have further questions on this topic, please fill out this form.

Reduced speed limits of 30km/h have been introduced on local, collector and activity streets, as recommended in the Town’s 2018 Integrated Transportation Plan (ITP).

The ITP indicates that establishing lower speed limits in neighbourhoods is about influencing behaviour, supporting quality of life, and providing options for how people get around. 

Pedestrian safety is another important reason for the change. Pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving a collision with a motor vehicle, if that vehicle is travelling at 30km/h or under. If a motor vehicle travelling at 50km/h or above strikes a person walking, their chances of survival diminish to below 40%. 

Proposed Community Speed Limit Map


Frequently Asked Questions

Will the new 30km/h zones be eligible for photo radar?

No. The provincial guidelines for automated traffic enforcement do not allow automated traffic enforcement to be used in residential zones that are not playground or school zones.

When will these changes be implemented?

These changes will take effect the week of June 12, 2023.