Banff Bike Bahn (Bikeway)
Seed funding from Field Law will allow the Tour de Nuit Society to begin a project feasibility study for a continuous bike lane from Calgary to the Rocky Mountains. The Banff Bike Bahn will be a bike path with multipurpose functionality to support both sport and recreational users. It will be the first example of regional sustainable transportation infrastructure and eliminate the need to bicycle on the TransCanada Highway or other highways that put cyclists in close proximity to moving traffic.
Unlike municipal multiple use pathways that accommodate various user groups (by requiring cyclists to ride at artificially low speeds) this infrastructure will be designed to move cyclists quickly over the foothills and prairies so that it is an example of world class bike infrastructure.
We have called it the Banff Bike Bahn because of its potential to attract European tourists and its economic development potential.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Banff Bike Way will benefit recreational cyclists and club (sport) cyclists similar to people who would be found on city multiple use pathways. In addition the route will be marketed to cycle tourists who will have a safe and picturesque route to travel to the mountains from Calgary. We expect the economic development impact to hotel operators and the tourist sector to be significant.
Our intention is to design race-grade bike infrastructure that will also accommodate a stage of the professional bicycle stage race the Tour of Alberta.
Organizers of events like the Kids Cancer Ride and the MS Bike ride are also likely to be attracted to infrastructure that is safer than a highway frequented by trucks and automobiles.
We have seen an explosion of family use of the Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore so we expect to see the similar effects in proximity to population centres (certainly not over the entire length of the route).
The whole community will benefit by providing infrastructure that will allow the Tour of Alberta to be run in the Calgary area without massive urban road closure costs. This is a significant driver for public wellness outcomes.