Residents of Banff and visitors to the Banff townsite are encountering long lines of vehicles since the introduction of new traffic patterns created by a pedestrian pilot project on Banff Ave.

Scramble crosswalks went into effect along Banff Avenue on May 15, 2014. At the Wolf Street, Caribou Street and Buffalo Street intersections, traffic signals include a ‘Pedestrian Exclusive Phase’ where foot traffic is permitted to cross in all directions, including diagonally. During the pedestrian priority period, vehicle traffic is halted in all directions and right hand turns at red lights are not permitted.

The scramble crosswalks are part of a pilot project designed to improve both pedestrian safety and traffic flow.

According to the town of Banff, approximately 2,000 pedestrians and 200 vehicles use the Banff Avenue and Caribou Street intersection an hour during peak hours in the busy summer season.

Only days into the pilot project, vehicle traffic has been backed up for hours. Spray Road, which provides access between downtown Banff and the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort, and Mountain Ave, which connects Banff Avenue with the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, the Upper Hot Springs and The Rimrock Resort, have experienced traffic delays in excess of three hours during the Victoria Day long weekend.