Cyclists try out a car-free Bow Valley Parkway in this file photo from 2020. (Helen Pike/CBC) After the first year officially piloting the Bow Valley Parkway as a cycling experience, a clearer picture is emerging of how the closure is being used as tourists and visitors return to Banff National Park.
Back in 2020, Parks Canada decided to restrict access to the parkway as a COVID-19 public health measure.
After public consultation, Parks Canada announced a three-year pilot program to study how a seasonal closure, specifically for cyclists, works. The closure encompasses 17 kilometres of road on the easterly portion of the 1A, maintaining vehicular access to Johnston Canyon.
"We did expect a high usage and volume," said Banff Field Unit visitor experience manager Daniella Rubeling. "I think we were still a little surprised because it’s not insignificant the volume of people taking advantage of that offer."
Between May and June 25, and in the fall for the month of September, officials logged 63,694 cycling trips with newly-installed counters.
Comparing the spring trips to activity on Legacy Trail, a well-established pathway connecting Banff and Canmore, shows the Bow Valley Parkway is keeping pace. Between May 1 and June 30, there were 34,000 trips on the 1A and 32,357 logged on the Legacy Trail. Banff Cycle owner Tom Couture is happy Parks Canada is trialling the Bow Valley Parkway closure. (Helen Pike/CBC) The closure has become part of Banff Cycle’s tour offerings, owner Tom Couture says many who hop on the saddle to cruise up […]
Continue reading the original article at: www.cbc.ca