July 18th, 2024

Alberta tourist town to make decision on permanent pedestrian zone in its downtown

By The Canadian Press on January 17, 2024.

Banff, Alta., in Banff National Park, is shown on Friday, July 21, 2017. The town is expected to make a decision today on whether to continue its popular downtown pedestrian zone every summer and fall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

BANFF, Alta. – An Alberta tourist town in Canada’s busiest national park is expected to make a decision today on whether to continue its popular downtown pedestrian zone every summer and fall.

The Town of Banff was looking at permanently funding the project, which began during the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of its budget approvals last week.

But the decision was put on hold after town council received an unexpected letter from Parks Canada.

Salman Rasheed, who’s the superintendent of Banff National Park, says in his letter that he supports pedestrian-friendly initiatives, but he has raised concerns about the commercialization of public space.

Rasheed has requested a meeting with the town’s mayor and council before a final decision was made.

A town spokesman says that meeting was to take place this morning before the 9 a.m. council meeting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2024.

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