Bear Street Woonerf Concept Design

Client Town of Banff
Location Banff | Alberta | Canada

O2 Planning + Design completed a conceptual design of Bear Street for the Town of Banff as a first step to reduce the distinction between pedestrian and vehicle areas. With the woonerf concept, speeds are reduced to that of a walking person (5 km/hr.) and people have complete priority over cars. Curbs are eliminated and the vehicular streetscape is captured and repurposed to create a more flexible, useful and inspiring urban space. 

Using the folded sedimentary patterns found on Tunnel Mountain as inspiration for the paving pattern, longitudinal waves are created that visually and physically slow the pace of vehicular travel. Vehicular traffic is encouraged on the central waves. Raised planters, sitting areas and lighted stone feature walls also are strategically located to slow traffic, provide amenity and allow for adjacent property servicing. Angle parking is created in small blocks to minimize impact. 

The pavings consist of concrete immediately adjacent to the buildings, with granite sets used elsewhere. The rough texture of the granite pavers will further slow vehicular movement.  The waves and pattern continues into the Public parking area and laneway to code the pedestrian nature of the area and to allow for periodic closing of the parking lot for events and markets.  Planters have one edge of Rundle rock seating and one edge as feature Rundle stonewall. Signage, lighting and site furnishings match Banff standards. Lighting will be provided by overhead pedestrian scale poles but also by the Rundle Feature walls in the planters.