Temporary measures to improve traffic flow through the Hwy. 22 intersection in Bragg Creek are being examined by the Alberta government.
As the summer progressed, traffic lineups continue to increase. This past weekend, motorists were left frustrated after being locked in traffic for extended periods.
Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin says she's heard from many residents and shares the concern that if the problem persists it will not only continue to be a safety issue but discourage recreators from visiting the area. She's pushing for a solution.
"The ministry is doing a feasibility study right now on the potential for temporary traffic lights at that intersection," says MLA Rosin. "As well, I believe the Department of Justice is looking into the option of potential weekend traffic enforcement."
While the problem isn't new, it has continued to escalate. Rosin says traffic through the area has increased 350 per cent in the last seven to 10 years.
The government has started consultation and design work on upgrading the interchange.
Work on the project has come close to being announced, most recently by the Notley Government.
"I believe there was a 24-hour time window before this project was to be announced publically when the Nation stepped in and said they hadn't been consulted."
"Governments in the past have tried unsuccessfully to get this interchange approved and funded. and our government is the first in history to successfully do that through the due process of working with Rocky View County, Foothill County, and the Tsuut'ina Nation."
"It's a huge step forward for the residents of Bragg Creek and everyone who uses that intersection. It's being used more every year because the trail network keeps expanding and Albertans want to take advantage of our beautiful mountains."
The provincial government's commitment to improving the interchange was one of the factors that saw Div. 1 councillor Mark Kamachi agree with Rocky View County's decision to pull its objection to the proposed Springbank off-stream Reservoir.
"The traffic circle has been a huge issue for Bragg Creek," says Kamachi. "Even before I became a councillor, it was always an issue for residents, especially on a nice summer weekend."
He has first-hand experienced it dangers.
"Last year, I almost T-boned a car that pulled a U-ie in front of me," says Kamachi. "That was a good reminder to people that it is causing a lot of dangerous situations with people being stupid. Thankfully I didn't t-bone these two young girls in the car."
The upgrade is not expected to be completed for 2025.