It is very important to provide the proper amount of parking to balance to the build-out total of 8,500 people at one time (PAOT). Parks Canada’s draft site guidelines fail in that regard.
We hired a professional parking design engineer (WATT CONSULTING) to design several options for nearby satellite parking. View Sunshine Parking Option Analysis.
We hired a professional environmental sciences firm (GOLDER & ASSOCIATES) to do an Environmental Assessment of the various options. View Sunshine Environmental Assessment of Parking Document.
We hired a parking and transportation consultant (URBAN SYSTEMS) to analyze all the options including a parkade and transit to develop a strategy that will work for the long-term. View Sunshine Parking Strategy Document.
If we assume the maximum design capacity is 8,500 PAOT at build out, the consultants demonstrated that we need 1,030 additional parking stalls somewhere near the base area to provide a great visitor experience. This also assumes parking is not happening on the access road anymore.
The 3rd party consultants came up with a multi-pronged solution to supplying the necessary parking at build-out of the resort (8,500 PAOT). It combines a reasonably sized parkade (280 stalls) on the existing parking lot plus a satellite surface parking lot located down the access road (750 stalls). This assumes that transit ridership equals 15% average on a peak day.
Based on the consultant’s conclusions, our preferred location of a 750-stall surface lot is shown here:
Sunshine Village's Parkade Option
Parks Canada's Parkade Option
Sunshine’s preferred location for the satellite parking lot show above has been designed to avoid the designated wilderness boundary and stay with the corridor setback of the existing access road.
The distance of the above lot to the base area is reasonable (10 minutes or less) by resort shuttle.
Some people ask the question, “why don’t you just build a parkade on the existing parking lot and be done with it?” We see several problems with this singular solution:
· A parkade that holds 1,030 cars would be enormous in size and out of scale with what people expect to see at a national park ski area. It would look like the Calgary Airport when you arrive.
· Engineers informed us the cost of a parkade is $30,000 per car stall. If we need 1,030 stalls that is $30,900,000. The ski area cannot digest that kind of capital investment and it would result in massive increases in parking fees and/or lift ticket prices to the public. We would not be competitive with other national park ski areas who will be allowed to develop surface parking at the base of their resorts to balance to their build-out PAOT.
· We only need these stalls about 30 to 50 days out of the year so the parkade would sit empty most of the year.
· The existing parking lot is partially a historic flood plain. We would not want to build an giant parkade in that area but can fit a smaller parkade (280 stalls), if properly located and engineered.
Urban Systems also determined that relying on increasing transit ridership from locations in Banff won’t work beyond 15% of total visitors because of the shuttle duration. The distance is unreasonable and many people will simply drive up and be turned away unless adequate parking is provided near the resort. SV encourages the public to read the Urban Systems report HERE.
Sunshine Village should be allowed parking near the base of the ski resort. All other mountain park ski resorts are allowed to provide parking near their base area. Parks Canada is being unfair. Learn more HERE.