Frequently Asked Questions
1.) WHY IS PARKS CANADA BANNING PARKING ON THE access ROAD?
Parks Canada says they are taking too much risk to allow parking on the road—even though they are covered by Sunshine's insurance policy. For the record, there has never been an injury accident on the Access Road in connection with parking.
2.) where will i have to park instead?
Once the main parking lot fills to completion, Parks Canada proposes that guests return in their vehicle to the Town of Banff and park in an overflow parking lot on the Lake Minnewanka loop. All overflow visitors would be required to board a bus to be transported to the ski area.
3.) will parks canada ban parking on other popular roads?
We don't know if parking will be banned in other high-traffic areas such as Moraine Lake, Lake Louise or Johnston Canyon, but the banning of parking for the Sunshine Access Road will set a precedent for future decisions on on-road parking. This may limit your accessibility at other popular destinations in the near future.
4.) what is the best parking solution?
Sunshine has worked closely with engineers to develop accessible parking alternatives along the Sunshine Access Road. It has proposed 7 possible areas for replacement parking, all of which have been specifically located within non-sensitive areas. The parking lots will not impact any wetlands or the Healy Creek watershed.”
Alternatively, Sunshine has proposed parking expansion on the north side of the existing parking on "the bench."
Development of one or more of the new parking lots would vastly improve traffic flow, eliminate wait times, and give guests greater accessibility to the alpine environment well-loved by so many.
F.) PROPOSED LOT #7 - Located at the old gravel pit adjacent to the westbound exit off the Trans Canada Highway
Parks Canada has indicated it is not interested in these or any similar proposals.
5.) what WILL THE impact of the NEW PARKING LOTS be?
Banff National Park encompasses 6,641 square kilometres, (664,100 hectares). The new parking lots will account for less than .00003% of new development in B.N.P. and have been designed to adequately accommodate Parks Canada's approved leasehold visitor numbers while staying within road development limits (within the 100 metre setback from the centre line of the road). All proposed lots are to be built in environmentally non-sensitive areas.
6.) is parking allowed on the access roads at other ski resorts in the mountain national parks?
Yes. Parks Canada allows parking on the Access Road at Marmot Basin and Lake Louise ski areas.
7.) why doesn't sunshine village construct a parking garage?
The Access Road accommodates up to 800 cars. To build a parkade to provide replacement parking for this number of cars would cost an estimated $24 million. Since Parks Canada will not allow additional development to support such a cost, this would have to be paid for by substantial increases in lift ticket prices.
The Banff Sunshine Village Parking lot resides in a flood plain. During the massive 2013 Alberta flood, over 2/3rds of our parking lot was severely damaged by flooding.
It simply doesn't make sense to build a giant concrete and steel structure in a location were the potential for massive flooding is high.
8.) what will happen this fall if the parking ban goes through as planned with parks canada?
- On weekends and holidays, thousands of people will be turned away.
- Sunshine Village will attempt to increase car pooling, transit and other incentives—all of which will be less convenient to Canadians (compared to being able to park on the Access Road as they have for the last 40 years).
- Sunshine will be forced to increase prices of lift tickets and season passes to offset the loss of business caused by Parks Canada's decision to prohibit parking on the Access Road.
- Sunshine will incur substantial additional costs for additional buses and staff which will be added to the cost of skiing and snowboarding.
9.) WHY DOESN'T SUNSHINE BUS MORE PEople to the resort?
Currently, Sunshine is transporting over 100,000 people to the resort each ski season which is approximately a 20% transit ratio. Industry average for transit at ski resorts is less than 10%.
Sunshine plans to, once again, increase transit for the 2017-2018 season however some people still prefer to access their ski resort in a personal vehicle—particularly for families with children.
10.) WHO CAN REVERSE THE PARKING BAN?
As a citizen of Canada, you can help reverse this parking ban. This is your Park. No matter how you choose to explore it, you have a right to safe and accessible parking in Banff National Park.
Contact your federal representatives. Write the Prime Minister. Share this website.