As Labour Day Long Weekend approaches, many residents will be trying to take advantage of the last long weekend before school starts. If you're planning on staying in Airdrie, here are some important highlights.
Currently, The City of Airdrie is not under a fire restriction or advisory, however there are water restrictions in the city. Both East and West Rocky View County, however, are under a fire advisory.
If you're hoping to cool down over the weekend, the Chinook Winds Spray Park is operational, and hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. However, the Genesis pool and aquatics area is still closed for maintenance until next week.
And if you're planning to head out of the city and into the mountains, especially to Banff National Park, there are some things to watch out for.
Road and parking issues
Those heading to the Bow Valley Parkway should be aware that motor vehicle access is restricted beginning today. This means that the Bow Valley Parkway (from its east end/junction with the Trans-Canada Highway, up to Johnston Canyon) Johnston Canyon can be accessed by vehicle via Castle Junction.
"Motor vehicle access [until] October 2, for the purpose of a reduced-vehicle cycling experience. To maintain certain services in the park, vehicle access is not restricted to Parks Canada staff and contractors, emergency services, utility, and railway operators. Violators may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act, with a maximum penalty of $25 000," Parks Canada stated.
It's also important to remember that Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year-round.
"Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June to mid-October. Exceptions will be made for visitors with valid parking placards, for people with disabilities and guests of Moraine Lake Lodge," Parks Canada stated.
However, due to very high demand, Parks officials are urging anyone planning on visiting Lake Louise to make plans well in advance.
"The lot is full before sunrise and vehicles are turned away when the parking lot is full. There is no space to wait for a parking stall to become free. Booking a shuttle ticket in advance ensures you can access this popular destination without disappointment."
In early August, Lake Louise was forced to briefly shut down due to over-crowding.
While Alberta Parks officials have posted several bear warnings for Kananaskis Country, Parks Canada is also reminding visitors that it is elk rutting season. The rutting season will last till mid-October. Parks officials are reminding everyone that during rutting season, bull elk are aggressive and dangerous, as they seek to protect the females. In order to stay safe, officials advise to:
- Keep at least 30 metres away from all elk and never get between a male and a female.
- Do not park your vehicle between a male and a female; elk may charge at your vehicle, which may result in damage.
- ravel in a group.
- Watch for elk at all times and detour around them.
- If possible walk around elk on the high side of a slope or uphill.
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times.
- An unleashed dog may prompt an elk to become aggressive as they view the dog as a predator (wolf or coyote).
- Carry pepper spray, a walking stick or an umbrella as protection.
- Act dominant if an elk gets too close.
- Raise your arms or any big object (jacket or umbrella) to make yourself appear larger, maintain eye contact, and never turn your back or run. Climb a tree or keep an object, like a tree or large rock, between you and the elk. Back slowly out of the area.
- If you are knocked down or fall, get up and try to move to cover or use an object to protect yourself - and above all do not play dead.
- Warn other hikers of an elk ahead and report the incident immediately to Parks Canada dispatch at 403-762-1470.
New road rules
As of Friday, September 1, new provincial road laws regarding roadside workers are also in effect. Beginning today, drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing must slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower. Drivers must also move over to the far lane if it’s safe to do so and take reasonable steps to allow other drivers to move over as well.
The new roadside worker safety rules will apply to all roadside workers, including first responders, tow truck operators, highway maintenance workers and snowplow operators.
New fines with regard to the amended traffic laws will also be in effect on Friday. Drivers who fail to comply with the new safety rules could receive a $243 fine and three demerits. Drivers passing any stopped roadside vehicle with flashing lights activated could also receive speed fines.
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