Keep vehicles off Rotary Centennial Bridge

Keep vehicles off Rotary Centennial Bridge Open letter to Whitehorse's mayor and council: There is an idea revving up to motorize the Rotary Centennial Bridge. Two illegal trails (and a third in the works) run through the greenbelt on the west side of t

Open letter to Whitehorse’s mayor and council:

There is an idea revving up to motorize the Rotary Centennial Bridge.

Two illegal trails (and a third in the works) run through the greenbelt on the west side of the Millennium Trail and give off road vehicles (ORVs) illegal access to both Robert Service Way and the Riverdale area via the pedestrian bridge. City bylaws prohibit ORVs from using the Millennium Trail and its pedestrian footbridge both in summer and in winter.

At a Jan. 7 council meeting, administration listed four options presented to council in a December briefing note: status quo, new gates, camera, or “designate Centennial Bridge as [a] MMU (motorized multi-use) route (with triggered flashing lights to aid non-motorized traffic).” The latter option would “require [that] additional trail [be built] adjacent to YEC property on [the] west side to connect to MMU trails.” In other words, make the illegal trails legal.

Active Trails Whitehorse Association believes that rewarding vandalism and the illegal use of the bridge by legalizing these trails and opening the pedestrian bridge to ORVs is the worst possible kind of message to send to the community.

Beyond the impacts to the associated greenbelts, there are quality of life and safety issues associated with motorizing the bridge.

The bridge has close to 315,000 user visits each year. It is a city icon, and is much used by tourists in the summer and winter. The Millennium Trail is marketed as a pedestrian non-motorized trail, and it helps to promote our city’s image as an active recreation mecca.

The bridge was built by the city as part of its Urban Transportation Showcase Project. “Building a new pedestrian and cycling bridge across the Yukon River as an attractive and additional access to downtown for pedestrians and cyclists of the city’s Riverdale community [was seen as a way to] reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector,” [and to aid in the elimination of] barriers to active transportation,” states the city report Whitehorse Moves 2004-7.

A partnership consisting of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program, Yukon Energy Corporation and the Rotary Clubs of Whitehorse, along with other sponsors, funded the construction of the bridge. Letters of support from the major funding bodies all mention that the pedestrian bridge would both help to promote active forms of recreation and reduce greenhouse gases.

The bridge is a place where people stop to view the scenery, watch birds, and listen to the river. In summer one of the treats is to watch kayakers play in the waters directly beneath the bridge. How will non-motorized users, including tourists, react to having dirt bikes, ATVs, (and in the winter, snowmobiles) pass by, especially in such a confined area?

Our association respectfully asks our mayor and city council to ensure that the Rotary Centennial Bridge remains non-motorized both in summer and in winter. We also ask that the illegal trails west of the Millennium Trail be effectively blocked as soon as weather permits in the spring.

In addition, we ask that the option of installing a wheelchair accessible gate on the west side of the Millennium Trail (but not on the bridge itself) should be explored further.

Keith Lay

Active Trails

Whitehorse Association

Just Posted

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Most Read