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Letter: On the motorized designation of the Hidden Valley/MacPherson (Whitehorse North) Trail System

I was flabbergasted to recently learn that, in response to voiced opposition, the City of Whitehorse is on the brink of rolling out a survey to determine Hidden Valley/McPherson residents’ satisfaction with the process of the above seriously flawed survey, with view to doing a second, more robust full survey to determine the potential for a motorized trail designation. However, a satisfaction survey would be a costly exercise, squandering taxpayers’ valuable money and serve no useful purpose whatsoever!

Whitehorse North Trails, mostly single tracks, were designated as motorized multi-use. As per the city’s trail maintenance policy, motorized vehicles are prohibited on single-track trails, they would need to be widened. Residents were not informed of this requirement in the original survey, making another more thorough survey mandatory regardless of residents’ satisfaction with the original survey. Over surveying people would be costly, labour intensive and would only foster frustration and mistrust with the city.

Therefore, it would only make sense to simply undertake a new full engagement survey, educating residents of the full meaning of motorized trails and especially the related legalities to ensure informed decision making for everyone. Given the short length and cost of widening existing trails plus potential minimal motorized use of these trails, this designation may not be cost effective. Also, is anyone even interested in widened trails? Furthermore, since the city has needed to raise taxes, there are surely more important uses for these funds.

I ask that mayor and council abort the satisfaction survey and simply undertake a second more robust full survey, asking useful questions to determine the feasibility of a motorized trail designation for the Hidden Valley/MacPherson (Whitehorse North) Trails.


Liz Reichenbach,

Hidden Valley resident