letter to the editor265

Winter cycling hazards Open letter to the manager of public works: First of all, I would like to thank Whitehorse’s Public Works department…

Winter cycling hazards

Open letter to the manager of public works:

First of all, I would like to thank Whitehorse’s Public Works department for making an effort to maintain one bike lane/pedestrian trail along Two Mile Hill in winter.

I understand that it is not possible to have a clear trail at all times.

At least, the lane is clearly separated from the general roadway used by motorized vehicles, which makes it less dangerous if a bicyclist is struggling uphill (or downhill) in layers of snow dust and sand.

I can tell you from experience, it feels like riding on the dunes in the Carcross desert.

I am a committed bicycle commuter and have been showcased for the city’s “look who is wheeling to work” campaign.

Therefore, I venture further than just along Two Mile Hill on the public road system and, obeying the Motor Vehicle Act, not on sidewalks.

This becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous.

Range Road, a bus, school bus, and emergency vehicle route is reduced to two tire tracks each way. There is no way I can stay out of the motorized traffic’s way this time of the year.

I cannot remember that the conditions on Range Road were ever that precarious any time last winter, except for during a severe snowfall on a weekend.

Even worse is Fourth Avenue. The churned up snow is accumulating along the curb several inches deep, making the marked bicycle lane absolutely impassable for any kind of traffic, not just self-propelled two-wheelers.

Furthermore, by not maintaining the main traffic arteries, the city is putting my life at risk due to the increasing road rage by citizens in their posh vehicles who don’t hesitate to roll down the window, despite the cold and wind chill, wave fists and erect middle fingers at me, shouting at me to get off the road, at the same time as they try to clip me off the bicycle by passing with margins of a few inches.

These conflicts could be easily avoided by having the main traffic arteries maintained to drivable standards for a mix of vehicle uses.

As I mentioned before, last year I never encountered a mess as experienced this week. It almost seems like the city is banking its road maintenance and snow-removal budget for the period of the 2007 Canada Winter Games when all the visitors and press are in with their cameras on.

It is tempting to be blinded by the potential fame and economic spin-off from the Games.

But this can never justify putting long-term citizens at preventable and unnecessary risk.

In the long-term, a fully developed system of bicycle lanes or trails will increase the attractiveness of Whitehorse, reduce the volume of polluting traffic and increase the safety of self-propelled commuters.

Othmar F. Arnold


Just Posted

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bagged meter fees could be discounted for patios

Council passes first reading at special meeting

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell is among a number of sites that are expected to make more commercial/industrial land available in the coming years. (Submitted)
Council hears update on commercial land

Number of developments expected to make land available in near future

keith halliday
Yukonomist: Have I got an opportunity for you!

Are you tired of the same-old, same-old at work? Would you like to be a captain of industry, surveying your domain from your helicopter and enjoying steak dinners with influential government officials at the high-profile Roundup mining conference?

Clouds pass by the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Friday, June 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon government, B.C. company want Supreme Court of Canada appeal of Wolverine Mine case

Government concerned with recouping cleanup costs, creditor wants review of receiver’s actions.

John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file
Catherine Elliott, Yukon acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, has announced two new COVID-19 cases in the Yukon.
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Porter Creek Secondary prom cancelled

Graduating students are encouraged to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms

The Village of Carmacks has received federal funding for an updated asset management plan. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Federal funding coming to Carmacks

The program is aimed at helping municipalities improve planning and decision-making around infrastructure

Paddlers start their 715 kilometre paddling journey from Rotary Park in Whitehorse on June 26, 2019. The 2021 Yukon River Quest will have a different look. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
The 22nd annual Yukon River Quest moves closer to start date

Although the race will be modified in 2021, a field of 48 teams are prepared to take the 715 kilometre journey from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the Yukon River

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its June 7 meeting

The RCMP Critical Incident Program will be training in Watson Lake from June 14-16. Mike Thomas/Yukon News
RCMP will conduct three days of training in Watson Lake

Lakeview Apartment in Watson Lake will be used for RCMP training

John Tonin/Yukon News Squash players duke it out during Yukon Open tournament action at Better Bodies on June 5.
Four division titles earned at squash Yukon Open

The territory’s squash talent was on full display at the 2021 Yukon Open

Runners leave the start line of the 2014 Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay Skagway. The 2021 race will start at checkpoint six and remain in the Yukon only. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)
Klondike Road Relay returns to in-person after a virtual year

A modified, in-person Klondike Road Relay will be open to Yukoners

John Tonin/Yukon News Rang Pillai speaks at the Great Yukon Summer press conference on May 27.
‘The sooner the better’: Operators react to Great Yukon Summer campaign

The Great Yukon Summer campaign was announced May 27 and begins June 4

Most Read