The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages.
At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 30 meeting, Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, brought forward a recommendation that the 2020 trail plan be adopted as a guiding document.
Over its 50-plus pages, the plan proposes 30 action items aimed at achieving the plan’s vision that “Whitehorse will have a diverse, sustainable and accessible trail network valued as a primary community asset. A well-connected, high quality network of trails will contribute to a livable, attractive, sustainable and resilient northern community.”
Action items outlined in the 10-year plan range from working with First Nations to integrate Indigenous place names and languages into the trail network to considering a trail code of conduct with trail etiquette and safety information available to updating policies and bylaws to reflect the use of e-mobility devices in the city, among others.
An estimate on the costs of following through on all of the actions would be $556,500, though a 25 per cent contingency outlined in the document puts it up to $695,625.
“A number of the proposed costs/actions can be undertaken by existing staff with existing resources,” Kulych stated in his report to council. “Others are pending the availability of external funding or some form of partnership model.”
Coun. Steve Roddick said he was pleased to see a number of the items listed, highlighting the integration of Indigenous place names, trail etiquette and updating city bylaws and policies to reflect e-mobility devices, such as e-bikes.
“More people are using these devices,” he said, with Kulych confirming city staff see a lot of the devices “out and about.”
Kulych said should the trail plan be adopted and the city move forward on bylaws and policies for the devices, there would be a number of departments working together on any changes.
Meanwhile, Coun. Laura Cabott questioned whether the plan takes into account planning for new trails in country residential areas.
Kulych confirmed efforts will be continuing on neighbourhood plans for Whitehorse north and south detailing trail plans for each. Kulych said city staff are aiming to “tackle one of these in 2021.”
Council will vote on whether to adopt the trail plan Dec. 7.
Doing so would provide “general direction from council to administration to proceed with subsequent processes, such as budget decisions and work planning, that may be required for specific recommendations for the trail plan to be implemented,” Kulych stated in his report.
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