Vehicles move past crosswalks on Second Avenue during rush hour in Whitehorse on Jan. 9. A draft City of Whitehorse Second Avenue corridor study is finished with the final study expected to be complete and presented to council in the near future. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Second Avenue study nears completion

City engineer promises that the document will be made public at a roundtable discussion

A draft City of Whitehorse Second Avenue corridor study is finished with the final study expected to be complete and presented to council in the near future.

City engineer Taylor Eshpeter said in a Jan. 9 interview he anticipates the finished study being completed shortly. After that a briefing document will be sent to council members and a council and administration roundtable discussion will likely be booked to discuss the report in more detail.

It’s at that time the corridor study and any recommendations coming out of it will become public, he said, noting no date has been set for a roundtable discussion.

The city began working on the corridor study looking specifically at Second Avenue late in 2019. It’s similar to past studies done looking at safety on major roadways like Hamilton and Lewes Boulevards.

Though the study had been in the works for some time, recent collisions on Second Avenue between vehicles and pedestrians — including the November 2019 death of 48-year-old Merle Gorgichuk — have raised the profile of safety in that area with a number of people speaking out publicly on the need for a safer roadway.

While Second Avenue safety has garnered more attention in the last couple of months, Eshpeter said the scope of the study has not changed.

It will look at how transportation on Second Avenue currently flows, identify issues, explore how safety improvements could be made and prioritize potential actions and options.

“We’re always looking at safety as a priority,” Eshpeter said.

In a previous interview, he emphasized the importance of the public buying in to any changes that could come as those could have a major impact on how people move through the area.

While the corridor study is expected to be released in the coming weeks, Eshpeter said the city-wide Transportation Master Plan expected to be done in 2021, pending the budget that year, will look at the city’s entire transportation network and plan what’s ahead for the next 20 years.

Any major long-term changes to Second Avenue would likely be contemplated as part of that overall city-wide plan.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city council

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