Letter to

mayorandcouncil@whitehorse.ca, budgetinput@whitehorse.ca, commentorgreview@whitehorse.ca, Maryjane.ONeal@whitehorse.ca
Stan Westby, Mike Gau, Robert Fendrick, Wayne Tuck, Shannon Clohosey, Douglas Hnatiuk, Linda Rapp, Dave Pruden, Patrick Ross, Mike Ellis

Yukon Conservation Society, Hillcrest Community Association:Heather Swystun, Jean-Paul Molgat, Jim Gilpin, Katherine Secord, Kevin Rumsey, Jen Whipple


January 14, 2013

There's many consultations going on in the City. Keeping up is difficult.

In creating my whitehorsewalks.com website, I see ways that the city could move forward on becoming more walking-focussed. The focus of the website is much broader than looking at city processes but for the moment there are so many on-going city processes that responding is time-consuming.

Due to time constraints, I've addressed the consultations through my website. This allows transparency to others and hopefully builds up walking awareness. It becomes complicated, particularly trying to explain the role of the city, especially around the trails processes, and how consultations could be improved.

I'm essentially trying to develop a walking culture in the city by making a one-stop site for information about walking. Feedback on what I'm doing is always appreciated. We have the potential for being a very walkable city and being a walking destination.

The website is very much a work in progress. I've tried very hard to not point fingers and be diplomatic, but tone can creep in even when I try to be diplomatic. I apologize in advance where this happens. As well, I'm sure I misunderstand some things and are not clear on others

I do understand the limits to staff and fiscal abilities, however, walking is a pretty basic need. The city seldom has trouble finding resources for roads and planning. Where to spend is a conscious decision and perhaps my website will convince the city to reassess allocation of budget and staff.

The whitehorsewalks.com website http://www.whitehorsewalks.com/index.html has the index on the right hand side column;

Relevant pages for the consultations are:

I'm addressing the following:

  • 2013-16 Budget;
  • Corporate priorities for the 2012-15 Strategic Plan;
  • City's Organizational Review;
  • Whitehorse Trail and greenways Committee make-up and mandate.
  • 2 Trail Task Forces (I've commented only on the process, not trail specifics with the two surveys. These I'll attend to later.)

City priorities should address:

  • better consultation processes
  • better website
  • better mapping
  • a fair trail process for walkers
  • a focus on walking in the city
  • a focus on parks and greenspaces
  • quiet, non-motorized areas throughout the city such as Paddy's Pond/Ice Lake Park
  • a better way of neighbourhoods being able to define their vision for their greenspaces
  • trail task force part 2: immediate stewardship process
  • zoning to fix mapping to show public right-of-ways; Parks and trails to mark both ends of each
  • park management plans
  • fix the definition of motorized to be clearly vehicles with motors
  • less focus on motorized vehicles, especially in neighbourhood processes
  • motor vehicles being directed out of the city core, especially in the Urban Containment Boundary
  • protected area by-law update to include calling snowmobiles motor vehicles
  • ensure that when tank farm becomes developed that its prime use is city center residential, not industrial as proposed

Budget planning:

  • for parks and greenspaces such as for park management plans
  • enough money for better consultations. Surveys and task forces are a much poorer substitute for Charettes.
  • trail repair needs to be better funded
  • trail infrastructure needs funding at the walking level
  • trail creation such as along river in Marwell needs funding
  • Safe highway crossings need funding

Organizational Review:

  • enough staffing to cover Parks and trails properly
  • Ensure that between Active Transportation and Parks and trails, that places excluded by the Trails
  • Maintenance Policy get covered. We walk there.