Controversial paving postponed
Lost Lake almost lost a little of its rustic charm Tuesday morning as paving crews were set to start laying a ribbon of blacktop from the village to the lake.
But, a large public outcry against the paving of the Lost Lake trail has prompted Mayor Ted Nebbeling to put the paving plans on hold until a public information meeting can take place to let Whistler's residents have some input into the paving possibilities.
"After receiving many petitions, phone calls and letters we have decided to stop the process," Nebbeling says. "We would like to gather as much information as to why this paving may be needed and why some people think it is not necessary."
Bill Barratt, municipal director of parks and recreation says the "trucks were on the way" and paving crews were ready to go to work Tuesday morning when the project was put on hold.
Barratt says only the trail from the warming hut to the lake was to be paved, not the entire loop around the lake as was suggested.
"The money is budgeted and the paving plans have been in the Recreation Master Plan since day one," Barratt says. "Only one trail was to be paved and the rest were going to remain gravel… it's not like we would be paving Lost Lake."
Aldo Balzarini, owner of Whistler Blades, says not paving the trail isn't going to keep in-line skaters away. What it will do, he says, is keep the congestion level high on the paved sections of the Valley Trail and send in-liners onto the highway and into paved subdivisions.
"Paving that trail is not just for in-liners it is for everybody," Balzarini says. "It's for people in wheelchairs, mothers pushing strollers, older folks with canes… ever try pushing a stroller on gravel? It's not easy."
The date for the public information meeting has not been set.