Whistler’s annual town hall meeting — on Saturday, Nov. 7 — will be the public’s first opportunity for input on the revised transportation master plan.
The Transportation Advisory Group met this week to review the latest plan, brought forward by consultants Reid Crowther and Ecosign. A workshop on the plan, along with a presentation on the findings of this year’s monitoring report, will be part of the town hall meeting.
TAG was struck two and a half years ago when the previous council embarked on a transportation master plan for Whistler. Last November consultants Reid Crowther and Ecosign presented TAG with six scenarios, each of which included a variety of components and strategies for moving residents and visitors in and around Whistler, as well as between Vancouver and Whistler and through Whistler. The scenarios, which were presented at last year’s town hall meeting, varied in the emphasis they placed on automobiles, public transit and other methods of moving people. Each scenario also has financial, social, environmental and quality of life costs.
Some, but not all of the scenarios, had been tested against data collected and future development plans. TAG members then decided that, having come this far, all of the scenarios should be tested.
However, the consultants were reluctant to do that as they never envisioned testing each of the scenarios when they originally bid on the contract. TAG members, who include representatives of the municipality, the Whistler Resort Association, Whistler/Blackcomb and the Ministry of Highways, suggested they would be willing to pay more in order to have all the scenarios tested.
The consultants’ final report, with all six scenarios tested, was finally presented last May, but was dubbed "a bit thin" by TAG chair Bill Murray. TAG members met — without the consultants present — to discuss the report and reached consensus on some elements but still had concerns about overall goals for the transportation plan.
A follow-up meeting prior to the summer gave the consultants an idea of the direction TAG members felt the plan should be going and combined the favoured elements from the six scenarios into one overall plan. TAG members received that plan late in September and met this week to discuss it.