transport scenarios 

Six scenarios for Whistler’s transportation master plan will be presented at the Dec. 13 town hall meeting, but it will take another meeting in January before the Transportation Advisory Group makes some decisions on the future of transportation in Whistler. Each of the six scenarios includes 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 vary in the emphasis they place on automobiles, public transit and other methods of moving people. Each scenario has financial, social, environmental and quality of life costs. Members of the public will be asked at the town hall meeting to "weight" these costs and other factors to help TAG chose a scenario. It won’t be all "conceptual" however, as each scenario will be presented with a map showing road modifications and expansions, parking lots and alternative transportation systems — which range from more bicycle trails, to cabriolet lifts to carry skiers from parking lots, to fast rail systems. The spectrum of scenarios ranges, roughly, from one that envisions more roads and more parking lots to serve more cars, to one that seeks less reliance on cars and greater emphasis on public transit. Regardless of which scenario is eventually chosen, one of the major decisions will be what happens to Highway 99 through Whistler. To satisfy the Ministry of Transportation, Whistler has to chose to widen the existing Highway 99 to four lanes from Lorimer Road to south of Whistler Creek, or build an alternate route along the west side of the valley. There are two or three cross-valley routes the west side highway could use to connect to Highway 99. In addition to public weighting of values, council and TAG members’ values will be incorporated into the model consultants Reid Crowther and Ecosign have established to evaluate each scenario. Data collected last winter and this past summer will also be fed into the model and the results presented to TAG at the group’s final planning meeting in January. The transportation master plan process was initiated 18 months ago. TAG includes representatives from the Ministry of Highways, the Whistler Resort Association, municipal staff and council and the general public.

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