Whitehorse Daily Star

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City councillor Ted Laking

Traffic infrastructure is falling behind: councillor

City councillor Ted Laking says many residents are telling him the city’s traffic infrastructure is simply not keeping pace with the steady population growth.

By Whitehorse Star on August 5, 2022

City councillor Ted Laking says many residents are telling him the city’s traffic infrastructure is simply not keeping pace with the steady population growth.

During Monday’s council meeting, Laking raised the issue of welcome but enormous growth in Whitehorse that has been occurring primarily in Whistle Bend and Porter Creek.

According to the latest population statistics from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, the population of Whistle Bend and Porter Creek was 7,243 in March 2022.

This is an increase of 3,023 people compared to just five years earlier.

During that same period, the entire city of Whitehorse grew by 4,833 – meaning that 62 per cent of the city’s population boom has occurred entirely in Whistle Bend and Porter Creek, Laking said this week.

“For years, we have relied entirely on Porter Creek and Whistle Bend to absorb the growth of our city,” said Laking.

“But this is becoming unsustainable without major upgrades to transportation infrastructure.

“We need to begin planning upgrades to improve Mountainview Drive now so that we can get ahead of this problem.”

During part of the morning commute period, downtown-bound traffic can be backed up from the corner of Second Avenue and Quartz Road past the Mountainview Drive-Range Road intersection. Lines can be even longer when snow is falling.

Both directions of Quartz Road, Copper Road and Mountainview Drive are also very busy during the afternoon commute hour.

On Copper Road, vehicles waiting to make left-hand turns into industrial businesses can bring Mountainview Drive-bound vehicles to a standstill.

Downtown-bound traffic, meanwhile, can form a sold line along the full length of Quartz Road and back up along Copper Road.

In the last five years, the population of Whitehorse grew by 16.3 per cent. If that pace were to continue for another five years, the population would be 40,085 by 2027.

“We have added over 3,000 people in just five years to the north end of town without upgrading our traffic infrastructure, and this is leading to major issues on Mountainview Drive,” added Laking.

“With new residential developments being proposed on Holly Street and Whistle Bend Way and with a new school being built in Whistle Bend, plus 2,200 more lots to be developed in that subdivision, these issues are only going to get worse,” Laking pointed out.

Comments (16)

Up 5 Down 7

Observer on Aug 7, 2022 at 11:48 am

It is not about traffic congestion, it is about name recognition, keeping your name out there, getting set up for the next territorial or federal election. Ted could care less about traffic congestion.

Up 6 Down 1

Michelle on Aug 6, 2022 at 7:40 pm

Why is there so much traffic in the afternoon anyways? Doesn't anybody work?

Up 20 Down 2

Thomas Brewer on Aug 6, 2022 at 12:00 pm

I'd be happy if they fixed up what we've currently got first...

Up 20 Down 12

Mr Facts on Aug 6, 2022 at 10:33 am

LEAVE MCINTYRE CREEK ALONE. How stupid can people be thinking putting a road to the KK is going to somehow alleviate traffic from whistle bend or PC?

Up 32 Down 3

Lost In the Yukon on Aug 6, 2022 at 8:31 am

The role of Council is to direct/tell City Administration what the Cities priorities are … Ted Laking has provided leadership by raising an important issue at Council. It is now up to ALL Council members to decide if it agrees with him and if it is a priority. If they do then Council will direct City Administration to come up with a solution. Ted Laking can not simply walk into the engineering department and tell them to widen a road or put in a traffic circle.

So to those critiquing Ted Laking for raising issues … that is what he was elected to do. He is one voice on Council … one vote.

The City employees hundreds of people (at great expense) to provide solutions to the issues/priorities identified and directed by Council.

Up 35 Down 6

iBrian on Aug 6, 2022 at 5:59 am

Ahh, just keep stuffing people in. Between the cash handouts, Social Assistance lifers, and other with hands out looking for free givemes.
I was in a meeting in Ottawa in 2018, where the MP BanGun stated that Yukon was on track to have 135,000 people by 2035. The goal is to increase the population in the yukon to help generate taxes for the future.
That meeting was about population increases across Canada. It was estimated Canada had to bring in nearly 12 million New Canadians by 2030. No one said who told us we “Had” to bring these people in. But a variety of factors were included such as War, Famine and uninhabitable lands (toxic and climate driven).
So, it’s only going to get worse.
Traffic is just part of it. The new crimes going on, the revolving Justice door.
But the CoW council and Mayor are busy painting crosswalks, building blank canvases for graffiti artists and telling us we need to reconcile for something we didn’t do.

Up 14 Down 7

Nathan Living on Aug 6, 2022 at 1:36 am

It's an issue for sure. If we had less aggressive drivers it would be easier to be comfortable with the current situation.

There are many streets in the city that appear unsafe due to bad drivers rather than infrastructure deficiencies. And it's foolish to ride a bike on many streets because it's not a safe environment.

Why not have a list of the current deficiencies and projected needs and throw some money at it each year to improve the situation.
And we need a crossing guard to ensure drunk and drug impaired people get safely across 4th near the Centre of Hope.

Up 35 Down 6

jack on Aug 6, 2022 at 12:13 am

Because City is too busy painting rainbow crosswalks, hoisting pride flags and pandering to the United Way!

Up 10 Down 27

Interested Observer on Aug 5, 2022 at 10:22 pm

Thanks captain (Ted) obvious. Nothing some more money can’t fix. Get to work with your AYC hat on and do something about it instead of headline grabbing as usual.

Well folks, sure looks like the fix is in to solidify Ted’s future political aspirations. Gotta love how the media is stumping for Ted at the expense of silencing his colleagues with his headline grabbing antics.

His fame will come with a trail of bodies behind him of city staff, and this council, while he opines about unabated surmounting debt that he’s just as responsible for contributing towards. Everyone and everything is expendable around this guy.

If this council doesn’t rein him in, one should expect to see more of these kind of antics of tag teaming with the Yukon party at everyone else’s expense.

Maybe that’s what residents want?

Up 15 Down 3

vlad on Aug 5, 2022 at 9:39 pm

@YT...it's not about how much money you take in BUT what you do with the said money. We know of a thousand money pits the COW venture into year after year..at least think about what another 10 to 20 thousand people will look like driving their EVs around.

Up 15 Down 2

Jer P on Aug 5, 2022 at 9:20 pm

Traffic is bad in Whistlebend. I'm okay that someone is bringing up the discussion. This new council seems to at least be talking about issues that impact us.

Up 26 Down 3

@yt on Aug 5, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Personally i agree with him that it is better to spend the money we have on roads than on a new city hall. Sign me up for more of this common sense.

Up 16 Down 2

No argument on Aug 5, 2022 at 4:50 pm

It's a gong show in the mornings and afternoons all over town, but these piecemeal fixes aren't helping. Why widen one section of road, just to create a bottleneck further on? It's time for some 'big' thinking, and that includes reducing the number of vehicles on the road, as well as making room for daily traffic and parking downtown.

Up 23 Down 44

YT on Aug 5, 2022 at 4:24 pm

All it takes is money Ted
How are you going to square this with your whole lower taxes schtick?

Up 38 Down 54

Politico on Aug 5, 2022 at 3:59 pm

As usual Mr Laking brings up a problem everyone knows about but makes no suggestion of what to do about it. You brought it up Ted what's your proposed solutions? Why are you leaving it for other people to find the solutions. If you had read minutes of past COW council meetings you would have seen many discussions about this problem and many suggestions about solutions. Which one do you like? Mr Laking the problem is we are trying to stuff 40k people into a traffic pattern based on 20K people 30 years ago.
Solutions should be looking 30 years into the future and preparing for 50k people rather than the stop gap measures most people want. Another thought would be if you provide roads to bring all those cars downtown where are you going to put them. You have already brought up the parking concerns downtown! Mr Laking you were elected on the promise of providing leadership on the council, maybe it's time you stepped up and did that rather than shaking the cockroaches in the jar!

Up 70 Down 7

Oya on Aug 5, 2022 at 3:49 pm

OMG! Thank you for thinking about the traffic!!! It has gotten so bad with so many new people here. Please don't let this issue fall off the table, Ted!

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