Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

TRACK CONCERNS RAISED – A portion of the trolley tracks and the deteriorating wood in front of the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is seen Thursday.

Trolley tracks continue to be a peril, council told

It’s time the Yukon government got on with making safety improvements to pedestrian crossings along the waterfront trolley tracks, it was said Monday at city council’s meeting.

By Chuck Tobin on July 9, 2020

It’s time the Yukon government got on with making safety improvements to pedestrian crossings along the waterfront trolley tracks, it was said Monday at city council’s meeting.

Coun. Laura Cabott said while there have been some improvements, there are still two or three crossings that are not safe for pedestrians or cyclists crossing the tracks.

“It may not be a top priority for the Yukon government or for us but it will be when somebody is seriously injured,” Cabott told her colleagues.

“I have also heard some scuttlebutt around the community if this not dealt with by whoever is responsible, I think the public is just going to take it upon themselves to do a quick fix to make it safe.”

Cabott said she began raising this issue last year because people were asking her to get something done.

City manager Linda Rapp said the trolley tracks are the responsibility of the Yukon government, and the city has brought the safety concerns to the attention of the Yukon government.

She said while the city has not received a large number of complaints from the public, they have had people coming in saying they were injured because of the state of the tracks.

The city raised the issue with the government again just last week, Rapp said.

The city manager said she checked in to see if the government has a plan and was told it did.

But she was told they were in the process of orienting a new deputy minister for the Department of Highways and Public Works and minister Richard Mostyn wanted to review the plan with his new deputy before moving ahead.

“However, we have made them aware of our concerns around safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and in some cases people walking can trip,” she said. “It is an issue we have been continuing to push to have work completed.”

Cabott said the city needs to do what it needs to do to get the government to fix the problem areas, or the city could do it.

Perhaps hiring a contractor to do the work is an option, Cabott suggested.

Coun. Dan Boyd said perhaps it’s time for Mayor Dan Curtis to write a letter to the minister or to Premier Sandy Silver asking for attention on this file.

Boyd said he was in agreement with Cabott’s concerns.

“I know one of our residents had a very bad bicycle accident that sent them to hospital because of the trolley tracks near the wharf, and that was shared with the city,” Boyd said. “And they almost destroyed their new expensive bike as well.

“There are many dangerous points along there and and they have to be fixed.”

The trolley stopped running after the Yukon government cancelled the funding to the society that had formerly operated it before the 2019 tourism season began.

Comments (3)

Up 3 Down 13

One One-Lesser-Voice on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:13 pm

The city should offer to remove the tracks and wood to make it safer immediately.
Better yet the city could make the improvements and be reimbursed by YTG.

Up 35 Down 1

Moose on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Really? This is something being focused on by City Council? and Dan Boyd saying the Premier should even get involved.... with tripping/bike hazards at a few specific spots... seriously? We should all be gratetful to live in a place where our biggest concern seems to be bubble wrapping society from tripping hazards. How about looking at some real issues Cabot and Boyd, like taxes, parking, city procurement, transit, take your pick amongst things which affect a majority of people in the city.

Up 43 Down 3

Jc on Jul 9, 2020 at 4:36 pm

What's the big deal? It always takes the City months to do a simple job. I'm still waiting for the City to fix up some of the pot holes that were created over the winter months.

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