Whistler’s pedestrian Village and Valley Trail system give those who prefer to walk or cycle a safe and enjoyable alternative. Thank you to all of those with the vision who promoted and worked hard to make what we have a reality.
Unfortunately, Function Junction missed the boat. Living in an apartment at the north end of Function Junction and working at the pet food store in the south end, I have “feet on the ground” and first hand experience with just how dangerous getting about in Function Junction can be. I can confidently state that walking or cycling in Function is more than just unsafe, it is dangerous.
The recent completion of the new Valley Trail connections to Spring Creek and Cheakamus Crossing on their side of the highway bring more people to the area, but without any corresponding improvements on the Function Junction side has made this dangerous situation worse. The re-routing of Whistler Transit buses from Function Junction to Cheakamus Crossing often requires those going to or from Function Junction to cross the highway to get to/from their bus. This also makes the situation worse.
At a Function Junction meeting put on by the Chamber of Commerce last fall I was encouraged to see a group from Function Junction volunteer their time to work on a pedestrian sidewalk/trail strategy. Their plan can be viewed at the Future of Function Junction Facebook page. A lot of work was put into this strategy and it appears well thought out, sensible and of modest cost.
The comprehensive Function Junction trail strategy was sent to the RMOW Feb. 13. At their March 5 meeting, council referred the trail strategy to staff for consideration for part of the work to be done in 2014.
The safety of those who live, work and visit should be the No. 1 priority of local municipal government. To address urgent safety concerns, at the very least, in 2013 the widening of the shoulder of Alpha Lake Road from Highway 99 to Olives/Lordco should be completed and this important safety work should have to take priority over some less important municipal work scheduled for 2013.
I am writing a letter to mayor and council asking them to instruct their administration to, at least, get the initial shoulder widening along Alpha Lake Road and a three way stop at Alpha Lake/Millar Creek Road built this summer and encourage all those who feel likewise to also write or email their mayor and council. Lets put safety first.