Early this month a pickup speeding down Cheakamus Lake Road, an old logging route connecting Whistlerites to the so-named Loggers Lake about two kilometres off Highway 99, hit a blind turn, entered a skid and lost control. At the time, resident Luke Day was walking along the road with his dog as the truck slid through the turn and hit the ditch just a few metres in front of him.
The young occupants laughed at their situation as they backed out of the bushes and continued toward the lake, Day said.
No one was hurt, but it's not the first time Day said he’s seen vehicles speeding to Loggers Lake. For himself, for his dog, for bicyclists and for any number of families whose backyards line this road, he's worried an accident, from which no one will drive away laughing, is immanent.
Day voiced his frustration in a letter to Whistler's mayor and council last week, writing, "Users of the road think they are rally car drivers … We need to do something fast before it's too late and someone says, 'I told you so!'"
Council received the letter in their regular meeting, validating Day's claim of a growing concern among residents.
"Loggers Lake is being used extensively now and it's become a big piece of our recreation, especially because there's a neighbourhood right there," Councillor Jack Crompton said. "I've received four letters just like this one, all saying the same thing."
Council voted to take action on the issue, but because the road lies in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, there is very little the RMOW can actually do. Staff has filed an application with the ministry to put traffic-calming measures in place, but "whether they'll endorse them or not, we're not quite sure," said Joe Paul, RMOW Manager of Utilities.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden raised further concern with lake goers sharing the road with its intended users. "People down in Cheakamus Crossing, and more specifically the people down that road, could be subject to logging trucks rumbling down it … it's currently on the plan," she said, referring to logging activity in the Cheakamus Community Forest.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests said in an email the province is aware of the speeding on the road and have been in conversation with municipal staff, since the last council meeting, to discuss signage and other ways to keep speeds down.
The ministry confirmed the forest services road will see logging-truck activity again once harvesting begins in the community forest, which is co-managed by the RMOW.