Highway Upgrades

Yukon government Department of Highways and Public Works is proposing a series of safety upgrades through the Hillcrest commercial area along the Alaska Highway. The closures, and redirection of traffic onto a frontage road serves to eliminate uncontrolled access onto the highway. Further, signalized intersections at two select locations will provide pedestrians and cyclists a safe and controlled crossing opportunity, and support the overall reduction of speed through this area from 70km/hr to 60km/hr.

Your opinion matters to us, and we need to hear from you. Below, there are tabs to ask a question or even map your ideas.

The Alaska Highway through the Hillcrest commercial area is an actively used section in the City of Whitehorse, with commercial, industrial, and residential traffic, as well as pedestrian and cyclist activity. Currently, the number of uncontrolled accesses in this area result in conflicting traffic patterns, and unsafe conditions for all travellers.

The project is scheduled to begin in spring of 2020 and involves closing the current highway accesses, routing onto a frontage road, accessed

Your opinion matters to us, and we need to hear from you. Below, there are tabs to ask a question or even map your ideas.

The Alaska Highway through the Hillcrest commercial area is an actively used section in the City of Whitehorse, with commercial, industrial, and residential traffic, as well as pedestrian and cyclist activity. Currently, the number of uncontrolled accesses in this area result in conflicting traffic patterns, and unsafe conditions for all travellers.

The project is scheduled to begin in spring of 2020 and involves closing the current highway accesses, routing onto a frontage road, accessed by new signalized intersections at either Wasson Place or Burns Road (there is a discussion!) and an upgraded and signalized intersection at Hillcrest Drive.

Click image to enlarge.

The Guiding Principles for increasing the safety of the highway, and how these will be met through these upgrades, are as follows.

  1. decrease opportunities for vehicle, pedestrian, and cyclist conflict
    • reduce the number of accesses to the highway
    • route local traffic onto a new frontage road
    • reduced highway speed to 60km/hr
  2. provide safe access on and off the highway
    • additional thru- lanes
    • two vehicle-actuated and pedestrian-enabled signalized intersections
    • designated turning lanes
    • reduced highway speed to 60km/hr
  3. safe passing around slow vehicles
    • additional thru-lanes
    • reduced highway speed to 60km/hr
  4. safe crossing opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists
    • pedestrian-enabled signalized intersections with designated crossing
    • long maximum green lights to optimize vehicle gaps and allow time for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities
    • reduced highway speed to 60km/hr
  • Technical Panel Discussion - Paving the Future: Transportation and Safety in the Yukon

    about 1 month ago
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    Ignite an informed discussion on Motor vehicle related health data and highway safety.

    Join experts in highway design and public safety for a discussion on how highway safety and motor vehicle injury data influence transportation planning.

    Panelists:

    Vern Janz - Director, Transport Services, and Registrar of Motor Vehicles for the Government of Yukon, Highways and Public Works

    With the exception of a brief two-year hiatus, he has made Whitehorse his home since 1990. His background includes:

    • a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Transportation and Logistics from the University of British Columbia;
    • three years as a Cost Analyst...

    Ignite an informed discussion on Motor vehicle related health data and highway safety.

    Join experts in highway design and public safety for a discussion on how highway safety and motor vehicle injury data influence transportation planning.

    Panelists:

    Vern Janz - Director, Transport Services, and Registrar of Motor Vehicles for the Government of Yukon, Highways and Public Works

    With the exception of a brief two-year hiatus, he has made Whitehorse his home since 1990. His background includes:

    • a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Transportation and Logistics from the University of British Columbia;
    • three years as a Cost Analyst for Yukon Alaska Transport;
    • 10 years as a Transportation Analyst for Government of Yukon, Transportation Engineering Branch, including functional planning and asset management;
    • two years as a Policy Advisor, for Government of Alberta, Infrastructure Policy and Planning Branch; and
    • 13 years as Director, Transport Services for Government of Yukon, including the past seven years as the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

    He has managed a number of legislative amendment projects, including implementation of the National Safety Code Regulations for commercial carriers, and distracted driving legislation. He is currently working full-time on the complete replacement of the Motor Vehicle Act and regulations project.

    Vern has two sons, Daryk age 28, and Brandon, age 22, and is married to his lovely wife, Kathryne.

    Dr. Samantha Salter - Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

    Samantha has been working for the Government of Yukon in the field of public health since 2016. A veterinarian by training, Samantha is passionate about ecosystem approaches to health, and learning more about how the health of animals, humans, and the environment interact and influence each other. While she still occasionally picks up her stethoscope as a locum veterinarian, Samantha’s work in public health currently focuses on chronic disease and injuries epidemiology, evaluation, and health research. Outside of work, Samantha loves to mountain bike, paddle, hike, and play hockey, and is an active volunteer with Contagious Mountain Bike Club (CMBC).

    Dr. Paul de Leur - de Leur Consulting Ltd.

    Dr. de Leur has had extensive experience, both in the public an private sectors as well as links to academia. This diverse experience allows the company to effectively address the needs of clients from a wide variety of backgrounds.

    De Leur Consult Ltd. offers a wide range or road safety engineering services including road safety audits, safety modelling, collision prediction techniques, research, training and expert witness services, clients of de Leur consultant ltd. Include transportation authorities from several Canadian provinces, territories and municipalities as well as other Canadian agencies in interested in road safety such as ICBC and Edmonton’s office of traffic safety.

    Paul De Leur carried out a road side safety review and in service audit of the Alaska Highway as well as modelling to predict safety improvements with various design scenarios.

    An example of his work - https://www.urbantrafficsafetyconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Paul-De-Leur-Cycling-Road-Safety-Audits.pdf

    Staff Sergeant Brad Kaeding - Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    Staff Sergeant Brad Kaeding has been working for the RCMP for 30 years. The last 6 of those years has been in Yukon as the supervisor of all detachments outside of Whitehorse.

    He previously worked in Yellowknife, Saskatchewan, Alberta, NWT, Labrador, and Manitoba in general duty policing and traffic services. In his time with working in Yukon, he works with community detachments preparing traffic plans in response to community expectations that traffic enforcement remains a priority.



    Join us Wednesday October 9, 2019 from 7pm - 9pm

    Seating is limited so please register for this FREE event.

    Beringia Centre Theater
    KM 1423 Alaska Highway
    Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

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  • Motor Vehicles in Yukon: A Public Health Perspective

    about 1 month ago
    Mvc report cover

    This report published by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in collaboration with Yukon Government, undertakes multiple analyses using Yukon data to understand motor vehicle collisions and the impacts from a public health perspective.

    The report brings together information from hospitalization and emergency room visits, motor vehicle collision incident reports, and roadside data.

    The report continues and provides a summary of the main factors influencing vehicle collisions, including intoxication, road conditions, distracted and aggressive driving, to name but a few.

    Based on the extensive review of data and information, the report provides a series of recommendations, which...

    This report published by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in collaboration with Yukon Government, undertakes multiple analyses using Yukon data to understand motor vehicle collisions and the impacts from a public health perspective.

    The report brings together information from hospitalization and emergency room visits, motor vehicle collision incident reports, and roadside data.

    The report continues and provides a summary of the main factors influencing vehicle collisions, including intoxication, road conditions, distracted and aggressive driving, to name but a few.

    Based on the extensive review of data and information, the report provides a series of recommendations, which highlight the need for a collaborative approach to road safety.

    Come to the technical panel discussion, October 9 from 7pm - 9pm at the Yukon Beringia Museum to learn more!


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  • Improving Road Safety in the Yukon: Technical Memo

    about 1 month ago
    Logo2

    A recent report from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health provides a clear view of the road safety problems in the Yukon, highlighting the magnitude of human consequence of collisions, and offers recommendations for all government agencies to consider to improve road safety and reduce harm from collisions.

    You can enjoy the full technical memo here. The full report from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will be publicly available in the next few weeks.

    Further discussion will occur too, at the upcoming technical panel on October 9, 2019 from 7pm to 9pm...

    A recent report from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health provides a clear view of the road safety problems in the Yukon, highlighting the magnitude of human consequence of collisions, and offers recommendations for all government agencies to consider to improve road safety and reduce harm from collisions.

    You can enjoy the full technical memo here. The full report from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will be publicly available in the next few weeks.

    Further discussion will occur too, at the upcoming technical panel on October 9, 2019 from 7pm to 9pm at the Beringia Museum.

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  • "Until there’s a traffic light ‘we’re not going to stop’: Hillcrest Community Association president"

    about 2 months ago
    Yukon news pic

    Hillcrest Community Association petition, tabled in the House on Nov. 8 and signed by 22 people, calls for a traffic light to be installed at Hillcrest Drive and the Alaska Highway by 2020.

    The dangers there have gotten worse as more time has elapsed, Shaunagh Stikeman, the association’s president, told the News.

    “Right now, there’s no way to get across that highway, unless to do a chicken run and run through the traffic to cross,” she said, noting that she’s seen elementary school children doing so.

    Click here to view the entire Yukon News article.

    Hillcrest Community Association petition, tabled in the House on Nov. 8 and signed by 22 people, calls for a traffic light to be installed at Hillcrest Drive and the Alaska Highway by 2020.

    The dangers there have gotten worse as more time has elapsed, Shaunagh Stikeman, the association’s president, told the News.

    “Right now, there’s no way to get across that highway, unless to do a chicken run and run through the traffic to cross,” she said, noting that she’s seen elementary school children doing so.

    Click here to view the entire Yukon News article.
  • Updated Conceptual Drawings

    about 2 months ago
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    The design team has been busy listening to comments and suggestions, and furthering the design process.

    Please be aware, these drawings remain conceptual and remain subject to change and additional detail as the design process continues. It is well understood from our meetings with individuals representing the Hillcrest neighbourhood, that the proposed trail locations may not align with the neighbourhood plans, and we continue to work with the City of Whitehorse, as well as residential, commercial, and industrial businesses in the area to reconcile all the needs of the area.

    For clarity, the proposed highway upgrades are presented as three...

    The design team has been busy listening to comments and suggestions, and furthering the design process.

    Please be aware, these drawings remain conceptual and remain subject to change and additional detail as the design process continues. It is well understood from our meetings with individuals representing the Hillcrest neighbourhood, that the proposed trail locations may not align with the neighbourhood plans, and we continue to work with the City of Whitehorse, as well as residential, commercial, and industrial businesses in the area to reconcile all the needs of the area.

    For clarity, the proposed highway upgrades are presented as three phases, illustrating the process of construction.

    Phase 1 - Lodestar to Hillcrest Drive intersection (2020-2021)

    Phase 2 - Hillcrest Drive to Burns Road intersection + frontage road (2021-2022)

    Phase 3 - Burns Road through to current Range Road project end (2022-2023)

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  • Pedestrian Crossing at Hillcrest Drive

    2 months ago
    Logo2

    There are numerous factors that influence safety upgrades on the Alaska Highway through Hillcrest, and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is a key consideration throughout this process.

    Presently, this section of highway experiences between 5700 and 7000 vehicles per day (low season and high season respectively). Interestingly, highway traffic volumes are greater south of Robert Service Way, indicating many commuters head into downtown areas prior to this particular stretch of highway.

    The current posted speed limit through Hillcrest is 70km/hr, however, over 90% of motorists are speeding through this area, with an average speed upwards of 94km/hr as reported...

    There are numerous factors that influence safety upgrades on the Alaska Highway through Hillcrest, and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is a key consideration throughout this process.

    Presently, this section of highway experiences between 5700 and 7000 vehicles per day (low season and high season respectively). Interestingly, highway traffic volumes are greater south of Robert Service Way, indicating many commuters head into downtown areas prior to this particular stretch of highway.

    The current posted speed limit through Hillcrest is 70km/hr, however, over 90% of motorists are speeding through this area, with an average speed upwards of 94km/hr as reported at Lodestar Lane.

    It is well-understood that a pedestrian crossing at Hillcrest Drive is a necessity for the safety of all users of the highway. But simply putting a pedestrian crossing without due consideration of the traffic behavior of the area can be more detrimental than the current conditions. Both Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and the Yukon government have articulated principles for designing pedestrian crossings, and it is these documents that are heavily referenced in the design of the safety upgrades through Hillcrest.

    Want to know more about the various options for pedestrian crossings, the benefits and challenges of each?

    Please take a moment to read the provided technical memo, and feel free to ask questions to find out more!


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  • What We Heard!

    2 months ago
    Logo1

    The results of the Alaska Highway User Engagement Survey have been analyzed, and some interesting input was shared by those who participated.

    The purpose of this survey was to determine how you wanted to be engaged.... online, in-person, and in what format.

    Further, some of the questions sought to determine how you used the highway, as this information influences how you want to be engaged!

    The results are available here. Enjoy!

    The results of the Alaska Highway User Engagement Survey have been analyzed, and some interesting input was shared by those who participated.

    The purpose of this survey was to determine how you wanted to be engaged.... online, in-person, and in what format.

    Further, some of the questions sought to determine how you used the highway, as this information influences how you want to be engaged!

    The results are available here. Enjoy!

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  • Pedestrian System Connectivity

    3 months ago
    Ped xing

    Ever wonder why different structures and lights are chosen at specific pedestrian crossings? How about the importance of thoughtful assessments of traffic data (operating speed and numbers), a pedestrian’s ‘sense of security’ and driver expectations?

    The Yukon Supplement to the Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide is a great resource for many of your questions.

    In short, it is recommended that in the vicinity of the airport, a safe pedestrian crossing is at a signal controlled intersection. HPW is using this manual, and a consideration of public costs, to guide the design decisions to maximize safety for all users of the highway.

    ...

    Ever wonder why different structures and lights are chosen at specific pedestrian crossings? How about the importance of thoughtful assessments of traffic data (operating speed and numbers), a pedestrian’s ‘sense of security’ and driver expectations?

    The Yukon Supplement to the Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide is a great resource for many of your questions.

    In short, it is recommended that in the vicinity of the airport, a safe pedestrian crossing is at a signal controlled intersection. HPW is using this manual, and a consideration of public costs, to guide the design decisions to maximize safety for all users of the highway.

    Have more questions? Share your question or idea here, or come down September 12 to the Fireweed Market and stop by our table!

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  • Welcome, watch or ban: how should cities deal with electric scooters?

    3 months ago
    Gaurdian

    The ‘arrive first, ask later’ tactics of scooter hire companies has riled cities around the world – but the tech bros seem to be learning a lesson.


    People ride e-scooters in Santa Monica, California. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

    Just four days after dockless electric scooters hit the streets of Omaha, Nebraska, last month, police started to threaten users with tickets...

    The ‘arrive first, ask later’ tactics of scooter hire companies has riled cities around the world – but the tech bros seem to be learning a lesson.


    People ride e-scooters in Santa Monica, California. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

    Just four days after dockless electric scooters hit the streets of Omaha, Nebraska, last month, police started to threaten users with tickets for riding on the sidewalk. Instead of zipping along, riders were shown on a local news channel wheeling the Lime hire scooters along the wide pavements of Old Market.

    Read more here!


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  • Roundabouts or Intersections? That is the question!

    3 months ago
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    When the volumes on the roadways are relatively equal, a roundabout can reduce delays, because half of the time a full stop would be required.

    Roundabouts can increase delays in locations where traffic would otherwise often not be required to stop.

    For example, at the junction of a high-volume and a low-volume road, traffic on the busier road would stop only when cross traffic was present, otherwise not having to slow for the roundabout.

    In this case the Alaska highway has about 6 times more traffic compared to the airport access and would experience unnecessary delays.

    With a four lane...

    When the volumes on the roadways are relatively equal, a roundabout can reduce delays, because half of the time a full stop would be required.

    Roundabouts can increase delays in locations where traffic would otherwise often not be required to stop.

    For example, at the junction of a high-volume and a low-volume road, traffic on the busier road would stop only when cross traffic was present, otherwise not having to slow for the roundabout.

    In this case the Alaska highway has about 6 times more traffic compared to the airport access and would experience unnecessary delays.

    With a four lane cross section a 2 lane roundabout would be preferred for lane continuity, which is more complex for drivers to navigate.

    For more information, check out All About Roundabouts in our Library!