Support for instituting a handyDART bus in Whistler and Pemberton
(Editor's note: this letter originally appeared in the council package for the Resort Municipality of Whistler's Aug. 14 council meeting.)
The Better at Home program provides assistance to seniors in the Sea to Sky Corridor with non-medical services such as housekeeping, grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, etc.
The program is funded by the Province of British Columbia through the United Way and administered by Sea to Sky Community Services. Through Better at Home's volunteer-based transportation services, we have become acutely aware of the increasing local and long-distance transportation needs for seniors.
We are not able to fill all of these needs and have had to rely on referrals to other services. We regularly refer to the Squamish handyDART service. The Taxi Supplement programs in Pemberton and Whistler are no longer running.
Pemberton and Whistler's seniors' population growth has led to an increased handyDART need. In the recent "Seniors Advocate report titled Seniors Transportation; Affordable, Appropriate and Available" (May 2018) recommendations include, "Continued efforts need to be made for increasing the availability of HandyDART services. Priority should be given to the six transit systems with no HandyDART ..." and "All British Columbians regardless of where they live should have access to Taxi Saver vouchers if they qualify."
In order to get all of our seniors and community members with special needs to programming and services that are vital to their sense of independence and community, we must provide accessible and reliable transportation services.
We are advocating for a shared handyDART service operating in and between the communities of Pemberton and Whistler as well as a Taxi Supplement or Taxi Saver Program to enhance the current transit system. Thank you for your interest in improving the lives of our more vulnerable community members and augmenting handyDART services in the corridor. Please contact me if you have questions or would like more information.
Better at Home Coordinator on behalf of the Better at Home Advisory Committee
Valley Trail or terrain park?
One of the outstanding features of Whistler is the extensive Valley Trail system that we all share and enjoy.
A recent ride on my favourite route from Meadow Park to Blueberry Hill and then to the Whistler Golf Club, I counted 25 user-created off-trail features. That is 50 entries and exits that spew gravel onto the pavement, some rocks the size of golf balls.
This presents a real danger to bicyclists, people on roller blades and other wheeled transport on what is, for the most part, a smooth, well-paved and safe surface to travel on.
The muni does a commendable job keeping this trail clean and free of debris and these irresponsible thrill seekers are not only compromising our pathways, but damaging the pristine forest along the trail edge which makes the system so special.
Some of these features are present on blind corners where they exit with air into oncoming traffic, where a serious accident may occur. I have witnessed a few close calls.
It is the same stupidity that is causing problems on the mountain in winter. Like that little detour in the forest at the top left of Franz's Run that exits with air into a slick, icy run packed with skiers at day's end! I don't have to elaborate, as we all know how many places there are like that. Who wants the Valley Trail to suffer the same fate?
Perhaps some signage would help and I would certainly volunteer to clean up the mess and install barriers if it would resolve this problem.
Help keep waterfront clean
I recently had the pleasure/horror of attending Blue: The Film at Village 8. Thanks to the organizers for putting the show on and to the cinema for hosting! It was a pretty bleak look at what we are doing to our oceans.
One positive takeaway of how we can all be doing more is the "Take Three" initiative—it simply encourages you to take three pieces of litter with you any time you visit a waterfront.
What a simple and beautiful idea! It's easy to pass by litter and not pick it up. Nobody is going to see you or thank you for picking it up. Touching somebody else's used beer cans and cigarette butts is gross. Not to mention it feels completely inconsequential in the face of unregulated fishing, the immense wave of plastic consuming our world, global warming, etc.—and yet in our little bubble of the world, we can all easily participate and be part of a bigger movement.
I encourage you, all of you, to take up the Take Three initiative. See you at the lakes!
Epic waste of fuel
Just feeling the need to point out the epic fuel consumption that it takes to fly a helicopter around the world. ("Whistler resident completes helicopter trip around the world," Aug. 9.) The Robinson R66 helicopter that Mr. Dias and Mr. Gelb used to circumnavigate the planet uses 87 litres/hr, at a cruising speed of roughly 200 kilometres per hour, they figure they flew "over 60,000" kilometres. This works out to 26,000 l of fuel. (Note: this is Avgas, or aviation gas, different from what the average Canadian puts in their vehicle).
The average Canadian uses 1,173 l of gas a year, so this jaunt around the world used 22 years worth of fuel—or 11 years each for Mr. Dias and Mr. Gelb. Ever hear of a little thing called climate change?
Wow, what an epic waste!
Just had to point that out.
Paul PalmerLillooet Lake