Let’s help as much as we can
Further to Paul Mathews’s letter last week on the Dec. 14
highway closure, I too was on the highway that night. I had been to the
city to drop my car off for repair work. Before going to the city I had called
to arrange a rental car. When I asked for a car with snow tires, I was told
that no rental agencies in the city had cars with anything but all-season
radials to rent. So I phoned other agencies with no luck. Avis here
in Whistler told me the same thing with the comment that “in 17 years we have
never experienced problems.”
I finally arranged to book an SUV with four-wheel drive and
all-season radials as the best of a bad choice. Luckily, I was fine on the
highway and only spent three hours waiting before backtracking to Pinecrest and
kindly being taken in by friends.
But the point is — snow tires on rental cars —
there are none, and unless the vehicle is four-wheel drive there are going to
be problems and the problem affects everyone on the highway if one person has
trouble. This has been brought up before and it was suggested that Tourism
Whistler take the lead on asking rental agencies, particularly at the airport
in Vancouver, to warn customers before they rent of the potential hazards of
our highway in winter. I’m not sure that the connection is there. Or, if
the conditions are bad, call the airport rentals and let them advise renters to
stay the night in Vancouver.
If I were a tourist, I would want to know of potential hazards
ahead of time. I would not like to get all the way to Alice Lake only to be
told to turn around. And all because I had rented an inadequately equipped car
for conditions I didn’t know about.
Holidays are supposed to be fun, not anxious, scary or
inconvenient. Let’s help as much as we can.
Sober second thoughts
With respect to last week’s letter regarding First Night (The
Mounties get their men), there are a number of facts regarding First Night that
people should be aware of.
First Night is an alcohol FREE event. Whether the alcohol is
being consumed in moderation or not is not the issue. Open alcohol does not
belong in the village. As the manager of Whistler Transit/WAVE, I was in the
Gondola Transit Exchange (GTE) from 7 p.m. to 3:15 a.m. on New Year’s Eve,
coordinating the First Night Transit service, and I was in a position to
observe the RCMP officer's interactions with many different people, in various
states of intoxication, throughout the evening.