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tag meeting

The transportation advisory group is coming to a consensus on a transportation master plan for Whistler, but it will likely be September before the public gets to see it. "We’ve got some consensus on some of the elements, but the group still has concerns about our general goals," TAG Chair Bill Murray said this week. TAG members met two weeks ago to discuss common elements of the different transportation scenarios presented by consultants Reid Crowther and Ecosign. The meeting, without the consultants, allowed TAG members to discuss elements such as road systems and demand management and what TAG hopes to achieve with each element, rather than choose one of the scenarios. "None of the scenarios is perfect; we like aspects of several," Murray said. TAG met again this week to refine its position on the nine elements of the transportation master plan and put together a consensus position. "We want to target things better then take one scenario favoured by the group back to the consultants and have them analyze it," Murray said. The transportation advisory group was formed nearly two years ago. Reid Crowther and Ecosign spent much of the first year gathering data on current transportation patterns and projecting those against future development in the village as well as the mountains’ master plans. Last year the consultants plugged that data into a number of scenarios which had different goals, such as reducing reliance on automobiles, limiting impact on the environment and cost effectiveness. The group’s progress from that point on had been stalled until the recent meetings where they broke down the scenarios into various elements. Murray says its now incumbent on the group to start narrowing the options and come up with one scenario to present to the public. "It’s difficult to come up with two or three scenarios which not all of TAG could support," Murray said, noting major players such as the Ministry of Highways and Whistler/Blackcomb will have to be in agreement with the plan if it is to succeed. However, because it will take the consultants some time to analyze whichever scenario is chosen, and because TAG members will be on holidays over the summer, it will probably be September before anything is shown to the public.