Final Transportation Master Plan & Adoption by Council

On February 26th, 2024, Council adopted the 2024 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) as a guiding document.

Whitehorse's TMP includes the following sections:

Plan Context

The City’s transportation network has a direct impact on the daily lives of residents and plays a role in the economy by supporting business and the efficient movement of goods and services. The types of transportation-related investments the City makes has an important role in shaping how the community moves, how the community grows, and how the community feels. The TMP will guide transportation planning and policy decisions in the community over the 2040 horizon. Decisions required to create an accessible, equitable, safe, and sustainable transportation system are not easy, and will require the City to collectively think about values, visions, and goals and apply them to prioritize decisions. This plan serves as the platform to guide those difficult decisions and align the City to achieve its values, vision, and goals and ultimately result in a vibrant and livable Whitehorse.

Whitehorse Today

The TMP illustrates how the current transportation network functions for walking, cycling, public transit, and driving, and highlights the state of the transportation network through key performance indicators such as mode share, collision data, and the current level of service provided by the transportation infrastructure for all modes. The 2021 census data from Statistics Canada, indicates that more than 78% of the population drives a private vehicle as their primary means of transportation to get to work or school. Sustainable alternatives have declined since the previous 2011 census, with transit currently accounting for 3.3%, and active transportation (walking and cycling) comprising 9.5%. Traffic modeling indicated many transportation corridors are projected to perform at approaching or over capacity in the 2040 horizon if no transportation improvements are implemented, including Two Mile Hill Road, Mountain View Drive / Copper Road / Quartz Road corridor and Lewes Boulevard.

Future Needs and Emerging Trends

The City will need to adapt and respond to various challenges such as land use and growth management, transportation equity, building resilience, housing affordability, climate change, public health, economic development and technology to ensure its transportation system remains efficient, sustainable, and responsive to the needs of the community. It is expected that Whitehorse’s population will grow significantly by 2040 based on the medium growth scenario from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics projections for population. This significant growth presents challenges to the transportation system, triggering substantial improvements to key corridors, such as:

  • Mountain View Drive / Copper Road / Quartz Road;
  • The Alaska Highway between Porter Creek and Two Mile Hill; and
  • Robert Service Way and Robert Campbell Bridge.

Vision, Values and Goals

In alignment with the OCP and what we heard from the public, the TMP is proposing a vision for the city’s transportation network and expresses the City’s dedication to promoting sustainable travel modes such as walking, cycling, and transit to increase their usage. The vision outlined in the TMP is:

“Whitehorse’s diverse transportation network will establish connections among the city’s residents and businesses, as well as provide links to the broader Yukon Territory and beyond. This system aims to offer appealing and fair transportation options that prioritize safety, comfort, accessibility, and uninterrupted availability for individuals of all ages and abilities. Whitehorse envisions an integrated array of transportation facilities and services that promote cost-effective mobility while encouraging a transition toward more sustainable transportation choices, including active and shared modes. Ultimately, the city’s transportation system is designed to underpin a dynamic, inclusive, forward-thinking, livable, healthy, eco-conscious, and affordable northern community.”

The Goals and Objectives of the TMP are to:

  • Provide accessible and equitable year-round transportation options;
  • Enable the safe and secure movement of all people, goods, and services across all modes of transportation;
  • Offer a sustainable mobility with a system that aims to reduce environmental impacts by increasing sustainable mode shares;
  • Achieve a prosperous community by supporting Whitehorse’s economic, environmental and social prosperity; and
  • Deliver projects that support or facilitate affordable modes of transportation to ease financial burden on residents

The TMP includes three measurable transportation related targets:

  • Mode Share: Increase sustainable mode share to 40% of all commute trips by 2040. A new set of 2040 mode share targets is established as follows: transit (15%), walking (10%), cycling (6%), shared transportation (7%), and other emerging mobility modes (2%), with the remaining 60% being made using single occupancy vehicles.
  • Vision Zero: No fatalities or serious injuries on Whitehorse’s transportation network by 2040.
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Reduce total GHG emissions related to transportation by 10% by 2040 (relative to 2014 levels).

The TMP prioritizes and supports five transportation modes:

  • Public Transit
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Goods Movement
  • Single Occupancy Vehicle

Implementation Strategies

The TMP proposes an implementation plan which is guided by eight principles: Integrated Planning, Safety First, Sustainability, Efficiency & Connectivity, Community Engagement, Partnership & Collaboration, Fairness, and Data-Driven Decision-Making.

The TMP proposes four high-priority policies that the City should focus on:

  • Complete Streets;
  • Vision Zero and Safe System Approach;
  • Design Standards; and
  • Neighbourhood Traffic Calming.

The implementation plan offers 146 recommended actions and projects in the following areas that will influence and guide the development of the transportation network for the short term (2024-2030), medium term (2030-2035), and long term (2035-2040):

  • Transportation Policy and Bylaws;
  • Major Projects;
  • Active Transportation;
  • Transit;
  • Intersections and Crossings;
  • Parking;
  • Goods Movement;
  • New Mobility;
  • Transportation Demand Management; and
  • Safety, Maintenance and Operations.

A next step in relation to the implementation of the TMP is to develop a funding strategy that aligns with the City’s overall Capital Expenditure Program and also looks beyond the 4-year horizon, given that most of the projects in the TMP are not currently funded.

Monitoring and Evaluation

To track the progress and outcomes of the TMP through the life of the plan, the project team developed key performance indicators on which the effectiveness of transportation projects can be measured.

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