A more peaceful way to get to work

June 14, 2022

On May 2, 2022 a big landslide shut down Whitehorse's Robert Service Way.

Photo by CBC

Robert Service Way is the south route into downtown Whitehorse from the Alaska Highway.

We also have a north route called Two Mile Hill.

Mud and debris covered a sizeable portion of Robert Service Way, and took out barriers and the multi-purpose trail. Crews had to wait about a month to start to clear it. Other landslides occurred further along the unstable cliffs as the weeks went by.

Photo by Whitehorse Star

It's now June. City of Whitehorse is planning to re-open Robert Service Way this week.

Most people have been grumbling about the heavier vehicle traffic at the opposite side of the city as that became the only way in and out of downtown Whitehorse. They are very thankful that Robert Service Way is opening up.

On the other hand, I'll really miss the road being closed.

The lack of vehicle traffic made for quiet, calm and stress-free bike rides to and from work. Cyclists, walkers and runners waved at each other, said hello, and even stopped and chatted. Needless to say, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

For the sake of posterity, I thought I would document what my experience was like.

Riding in the bike lane on the way down the hill.
A view from above the city on what's normally a loud and busy road.
The detour sign that guided cyclists, walkers and runners onto a gravel path leading into the forest and along the Yukon River.
Beautiful sunshine greeted me on most mornings and afternoons in May.
Crossing the Yukon River bridge. This was often where people were stopped, looking over the bridge and greeting one another.
After exiting the forest, you are met with this river scene. It is close to where whitewater kayakers and canoeists play in the rapids.
One of the many turns along the Millenium trail as it twists its way along the Yukon River.
A final peek across the Yukon River where you can see the S.S. Klondike on the bank.
Up and over the bridge into traffic, and sigh, vehicles.
Pulling into my workplace parking lot where during the day I keep my bike in a storage locker.

I appreciated the landslide. Not that I want it to happen again, but the experience it created for some of us was peaceful, joyous and won't be soon forgotten.