Letter: Hwy 97, Oyama to Vernon, needs speed increase

…speed limit increases for a number of highway stretches… but not Highway 97 between Oyama and Vernon…

To the editor:

I’m writing to express my dismay at what I see as a failing of the provincial government to fulfill a commitment it made to the Okanagan community.

Over a year ago, there was an announcement from the provincial government describing speed limit increases for a number of highway stretches. Most were to take place quickly, with the exception of one listed for Highway 97 between Oyama and Vernon. First, a highway median was to be installed, and then the limit increase to 100 km/h would be completed.

The median went in quickly enough, and is a great safety improvement for that stretch of roadway. The speed limit increase, however, did not follow. I have written letters to Norm Letnick (MLA) and Murray Tekano, Okanagan Shuswap district manager of transportation over the past year, and have received repeated runaround on this issue. Mr. Tekano has stated that they would get to this item eventually—usually stating a date a season down the road. In the meantime, nothing has happened.

This couldn’t be a simpler item to implement—updating a number of signs. There are several stretches of road in B.C. that have received a speed limit increase that were less worthy than this area. Most people drive what the natural speed limit of this road is anyway—and are subject to frequent speed trap blitzes.

I see this as a failure on a commitment made to the people of the Okanagan, and feel that public and media pressure be applied to finally get this done.

For people who frequent this road—sharpen your pencils and write your local MLA.

Adam Tizel, Kelowna