Dickie: Some details yet to be worked out with new Hwy 97 bypass

The impact of the highway on Oyama remains to be seen, but there are some items that have become obvious very quickly.

As everyone is now aware, the new four-lane highway is open and it is a nice stretch of road.

The impact of the highway on Oyama remains to be seen, but there are some items that have become obvious very quickly.

Signage for Oyama at the north exit

I, like many of you, was surprised by the absence of signage for Oyama or at least Oyama Road on the new highway. I have talked to Lake Country staff and understand there has already been some discussion between Lake Country and the province regarding this.

I have also been in contact with MLA Norm Letnick. He is aware of the problem and has asked the Ministry of Highways to improve the signage as soon as possible.

However, I need your help to keep this in the forefront so it can be corrected quickly. Please take a moment and send your comments to: mayorandcouncil@lakecountry.bc.ca.

Speed reduction on Pelmewash Parkway

The speed limit on Pelmewash Parkway has been reduced to 50 km/h. As some people have already found out, the police are patrolling the road and handing out tickets to speeders. So you may want to slow down and save yourself some money.

 

New traffic on Pelmewash Parkway

 

With the reduction in the volume and speed of traffic, there are significantly more pedestrians and cyclists on Pelmewash Parkway. Please be careful and considerate when meeting or passing cyclists and pedestrians.

Bus service to Oyama

The current bus service to Oyama is going to remain as it was previous to the opening of the new highway for the time being. The effect of the new highway on the bus schedule and travel times will be reviewed and a decision regarding the service will be made by Vernon Transit, which runs the buses.

I do know that many people are unhappy with the current level of service for Oyama (over-crowded buses, times, etc.). BC Transit is beginning to look at a Community Busing service for Oyama and the Lakes. This will be a small bus that travels between Oyama, Winfield and the Lakes. There will be a public meeting regarding this and as soon as I know the date, I will let you know.

Oyama Road

On a different topic, there have been some changes to Oyama Road. The traffic lanes have been narrowed and a second bike lane added to the north side of the road. It is hoped that this will make walking and cycling on Oyama Road safer while reducing traffic speed. I will be requesting traffic monitoring so we can compare vehicle speeds before and after the changes to determine if they have had the desired effect.

There has also been an increase in the area for shoulder parking across from the school and repairs/upgrades to the drainage on Oyama Road.

Owen Dickie is the Oyama Ward councillor for the District of Lake Country.

250-548-3837