Lake Country residents showed up in full force last week to get a look at the concept plan for Pelmewash Parkway as the District of Lake County held another open house, allowing the public to give further input and get a look at the concept plan for the roadway.
Close to 80 residents showed up at DLC municipal hall on Sept. 24, hearing from consultants that have put together a concept plan using information gathered from the public at previous input sessions.
About half the folks that turned out filled out a comments form giving further input while comments are being accepted until Oct. 8 online at the DLC’s web site.
“From what I can gather the response was very favourable for what was proposed,” said Lake Country councillor Owen Dickie. “It’s very much going to be a recreational corridor with a narrow roadway that will allow for through travel and has the ability to isolate pedestrian and bike traffic from the road.”
Among the items that have been taken off the agenda is the potential closing of the road in the middle of Pelmewash Parkway. Dickie says that is no longer an option and the road will remain open to through traffic although what’s up in the air is the use of the road by commercial trucks.
“There are some trucks that are using it now, big rigs that are pulling into the pull-outs and parking as well as gravel trucks from the Oyama gravel pit,” said Dickie, adding that Lake Country council was leaning towards closing the road to commercial traffic in the future. With the DLC not expected to take over control of the road until sometime next year, the district still can’t make any firm decisions on potentially closing the road to rigs.
“There was pretty consistent agreement (on council) that the road would be closed to through commercial traffic,” said Dickie.
Once this latest public consultation period closes, consultants will put together a final plan that will be brought forward to council for approval. Lake Country mayor James Baker says it’s a slow process but it’s important to make sure the residents of Lake Country have a proper say.
“I think this is a good process,” said Baker. “The more the community information we can get the better. We would rather spend the time and budget on getting a good plan and then we will have to go after ways of getting funding once we have a concrete plan.”
It’s still unknown when the DLC will be asked to approve the concept plan although they are expected to get a look at the final concept plan in the next few months.
Signage along the new Highway 97 remains an issue for residents and businesses operating in Oyama.
New route change information signs will be put up by the province that will direct travelers to Oyama and Evans Road off of the new highway but Dickie says it’s still creating confusion.
“There seems to be some resistance from numerous people to indicate Oyama as a particular location,” he said. “There is some justification for that. Then you would need to put up signs for the rest of the wards which might not be a bad thing. We are a community of four very diverse communities which is probably one of our strengths.”
In the meantime, council has directed staff to to develop an overall sign policy for the district.