LETTER: Wayfinding a mess to Kelowna airport

Reader says signage substandard, primitive and crude

To the editor:

Living only 30 minutes away from an international airport is a convenience which Vernonites can proudly boast and enjoy.

However, as YLW expands, the nearby University College continues to grow along with the commercial enterprises developing on the west side of the Highway 97/Airport Way intersection.

With modernization, change and advancement, the density of traffic increases. But my concern is not against progress — I’m all for it.

It is with the safety hazard caused by the neglect of those responsible for keeping proper signage in sync with the changes.

Directional signs for the northbound motoring public from Kelowna to the airport appear quite adequate, but southbound traffic driver from Vernon are subjected to airport signs that appear, in my opinion, to be substandard, primitive and crude.

The existing signs are small, rectangular and green with white lettering.

The first alert, south of Winfield on Highway 97, is positioned just off the shoulder approaching a tall retaining wall on the west side. It simply says: “Kelowna Airport 4.”

If you happen to be passing a large vehicle on the two-lanes-in-each-direction highway, or driving at night, or during inclement weather, you probably missed it.

The next sign says: “Kelowna Airport Next Left,” which is your cue to start your move out of the driving lane and into the passing lane.

If you didn’t catch the first sign, you’ll just have to guess at the distance remaining to the intersection.

The final sign, now within sight of the intersection, is confusing.

At quick glance a motorist reads, “Kelowna,” with “Airport” printed below. So you wonder, did that say “Kelowna Airport?”

But wait, there are two arrows. One points straight ahead, the other to the left. And yet a third indicator depicts an aircraft facing left.

Are we to assume that everyone in Vernon and all other communities in the North Okanagan are familiar with the route to, and location of, the Kelowna International Airport?

What about the tourists from anywhere in the world enjoying the pleasures of our “four season playground?”

I find it difficult to believe the existing signs meet regulated standards and placement locations.

Surely we can do better. Not only for the safety of the traveling public but also for professional appearances.

Andrew F. Maksymchuk



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