Traffic misses Oyama

No sooner was the new stretch of Highway 97 open Aug. 16 and customers visiting businesses along the old highway and Oyama Road evaporated

A change in traffic patterns has been a dead-end for Oyama merchants.

No sooner was the new stretch of Highway 97 open Aug. 16 and customers visiting businesses along the old highway and Oyama Road evaporated.

“It (new highway) is almost like a freeway and it doesn’t go through town so people are driving right past,” said Owen Dickie, a Lake Country councillor, adding that there was confusion about how to access Oyama.

“I had one orchardist say that one person drove to Kelowna (looking for him) and then came back and wound up in Vernon.”

The District of Lake Country’s tourist information centre at Gatzke Orchards was receiving about 50 visitors a day before the highway opened. On Aug. 17, the day after the route was unveiled, there were none.

There have been questions as to why the Ministry of Transportation didn’t immediately post attraction and direction signs once the new highway opened.

“There seems to be reluctance to recognize the community of Oyama,” said Dickie.

“I don’t think there is any malice involved, there just seems to be an oversight.”

While Oyama is part of Lake Country, Dickie says there has to be a recognition of Oyama’s century-old identity.

“Oyama has been an entity for a long time and businesses have been associated with Oyama a lot longer than the municipality has been around,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, it understands the importance of highway signage for residents and businesses in Lake Country.

“Signage has been discussed with municipal stakeholders throughout the project as the sign locations and wording is part of the detailed design,” says a ministry statement.

“Some of the final sign adjustments needed to happen after the new alignment was activated, otherwise the signs would be confusing for travellers.”

The ministry says installation of service and attraction signs started during the middle of last week and should have been completed by Saturday.

 

Just Posted

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Second-quarter police report shows assault, theft on the rise in Vernon

Through the first half of 2019, assault was up 61 per cent from the same period last year

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Musicians ‘Singing Under the Stars’ at Vernon nature centre

Taylor Soloy, Cole Blakely and Karim Ghossein will perform at the Glasslands theatre on Aug. 22

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Good morning bats! Salmon Arm office receives surprise visit by winged critters

Pair of bats found huddled together on wall in the sun outside downtown office

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

Most Read