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Vernon business unhappy with 30th Ave closure repeat

Most of the summer saw a portion of road closed, but to the detriment of some businesses
Downtown’s 30th Avenue was blocked off for most of last summer and could be again this year. (Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce photo)

Last year, the 2900 block of 30th Avenue downtown was shut down for two months.

Why? Mainly to help struggling restaurants due to public health restrictions on indoor dining and to bring more people downtown.

Did this work?

Restrictions for restaurants just happened to get lifted as our street was being closed.

So, most restaurants did not expand onto the street as much as planned. It was also too hot and smoky for most people to spend much time outdoors.

We saw an immediate drop of walk-by traffic and revenue during those two months.

Most customers and non-customers said they were very unhappy with the street closure and the lack of parking. They also didn’t know why it was closed. Events were also poorly attended.

We did our own survey in September 2021 and 90 per cent disagreed with the road closure. Buses had to reroute, emergency vehicles, RCMP and other vehicles had to use alternate roads. This definitely affected the flow of traffic and increased safety concerns on Main Street.

The idea of turning the 2900 block into a park-like setting just doesn’t have enough of a draw to bring out the public for two months in the heat of the summer.

Note: This closure cost approximately $50,000.

With Polson Park or Cenotaph Park and other parks nearby, perhaps these would be better locations? There might even be some welcome shade. Certainly the costs would be less. Endless possibilities of food vendors, events and entertainment could be done without street closures. Even a side street would be a better option than a main through road.

Closing a street in Kelowna might work due to higher population and waterfront location. However, that city did not close a main through road like they want to do again in Vernon. Big events like Sunshine Festival and Winter Carnival are great reasons to close a road downtown for day or two but not for two months.

Long closures impact business in negative ways.

Please contact the mayor at if you have any concerns before March 1. The city will be voting on this soon and if approved again, we will lose 21 prime parking spaces downtown during this two-month closure.

Ravens Traders

READ MORE: Main street closure aims to boost summer business in Vernon

READ MORE: Downtown Vernon road closure considered for summer 2022


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