Land use and transportation are closely linked. The Highway 97 corridor provides connections to:
- Regional employment and service centres such as the university, airport, hospital, industrial and commercial areas;
- Outlying areas such as Peachland and Lake Country, which are dominated by single family residences. Residents travel to the larger centres for employment, shopping, education and entertainment;
- Dispersed development, influenced by topography and historical settlement patterns which creates challenges for service by public transit.
For many sections of the corridor, the Highway is the only available direct route, used by both local and through traffic. Existing development, environmental constraints and the agricultural land reserve limit opportunities for local parallel road alternatives, putting pressure on existing corridors.
Land use and transportation patterns are slow to change. Municipal official community plans look ahead 20 years, and planning for major transportation facilities generally begins at least 20 years before implementation.
For transportation planning purposes, we can expect that residential areas will tend to remain residential and that commercial and employment centres will largely remain in their current locations. As the region grows, more efficient land use by way of infilling and higher density development will be encouraged. By directing growth to existing areas, sprawling development patterns will be discouraged. However, urban densification, live/ work developments and similar initiatives create new transportation network demands.