The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron, today conducted a site visit in the Cape Town CBD where construction teams are building bump-outs at busy intersections to improve pedestrian safety and universal access for road users with special needs.
‘The latest household survey, done in 2012 across 26 000 households in Cape Town, found that up to 33% of low-income households walk to work, school and social amenities. The City of Cape Town therefore has specific projects – called non-motorised transport (NMT) projects – focusing on making it easier and safer for our residents to walk to their destinations. Universal access is an important component of all of our NMT projects, meaning we are committed to making our city more accessible to residents with special needs, be it those making use of wheelchairs or the visually impaired.
‘We are building bump-outs at the intersections to enable pedestrians to safely cross busy intersections. These bump-outs are literally an extension or widening of the existing sidewalks, providing pedestrians with much improved sight of oncoming traffic, while at the same time providing motorists a better view of pedestrians waiting to cross the road. The dipped kerbs will be less steep once the upgrading is completed, making it easier for wheelchair users to get on and off the sidewalk,’ said Councillor Herron.
The project commenced on 27 May 2015 and will be ongoing over a period of approximately two years, whereby busy intersections will be gradually upgraded from Hans Strijdom Avenue in the north to Union Street in the south; and from Buitengracht in the west to Roeland Street in the east.
‘All in all, 72 intersections in the CBD will be upgraded at a cost of approximately R36 million by mid-June 2017. Some residents would have noticed work being done at the intersections of Prestwich and Loop Streets and Prestwich and Long Streets the past three months. The work at these intersections is nearly completed and gives a good idea of what the other intersections will look like,’ said Councillor Herron.
A bump-out is created by relocating the kerb line at the intersection to a position that is in line with the outside of the parking bay. Dipped kerbs are installed and stormwater drainage infrastructure is altered in accordance with the new layout which requires excavations in excess of one metre. The new surface is finished with asphalt, brick paving or concrete to match the existing adjacent surfaces.
Where needed, the traffic light poles, signage and other street furniture are relocated once the bump-out has been paved with the applicable material. Items of historical value, such as granite kerbs and cast-iron bollards, are left undisturbed.
The work is carried out on three intersections at a time, with one intersection taking between 15 and 25 working days to be completed if everything goes according to plan. The work is scheduled for between 07:30 and 16:30 on week days, and is weather dependent.
‘Thanks to the bump-outs, the crossing distance at intersections is also reduced, meaning pedestrians will spend less time crossing the road. The bump-outs also make it impossible for motorists to park across pedestrian crossing lines – a regular occurrence in the CBD; and make it impossible for motorists to drive through on-street parking to get to the front of the intersection,’ said Councillor Herron.
Road users are requested to please take care when they are moving through the affected intersections and pedestrians are advised not to walk through the construction sites.
‘I am confident that this project will allow more Capetonians – both pedestrians and motorists – to safely move around the city bowl area; and that it will make sidewalks and pedestrian crossings more accessible to people with limited mobility,’ said Councillor Herron.
For more information about this project, residents should please contact the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63.