City to spend R18 million on traffic calming measures at schools, along residential streets

Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, has set aside a special budget allocation of R18 million to implement 270 traffic calming projects across the city in the current financial year. Read more below:

‘The majority of the traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, raised pedestrian crossings and intersections, will be implemented at schools and along streets in residential areas where we have a high number of pedestrians or cyclists using or crossing the streets. The purpose of the 270 projects is first and foremost to protect the most vulnerable road users among us: children, those with special needs, cyclists and other pedestrians. As a caring city, we believe that this money will be well spent to reduce the risks of death or injury of pedestrians. It must be said though, that effective traffic law enforcement and driver behaviour are just as important,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The budget allocation follows on from the new Traffic Calming Policy that served before the City’s Transport for Cape Town Portfolio Committee on Thursday 5 November 2015, and is now recommended to Council for final approval.

‘Apart from establishing a sustainable and responsive regime for the provision of traffic calming measures across the city, the new policy also addresses the current backlog of 500 traffic calming projects to the value of R30 million. Going forward, TCT will implement traffic calming measures at 50 schools each financial year, as well as a further 150 projects from the list of approved projects, subject to available funding. We are, however, kicking off with 270 projects this year – demonstrating our resolution to eradicate the backlog within a reasonable time period,’ said Councillor Herron.

The 270 traffic calming measures to the value of R18 million will be implemented as follows:

• Central region: 49 projects in Maitland, Kensington, Woodstock, Langa, Zonnebloem, Oranjezicht, Atlantis, Table View, Parklands, Melkbosstrand, West Beach and Mamre, among others

• East region: 66 projects in Somerset West, Nomzamo, Strand, Kuils River, Macassar, Mfuleni, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Tafelsig, Philippi and Lentegeur, among others

• North region: 88 projects in Brackenfell, Wallacedene, Northpine, Kraaifontein, Durbanville, Eversdal, Bellville, Delft, Belhar, Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Parow, among others

• South region: 67 projects in Pelican Park, Strandfontein, Lansdowne, Gugulethu, Grassy Park, Heideveld, Retreat, Manenberg, Kenilworth, Wynberg, Hout Bay, Fish Hoek, Plumstead and Rondebosch, among others.

The calming measures will be implemented by a number of contractors across the city. The number of projects and the costs differ from region to region, depending on the type of calming measures to be implemented, the typography of the roads, and the number of schools in each area.

‘Each year TCT receives more than 400 requests for the implementation of traffic calming measures. We have actually seen a steady increase in the number of requests over the last few years due to the deterioration in driver discipline and a general disregard for the rules of the road by all of the road users. Given the backlog and the increase in the number of requests, it was necessary to formulate a new policy that is financially sustainable in the long-run, is responsive to critical safety problems on residential roads, and that will assist in eliminating the backlog,’ said Councillor Herron.

Counting among the new policy directives are the following:

• That TCT implement traffic calming measures on roads adjacent to existing schools as a matter of priority, with the benchmark of at least 50 schools per year

• That ward councillors may identify, motivate and fund traffic calming measures in response to a proven history of accidents on a road or in response to a recent and very urgent incident that demands immediate intervention

• That private persons or organisations may also fund traffic calming measures, subject to the prescribed conditions.

The policy furthermore stipulates on which roads the interventions may be implemented and how the public should be consulted:

• Speed humps, raised pedestrian crossings and intersections, mini-circles and other traffic calming measures may be implemented at any location on a Class 5 residential road in the vicinity of public facilities

• Traffic calming measures may only be implemented at intersections or locations where a significant number of pedestrians cross a Class 4 distributor road in the vicinity of public facilities. Calming measures may not be implemented elsewhere along Class 4 roads

• Calming measures should not cause a hazard to any road user

• Calming measures must be implemented in a way that minimises the effect on public transport users

• TCT must implement calming measures at 50 schools each year, pending the provision and approval of funding by Council

• TCT must implement an additional 150 traffic calming projects from the priority list each year in an effort to eradicate the current backlog. These projects are also to be funded by Council

• Subject to all other provisions of the policy, ward councillors may identify the need and motivate for traffic calming measures on a Class 5 residential road and Class 4 distributor road and shall reserve ward allocation funding for the design and implementation thereof

• Other directorates within the City requiring traffic calming measures at public facilities shall provide the funding for these interventions

• Private individuals, companies and organisations may fund the investigation, design and implementation of calming measures at public facilities, subject to the stipulated provisions

• Ward councillors and subcouncils should be informed of the intended implementation of calming measures within their areas and be afforded the opportunity to comment on the proposed measures

• Owners of property adjacent to a road on which calming measures are proposed to be implemented should be offered the opportunity to comment

‘We are trying our best to make our roads as safe as possible for all road users, in particular for our children, but we cannot do this on our own. We need our residents to also play their part by obeying the rules of the road – be it motorists, cyclists or pedestrians,’ said Councillor Herron.