Pedestrians are advised to take note of the new stickers that have been placed above the pushbuttons on traffic signal poles. These stickers explain when and how to safely cross intersections.

The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) will, over the next six weeks, place approximately 3 200 of these educational stickers on traffic signal poles at intersections in the Cape Town central business district (CBD), Atlantis, Melkbosstrand, Table View and Blaauwberg, Dunoon and Potsdam, Century City, and along the MyCiTi service trunk routes and the R27, Sea Point and Camps Bay.

‘There is a significant number of pedestrians in the CBDs and suburbs across Cape Town – either commuters who are walking between MyCiTi stations, railway stations and taxi ranks and their places of work and homes; learners to and from their way to school, university or college; visitors and tourists; and those running errands.

‘We have noticed that there is general confusion about the meaning of the flashing red man at pedestrian crossings. Some pedestrians and motorists are under the impression that when the red man flashes pedestrians are not allowed to still be within the street or intersection. This is wrong.

‘The flashing red man indicates that those pedestrians who have already started to cross on the green man-phase should continue to do so. Motorists should note that pedestrians who start to cross on the green man-phase have legal right of way over vehicles during both the green man- and flashing red man-phases. However, if you have not commenced with crossing the street by the time that the red man is flashing, you should wait for the next time when the green man is shown,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The stickers display a message that is easy to understand:

  • Green man: cross with care
  • Flashing red man: do not start to cross, but finish if started
  • Red: do not cross

‘The clearance phase – this is when the red man is flashing – is long enough to allow pedestrians to complete the crossing at average walking speed. We have also noticed that some pedestrians are reluctant to use the pushbuttons, or expect the traffic light to immediately switch to the green man-phase once they have done so. This is also the wrong impression.

‘Pedestrians should push the demand-button and await their turn while the red man is shown. It could take up to two minutes before the green man is shown again at large intersections. I want to request pedestrians to be patient, and to only cross streets and intersections at pedestrian crossings,’ said Councillor Herron.

The stickers are expected to last approximately seven to 10 years, unless they are tampered with.

‘I want to request pedestrians to respect the rules of the road as this will help to foster a culture of mutual respect between all road users. We often see motorists getting impatient because pedestrians cross intersections when the red man is shown – this is unlawful and very dangerous,’ said Councillor Herron.

The TDA will incrementally roll-out the stickers to all pedestrian crossings across the city as funding becomes available.

‘We are gradually transforming Cape Town into a pedestrian-friendly city where residents and visitors are encouraged to walk to where they want to be and to be less reliant on vehicles for moving around. Safety and convenience, such as improving universal access for those with special needs, widening our sidewalks and providing walking paths, as well as educating road users, are part of this strategy,’ said Councillor Herron.