A call to be heard by traffic services

Bernard Rother, Constantia

Please help, I live on Constantia Road, Wynberg, and have been living here since September 2002.

On October 19, 2016 I was issued a parking fine of R500 which I have not paid as I am waiting for a summons to be issued.

On February 24 I was again issued a parking fine of R500 for parking with two wheels on the pavement outside my house in the same place as the previous one in October. I have been parking like this for safety reasons – Constantia Road is a very, very busy road with a lot of trucks and buses and vehicles travelling at speed. I have nowhere else to park; my wife’s car is in the garage and the second car which my two sons share is in the driveway and that is it.

After the second fine was issued I went to Hillstar Traffic Department to enquire as to why I am being fined for only two wheels on the pavement. I am very careful and only half of my vehicle is on the pavement and there is ample room for a wheelchair or a pram to easily get past.

I have no idea where to go to at Hillstar for general enquiries and so I went to the Metro police office and was informed that the law states that no vehicle may encroach on the pavement, and I should park in the road. When I said I am not happy about it the officer suggested that I approach my ward councillor for help. I contacted Liz Brunette, who also said I must park in the road and the traffic would then have to slow down (sic), and sort itself out.

At this stage I would like to point out that my concern going forward is about safety, not the fines, which I will deal with when I am issued with summonses, in court if I have to. I have seen hundreds of vehicles parked with two wheels, and four, some of these in such a manner that pedestrians would have to walk in the road to get past, and in some instances the owners park like this daily for long periods of time, as do

Some of these are parked where there are “No parking” signs, on corners, at an intersection, and at a fire hydrant. I have photographs to substantiate this.

One more point that I must make is that there are various businesses being run from houses next door to and across the road from where I live and these are compelled to provide on-site parking for their clients. It is very possible that the officials who issued the fines are under the impression that my vehicle belongs to one of these clients. This is why I am also requesting a dedicated parking bay clearly marked “Resident

My request to Ms Brunette was for her to help me get permission to park with two wheels on the pavement by getting the relevant persons involved and she did not seem to want to help, although she did take my details. When I asked more or less how long it would take she replied, about a month. This meeting took place on February 27 and to date I have not had any communication from her. I went back to her office on March 14 and spoke to her assistant about my problem but as yet I have had no response.

I have seen parking bays demarcated with white lines painted half on the pavement and half in the road, on Boyes Drive. If it is possible to allow it there then I don’t see why it can’t be allowed in my case, and why should it take about a month. Someone could get seriously injured in the meantime, and it could be an innocent pedestrian. All I want is a for someone in the right office to hear my case and give it reasonable consideration, not just reject it. I hope there is someone who can help me.

Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, responds:

Boyes Drive (M75) is a scenic route along the urban edge, where pedestrian activity is low and carries an unrestricted flow of tourist and other traffic, including tour buses and large trucks. There is a need for parking in reasonably close proximity to the mountain hiking trails and, due to the footway width of 2.5 to 3m and a road lane width of 3.5m. There is sufficient space to accommodate a minimum parking bay width of 2.2m within this environment. However, as Boyes Drive is a scenic route and of heritage significance, setting back of kerbs was not an option. Considering that the stone kerbing is low and easily mountable, the most appropriate option was to accommodate vehicles half-on / half-off the footway, provided a residual sidewalk width of 1.5m is retained to accommodate pedestrians, prams, wheelchairs and so on and a minimum residual lane width without significantly compromising vehicular traffic flow.

Constantia Main Road is a Class 3 Primary Arterial (M41) and public transport route. The area, where the applicant’s property is located, is within a medium density urban area, where vehicle and pedestrian activity is higher. The footway outside the applicant’s property has a width of approximately 2m and lane width of approximately 4m. According to the City of Cape Town’s minimum standards for Civil Engineering Services in Townships, Chapter 2.46, a minimum surfaced road width required for a public transport route is 7.4m (3.7m lane in each direction), Chapter 2.51 and 5.21, for a Class 3 road, a footway of 2m wide needs to be maintained with a barrier kerb in the interest of pedestrian safety.

With this in mind, the City of Cape Town will not permit parking half on the footway along Constantia Main Road and nor will it promote parking on-street along Constantia Main Road as it will compromise vehicular traffic flow.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services, also responds:

From a Traffic Services perspective, it is unfortunately illegal to park on the sidewalk or any part thereof. The City will, however, contact the resident to try and find an amicable solution.

Councillor Liz Brunette comments:

The resident approached me about the issue. I then advised that I would need to establish whether parking on the sidewalk was permitted, even though he has seen it done along Boyes Drive.

His property is on the corner of Lionel Road and Constantia Main Road, with the entrance in the former. His wife and son park their vehicles on their property. I suggested that he park his car in either Constantia Main Road or Lionel Road where parking is permitted, but he refused to do

I recorded his request and details and sought clarity from the relevant City departments.