Danger drive

A taxi was involved in an accident on Monday July 18.

Southern Cross Drive has become a racetrack with 29 accidents since January 2015, according to Constantia Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (CRRA); 20 of them last year and nine so far this year.
CRRA committee member responsible for traffic, roads and stormwater and marketing Peter Stenslunde said the accident stats were received from Wynberg SAPS. CRRA committee member Chris Rousseau said he witnessed a crash on Monday July 18. He saw a minibus taxi come down Southern Cross Drive from Rhodes Drive and smash into a wall across from Monterey Drive. Two ambulances arrived, but he doesn’t know if anyone was hurt.
The 3km stretch of road runs from the junction of Brommersvlei Road uphill past Parish Road to Rhodes Drive.
When mayor Patricia De Lille visited the Alphen Centre in June, at the invitation of Ward 62 councillor Liz Brunette, Constantia resident Rob Maspero urged the mayor to do something about speeding in the area(“Mayor faces tough talk,” Bulletin June 16).
Ms Brunette, who is on the City’s transport portfolio, told those who packed the hall that Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority was looking at alternative speed-control measures and planned to build raised intersections.
On its Facebook page, the CRRA says this is nothing new. Three years ago, it says, the City developed plans for a raised intersection at Monterey
Road, but to date, nothing has been done.
Last week, the Bulletin contacted the City’s media office for an update.
Mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said raised intersections
had been approved for later in the financial year, 2016/17, at
intersections of Southern Cross Drive and Monterey Drive; Southern Cross
Drive with Silverhurst Drive and Duckitt Avenue; and Southern Cross
Drive with Pinehurst Road, which includes minor geometric changes at
the Monterey Drive crossing with Southern Cross Drive.
The CRRA says its main concerns are speeding and taxis stopping in the
middle of the road. “A serious accident is imminent, which is going to
involve multiple serious injuries and/or fatalities,” it warns.
The CRRA says a roundabout would be both more effective and cheaper.
However, Mr Herron said roundabouts had been considered, but they would have needed a minimum diameter of 16m to accommodate larger vehicles, such as buses.
“This poses numerous challenges, such as relocating stormwater infrastructure;
underground services, such as electric cables, and removing mature trees which compromise the sight distances and road geometry. This would make the cost too high,” said Mr Herron.
The CRRA has also asked for multiple speed humps to be installed
between Monterey and Pinehurst roads. It says the standard response is firstly “no” and secondly, “no because no funds are available”.
It says the only response it has had from a City official is that a raised
intersection was installed at the intersection of Parish Road and Southern
Cross Drive, along with bollards, and that double white lines had been
painted at Constantia Place and at the access to the pump station across the
road from the retirement village.
Mr Herron said Southern Cross Drive is a class-4 public transport
route and the City’s policy is that traffic-calming measures, such as speed
humps, can only be built at intersections on these routes where there are
lots of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists crossing roads
near public facilities.
“This is not the case along the section of Southern Cross Drive between the intersections with Monterey and Pinehurst roads,” he said.
Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said their statistics show
that no fatalities had been recorded on Southern Cross Drive between 2010 and the end of 2015. He said the City’s traffic department had recorded 71 crashes, with 12 in 2015 and only one of the total was a serious injury.
Mr Stenslunde said that only a SAPS case number was needed for insurance purposes, so the traffic department would not necessarily have been at every accident scene. This could account for the discrepancy in the SAPS and City accident statistics.
The CRRA says the City writes off 81 percent of the traffic fines it issues (R740m a year), money that could resolve the City’s entire backlog of speed humps. But Mr Smith denied that.
“The current fine payment rate is 26 percent and it is important to note that the collection of fines can take between 24 and 36 months to finalise, particularly where motorists challenge fines issued and the
matter goes before the municipal court,” he said.