The Constantia Valley Greenbelts cycling trail was officially opened on Friday February 26.
Chairperson of the Road Safety Task Team, Ward 62 councillor Liz Brunette, said the idea behind opening the greenbelts as a space for cyclist is for them to commute from one part of town to the other; for all levels of riders to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment; to create a link between trail networks and to legalise cycling in certain trails of the greenbelts.
There is also the added value of more eyes and ears on the trails that will add to security.
Constantia cyclist Sarah Chippendale, who works for the City of Cape Town, said it takes about two hours to drive to work in the city and the greenbelt cycle routes offer a great opportunity corridor to commute to railway stations.
The trails will be opened on a one-year trial basis. And while a blanket opening of the entire greenbelts network would have taken away the current confusion about which ones are open to cyclists, the feeling is that a phased approach will allow legal user groups to become accustomed to cyclists sharing this much-loved public open space with dog-walkers, horse riders and others.
As of Friday February 5, the Greenbelts Cycle Trail has been clearly marked with directional arrows and a code of conduct at the main access points (“City signs tell riders where they can ride”, Bulletin February 11).
Along the Silverhurst trail, cyclists are directed to the wider side of the trail and are not allowed along the narrow single track that passes the historic dam.
At the entrance to the Diep River Trail on Southern Cross Drive, cyclists are redirected past the steps to a separate access point.
Cyclists rejoin the existing trail further down the slope.
Pedal Power Association’s CEO Rob Vogel said cyclists have been using these trails illegally for many years and it may take some time for them to realise that the Klaasenbosch and Alphen trails are not accessible to cyclists, as well as smaller offshoots from the main trails, but they have found that many are already adhering to this agreement.
Held on the Silverhurst Trail, the event was attended by representatives from the City of Cape Town, the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts, and civic and cycling organisations.