Traffic circle thumbs up

A roundabout is being built between Ladies Mile and Spaanschemat River Road

The roundabout being built at the intersection of Ladies Mile and Spaanschemat River Road in Constantia should be ready by year-end, according to the City.

Work started on it after plans were passed for the new mall going up at the old Ladies Mile dump site.

The City says the roundabout will improve traffic flow, which, until now, has been regulated by traffic lights.

“Roundabouts serve as a useful traffic-calming measure as there is no green light to chase or a red light to skip, thus, it also improves the overall safety at the intersection” said mayoral committee member for transport Felicity Purchase.

John Hesom, manager of the Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (CRRA), said they had been closely involved with all aspects of the new traffic circle.

“Although still under construction and only partially opened, traffic flow has already definitely improved, and it is working well – we have received no complaints from the public, only positives,” Mr Hesom said.

The CRRA say their calls to replace traffic lights at key intersections with circles – which, they argue, are common in Europe and America – have met with resistance from City engineers over the years.

“Perhaps the success of this new one will change their aversion,” said Mr Hesom.

AccordingtoCRRAchairwomanSheila Camerer, some nearby residents are worried the glare from a tall street light in the middle of the circle will be a nuisance, but the City said the light would beam down onto the traffic and not into surrounding homes.The CRRA would wait to see if that was the case, she said.

Carolynne Franklin, chairwoman of the Kirstenhof & Environs Residents’ Association (KERA), said the roundabout had already improved traffic flow, although the current barriers and temporary signage were slightly confusing.

“The contractors have done a sterling job, and the City appears to have listened to the residents’ requests for more of these circles to be built. Now we just have to ensure that we all obey the ‘give way to the right’ traffic regulation.”

The CRRA posted a notice on Facebook, reminding people how to use a roundabout properly.

The nearby shopping centre is part of a land-restitution claim by the Solomon Family Trust. The Solomons were among several black families forcefully removed from Constantia under the apartheid era Group Areas Act.

The family’s development of the new Checkers shopping centre has met with a mixed response from Constantia residents.

Earlier this year, Ms Camerer said the shopping centre was too big and unsightly for Constantia (“Exploring SA’s most expensive street,” Constantia Bulletin, June 27).

Meanwhile the traffic lights at the intersection of Ladies Mile, Huxley Road and the M3 could also soon give way to a traffic circle, according to Ms Purchase.

The City’s transport directorate had approved the application for that pending the outcome of an objection, she said.