Upgrades need careful planning

Terry Simon, Tokai

The City has, as I understand it, given permission for a five-storey shopping complex at the Ladies Mile dump site, as part of a land claims settlement.

This is not in compliance with the City’s development plan for the Constantia Valley, but City officials do not seem to care about what the residents think.

On this score, I think that Isabel Franzen’s letter (“Get with the times,” Bulletin February 9) about traffic calming was right on the money. Eddie Andrews’s response was not surprising.

I have often written to the traffic management department about the roads through Constantia and the City passing developments that increase the traffic along what were designed as rural roads and to which little if no attention has been devoted in the past 20 years.

I wonder what they have planned for the Ladies Mile intersection, which has more than ample space for an effective circle. Where will the shopping centre, which will be a blot on the landscape and is not needed, access and egress?

Eddie Andrews is quoted as saying “the design needs careful attention in order them to function properly”. Was this applied when the circle was placed at the entrance to Steenberg Village, the American embassy and Redham?

The back-up in the mornings begins at Tokai Road circle to
the north and the off-ramp from Ou Kaapseweg to the
south. Was careful attention given to the traffic lights being erected on Kendal Road, and why were
no slipways included for the lights at the Constantia Main and Parish roads intersection?

One has to live in the valley to experience the traffic back-ups in peak periods, but the City never seems to consult residents or their representative bodies in the planning stage.

Also, has any thought been given to three- or four-way stops, which seem to work well in the appropriate positions overseas?

I think the City owes Constantia Valley residents a blueprint of planned future road improvements, defined future leisure routes for safe cycle, pedestrian and horse-rider use as well as its plans to extend public transport including minibus taxis.

I also think the City should look to effective policing of intersections. Too many traffic problems are caused by motorists illegally blocking intersections.

Although other major cities also have serious peak-hour problems they are not exacerbated by motorists ignoring the law. This could prove to be far more lucrative and effective in resolving some of the problems than the secretive camera installations, which seldom result in traffic-calming and are seen by most citizens as an easy way to raise revenue.

However, such law enforcement requires effective remedies against persistent offenders such as confiscation of drivers’ licences and vehicles etc. I doubt whether this is anywhere on the traffic management’s agenda.

* Reporter Karen Watkins sent a request for comment to the City on Monday February 13, at 12.20pm and their response was: “Please proceed without our response. Hayley van der Woude, Media Coordinator.