At last we are going to see some action on the part of the authorities with regard to implementing engineering measures and law enforcement to slow down traffic on Kommetjie Road. And I think we can put a feather in our cap! See the link at the end of this article to an article that appeared today on the City of Cape Town website. A mere coincidence?

Almost 100 concerned residents attended the public meeting regarding speed control on Kommetjie Road held last night – 7 July – in the Fish Hoek Civic Centre. The meeting was chaired by retired councillor Nicki Holderness, with Sean Glass, City Engineer dealing with Transport, Roads & Major Projects and Mark Harding of the City’s Traffic Dept, Principal Inspector for this area, responding to questions and suggestions raised. Also present at the meeting were Councillors Simon Liell-Cock, Dave Dalton, Felicity Purchase, members of the Fish Hoek Valley and Kommetjie Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Associations and local taxi associations.

In response to the repeated question: What is the key factor to stop fatalities on Kommetjie Rd? the response was simply “law enforcement”. Which is exactly what most people have been asking for – visible, regular (preferably permanent) and effective policing of the area. Unfortunately Mark has just 12 officers in his department covering the area from Grassy Park and Retreat southwards, six on each of two shifts. A tiny glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is the the fact that there are 60 to100 trainee officers on course this year who will be in the field next year. How many will be allotted to Mark’s extensive area – our area of concern?

(It is a sad fact that we have an inverted pyramid operating – too many underworked and overpaid officials at the top of our bureaucratic ranks and too few at the lower levels, shockingly underpaid and overworked, where numbers count. But that is another issue.)

In terms of the engineering solutions to Kommetjie Rd, Sean acknowledged that the wider the road the more people speed. One solution is to create wider medians (islands) along Kommetjie Rd from Corsair Rd to Quarry Rd, but this will cost in the region of R1 million and there is no budget for it this year. Most of the present budget of R2-3 million for the South Peninsula is being used to make the intersection of Ou Kaapse Weg and Silvermine Road safer. Gail Jennings of Mobility Magazine queried the criteria used to give this intersection priority over Kommetjie Rd but more about this in the minutes that will be published later.

A list of suggestions for speed control on Kommetjie Rd derived from our online petition

(See http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/scenicsouth/0/12)

and from emails and letters received and suggestions offered by residents present at the meeting was placed on the overhead screen and the attendees at the meeting were asked to rank them in terms of priority. As mentioned above, regular policing topped the list but also high was the necessity for more and safe pedestrian crossings. Sean has asked that residents should indicate where these should be placed.

Please send us your suggestions for the 3 spots along Kommetjie Rd where you feel these are most necessary so that we can report back to him.

Concerned residents are also asked to view the maps of the entire length of Kommetjie Rd from the 2002 Traffic Management Plan which will be put up at either the Fish Hoek Library or the Sub-Council offices. These maps indicate the road as it was, proposed alterations and traffic control measures to be implemented as well as accident hotspots and statistics. Please use our Forum or email us your comments about the proposals and also any further suggestions. Several influential changes such as the moving of Fish Hoek Primary School have taken place since this plan was drawn up and these changes have had an effect on road usage.

Apropos the above, suggestions were also made that some of the avenues be made one-way routes and those which have poor visibility when accessing Kommetjie Rd be turned into cul-de-sacs. Your comments please!

Measures that we can expect over the next few months:

Overhead traffic signals at Quarry Rd and 17th Ave within the next two months. This in response to the comments that drivers often respond to the traffic signal ahead instead of the one directly in front of them.

Severe road studs on some of the painted yellow islands.

A permanent camera has been approved for 17th Ave. This has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Authority for a required signature but we should have it in 3 – 4 months.

The question was raised regarding the viability of average speed cameras. Sean responded that the City has trial cameras on the M5 which he believes are working very well. He stated that he would ask the service provider to do a feasibility study on using average speed cameras on Kommetjie Rd as a test case for their application on an arterial road.

Once input has been given by the community as to the positioning of pedestrian crossings two to three of these will be put in place as soon as possible.

A follow- up meeting will be held on Thursday 4 August at 7pm at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre. Please note that the meeting will not relate just to the Fish Hoek stretch of Kommetjie Rd but to the entire length of the road to Kommetjie. We urge the residents of Masiphumelele, Capri, Ocean View and Kommetjie to attend.

Minutes of the meeting will be published early next week.

For the Sean Glass’s press release 8 July see http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/07/cape-town-citys-revised-traffic-calming-policy/

For Uga Carlini’s passionate and forthright address at the meeting see:

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/07/speed-control-on-kommetjie-rd-a-passionate-plea/

For a post meeting letter written by Adv. Paul Hoffman to Patricia de Lille see:

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/07/kommetjie-rd-adv-paul-hoffman-to-mayor-patricia-de-lille/

 Viv