SUMMARY OF ISSUES BEING EXPERIENCED BY RESIDENTS OF IMHOFF’S GIFT, BLUEWATER ESTATE, KOMMETJIE AND SCARBOROUGH, RELATING TO THE USE OF KOMMETJIE MAIN ROAD.

By Michael Hosking, General Manager – Bluewater Homeowner Association

 1.SPEEDING ALONG KOMMETJIE MAIN ROAD

 We experience excessive speeding on the stretch of Kommetjie Road, which stretches from Harry Goeman’s Nursery, through to Ocean View (and I mean well in excess of 100 kph, in many cases!

For cars travelling from the Ocean View robots, heading towards Sun Valley,this  has become a speedway and the intersection of Kommetjie Road & Atlantic Drive is a serious hazard, for any vehicle trying to enter/exit Atlantic Drive.

 SUGGESTION 1 : Installation of speed cameras (preferably average speed monitoring, along Kommetjie Road, from Ocean View, through to Harry Goeman’s Nursery)

 SUGGESTION 2 : A traffic circle to calm vehicle speeds (NOT A ROBOT!) and allow safe access to, and across, Kommetjie Road for vehicles entering/exiting Atlantic Drive. A robot would simply be even more dangerous, as the already speeding cars would race to try to get through it, before the lights would change.

Only consider robot intersection, if it includes well-maintained speed and late crossing cameras, in both directions?…

 SHORT-TERM SOLUTION : Raised and paved speed calming “plateau’s” (high ones please!), to be installed at regular intervals along Kommetjie Road, with the relevant signage to encourage slower driving. Specifically at the Atlantic Drive, Heron Park and Fish Eagle Park intersections along Kommetjie Road.

2. VERY HAZARDOUS INTERSECTION : ATLANTIC DRIVE / KOMMETJIE MAIN ROAD

The painted island and turning lane, at the intersection of Kommetjie Road & Atlantic Drive is simply ignored and the painted sections are crossed, for overtaking of slower vehicles, causing an extreme danger of head-on collisions for those vehicles waiting to turn right, into Imhoff’s Gift (I have experienced this situation at least four times, in the past year, with two extremely near misses, from cars overtaking on the island and into my turning lane!)

It is quite terrifying sometimes and one has to be extremely aware of what the cars, heading towards the intersection from Ocean View, are doing before committing to the turning lane…

SUGGESTION : Again, preferably a traffic circle, or alternatively, a robot intersection but ONLY with the installation of a speed and late-crossing camera.

 SHORT-TERM SOLUTION : Raised “rumble strips” (high ones please!), or proper curbed  islands, to be installed, instead of the current painted islands along Kommetjie Road. In particular the ones at Atlantic Drive and at Masi. Note that there is no safe crossing, at the Atlantic Drive intersection, for pedestrians, who have to negotiate the speeding cars.  

 Alternately, as suggested above, the raised plateau’s at the hazardous intersections along Kommetjie Road.

 3. LEKKERWATER ROAD INTERSECTION

The Lekkerwater Road intersection is a disaster and has become a daily hazard, for motorists travelling along Kommetjie Road. To access Kommetjie Road, you need to cross a slip road, which has been added for access into the shopping centre and this is extremely dangerous, as a car trying to cross into Kommetjie road now has to negotiate 3 lanes of traffic, as well as a constant flow of pedestrians across Lekkerwater Road.

SUGGESTION 1 : A large traffic circle (NOT a robot), with a raised pedestrian crossing across the Lekkerwater Road exit (currently a stop sign). This would allow a smooth flow of traffic along Kommetjie Road, safer exit from Lekkerwater Road, and a managed solution to the vehicles moving across into the slip lane for the shopping centre. It would also give the pedestrians a safer crossing point, than the incredibly dangerous situation that currently prevails there. I think the council would find that the businesses along Lekkerwater Road,  as well as the shopping centre, would contribute to making this whole intersection safer for everybody.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION : Raised and paved speed calming “plateau’s” (high ones please!), to be installed at regular intervals along Kommetjie Road, with the relevant signage to encourage slower driving.

 4. SUNNYDALE SHOPPING CENTRE “DRIVEWAY” ACCESS

This is an incredibly difficult and dangerous “driveway” to exit, or enter. It exits directly onto Kommetjie Road, at a 90 degree angle, so there is no smooth joining of traffic to the left, and is an extremely dangerous crossing to the right (towards Kommetjie). How this “driveway could ever have been approved is unthinkable… If cars are turning into the shopping centre, there is no widening of Kommetjie Road, which leads to constant near-misses, from vehicles swerving onto the dirt shoulder (towards Kommetjie), or crossing into the oncoming traffic (towards Fish Hoek), to get past the cars wanting to turn into this 90 degree “driveway” entrance.

In addition to this there is a constant, heavy flow of pedestrians across this access point, making it even more hazardous for cars and pedestrians alike – utter madness!

SUGGESTION 1 : A large traffic circle (NOT a robot), with a raised pedestrian crossing SET BACK along the shopping centre entrance. I would strongly suggest the fitting of fencing to direct pedestrians to the crossing, across the Shopping Centre’s “driveway” exit (currently a stop sign). This would allow a smooth flow of traffic, with safer entrance/exit from the shopping centre and would also include access to/from the Hospice entrance.

This would also give the pedestrians a safer crossing point, than the incredibly unsafe situation that currently prevails there. I think the council would find that the shopping centre should , and probably would, contribute to making this whole intersection safer for everybody. Again the businesses along Lekkerwater Road could be approached for contributions to support a safer intersection.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION : Raised and paved speed calming “plateau’s” (high ones please!), to be installed at regular intervals along Kommetjie Road, with the relevant signage to encourage slower driving.

5.PROBLEMATIC CAPRI / KOMMETJIE ROAD INTERSECTION

This intersection has long been a problem for the area and causing major backing up of traffic in the morning and the evenings, for traffic from the Capri, Sunnydale, Imhoff’s gift and Kommetjie areas. There is endless talk about an upgraded robot intersection being planned, but being too expensive, so surely again a different way of thinking needs to be employed to solve this ever-increasing problem.

SUGGESTION 1 : A large traffic circle (NOT a robot), with a raised pedestrian crossings across the Capri & Sunnydale  exits, as well as across Kommetjie Road. This would allow a smooth flow of traffic onto/off Kommetjie Road, which could be further enhanced by a slip lane exiting into Capri, off Kommetjie Road, before the circle. This would be a LOW COST and very effective solution to this problem, which is becoming worse all the time.

 6. PROBLEMS INSIDE IMHOFF’s GIFT

There is a very dangerous intersection, inside Imhoff’s Gift, at the cnr Atlantic Drive and Rameron Road. It is currently a stop intersection which NOBODY obeys. The cars from Rameron Road, turn into Atlantic Drive and simply ignore the stop sign, without stopping or even yielding, for traffic exiting Bluewater Estate. The turn is taken at speed, in many cases, resulting in the offending vehicle crossing way over into the oncoming lane!

I must add that at least 60% of the observed transgressors are women, often with children in the car, who are generally standing on the seats!! There have been two accidents at this intersection, over the last four years and a MASSIVE number of near-misses, on a daily basis. In addition to this issue, the cars travelling down Atlantic Drive, turning right into Rameron Road, all cut the corner well across the edge of the stop line and into the oncoming lane, with sometimes very dangerous results, for oncoming cars and pedestrians. There is no pavement along Rameron Road, so pedestrians have to jump into the shrubbery, to avoid being hit, in these instances. Quite incredible to watch just how badly people negotiate this turn into Imhoff’s Gift!

Rameron Road is also a narrow and winding road, in sections, and vehicles travel well in excess of the suggested speed limit – previous traffic calming measures (rubber speed bumps), fitted by the Imhoff’s HOA, had to be removed as the council had a complaint about them and the speeding has resumed again.

SUGGESTION 1 : A small traffic circle, with raised pedestrian speed humps at the approach to the intersection, to direct and calm vehicle speeds through this increasingly busy intersection. A stop street just does not work here, people do not abide by it…

There must be safe access to Atlantic Drive, for vehicles exiting the Bluewater Estate and a safe crossing point  for pedestrians. Also the installation of speed humps/calming plateaus along Rameron road, to slow the traffic, specifically on the windy section of the road.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION : There is no short term solution, which is more sensible and cost-effective than the suggestion above. I believe both Bluewater Estate and Imhoff’s Gift would be willing to contribute towards the cost of such a solution, to make the intersection and roadways safer for everyone.

7. GENERAL – ROAD SURFACES

The state of Kommetjie Road, from the Capri intersection through to Ocean View, is nothing short of shocking! The road is incredibly bumpy, littered with patched potholes and is deteriorating badly. To make matters worse, the section from Lekkerwater Road through to the Capri robot intersection has been widened, by simply using the existing emergency lanes as extra road lanes, without upgrading the road. So the lines were simply moved across onto the shoulder of the road, causing this section to constantly break up and form potholes, due to the heavy traffic flow it was never meant to carry.

 8. DRAG RACING AND “DRIFTING” IN OCEAN VIEW AND ON KOMMETJIE ROAD

As a resident of Bluewater Estate, I REGULARLY (every few days and most weekends at around 5.30pm and most afternoons and late evenings on the weekends) have to listen to cars racing around and doing their “drifting” performances along the roads of Ocean View. This matter has been raised on many occasions and has been commented on by the newspapers and by the police, yet it continues unabated?! How long will this be allowed to continue? –  until someone is hurt/killed on the Ocean View Roads? Not to mention the disturbance to the residents of Ocean View and Bluewater Estate.

Many of our residents, myself included, have contacted the Ocean View Police to complain about the matter and have been asked to provide the vehicle make and registration number?!!

To make matters worse, these ‘drifters” are now starting to drag race along the Main Road in Ocean View and, lately, along Kommetjie Main Road… They travel at very high speeds, without any regard for the traffic in Kommetjie Road and then perform “donuts” and race back to Ocean view. This is starting to occur on a more regular basis and absolutely nothing is being done about it. I don’t know when last we saw a traffic official at this end of Kommetjie Road, other than to tell us to remove our safety cones, which were used to stop people cutting the Rameron/Atlantic Drive intersection…

 Can there please be more regular traffic patrols and more presence along Kommetjie Main Road, near Ocean View, and in Ocean View itself, especially in the early and late evenings! This is a regular problem and surely the traffic department can set up a trap for these racers, to catch them and impose massive fines, or impound their vehicles? You wouldn’t stand for the dangerous drag racing and drifting in Fish Hoek, or Cape Town, so why should it be allowed to happen in and around Ocean View? PLEASE do something about this Metro!!

In closing, a very positive thank you to the council, for painting the lines along Kommetjie Main Road! At least we can be sure when cars are crossing the road into our lane, before it is too late to react .

This email was forwarded to Sean Glass, City Engineer for his consideration. Viv