City makes it easier to calm traffic in residential areas 

 Being pertinent to the meeting which took place in Fish Hoek on 7 July 2011 with regard to residents’ concerns re reckless driving on Kommetjie Rd I have copied and pasted this report directly from the City of Cape Town’s website as we have not yet received the press release.Viv

The City of Cape Town has approved a revised Traffic Calming Policy that states that the safety of people (whether walking or cycling) in residential areas is paramount and takes precedence over vehicle mobility.

Pedestrians and accidents have always been considered in the assessments but are now weighted more heavily. For example, the number of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as previous occurrences of vehicle accidents on a particular street, will now lend even greater weight to the consideration of traffic calming measures. In addition, the existence of a parallel minor road to which traffic may be diverted is no longer a specific criterion in the assessment of applications.

Traffic volumes, the existence of sidewalks and/or driveways, parking, speed and public amenities also play a role in the decision to implement traffic calming measures. If the speed of 15% of vehicles is equal to or higher than the applicable speed limit or a speed appropriate to the environment as determined by a traffic engineer, then traffic calming measures will also be considered.

‘Residential and commercial precincts with high pedestrian use should be people-focused,’ says Counsillor Brett Herron Mayoral Committee Member: Transport, Roads & Stormwater. ‘But a culture of speeding and reckless driving threatens the safety, security and urban environment of residential and some commercial areas. Vulnerable road users, particularly learners, the elderly and cyclists, are at risk from such behaviour.’

Ensuring the safety of all road users requires a multi-disciplinary approach – engineering, enforcement and education. This policy addresses only the use of remedial engineering measures (traffic calming measures) on existing streets, and seeks to remedy a potentially unsafe situation caused by ineffective road design, reckless driving and inadequate levels of traffic law enforcement.

‘We recognise that City’s traffic law enforcement currently operates and will in the short term continue to operate below optimum levels,’ says Cllr Herron. ‘This status affects the performance of an effective enforcement role on most residential streets and leads to greater reliance and emphasis on engineering solutions to safety issues on residential streets.’

Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, learners, the disabled, the elderly and cyclists are at greater risk in areas surrounding public amenities such as creches, schools, libraries, clinics, sports stadiums, public transport interchanges, retirement homes, children’s homes, places of worship, shopping centres and places of entertainment. Traffic calming measures may also be implemented at locations further afield of amenities if it can be shown that significant concentrations of pedestrians or cyclists related to the amenities may be found at these locations.

Traffic calming measures will be prioritised according to: 

  • Proximity to amenities such as creches, schools, children’s homes, libraries
  • Proximity to amenities such as clinics, sport stadiums, public transport interchanges,
  • municipal cash halls, retirement homes, places of worship, shopping centers and places of entertainment 
  • History of vehicle accidents in the last two years
  • History of excessive speeding
  • Excessive extraneous traffic
  • Dangerous conditions resulting from non-compliance to traffic regulations
  • The role the project plays in an area traffic management plan

The process by which traffic calming measures are assessed and approved/rejected 

  • Submit a request for ‘remedial engineering measures’ to your Subcouncil Manager. Applications lodged directly with the Transport Department will be forwarded to the Subcouncil Manager for initialisation of the process
  • The Subcouncil Manager will record the application in a schedule to form part of the subcouncil agenda and forward the request to the Ward Councillor
  • The Ward Councillor will complete a screening assessment of the request aided by the Remedial Engineering Measures Programme Screening Guideline. Assistance in undertaking the assessment could be provided by the Transport Department
  • The Councillor will meet the community in the immediate vicinity and obtain their support or otherwise for the application and their comment on the location of potential remedial measures
  • The completed screening assessment will be forwarded by the Ward Councillor to the Subcouncil Manager
  • On receipt of the assessment the Subcouncil Manager will forward the application, along with any specific proposals for remedial measures to the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate, which will consider the application and submit a technical report to the Subcouncil Manager within 60 days. The directorate and Ward Councillor will interact where appropriate during the technical assessment
  • The Subcouncil Manager will submit the technical report by the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate to the subcouncil. After considering the report by the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate, the subcouncil will decide, within the relevant legislation and policy, whether remedial measures are to be installed on the street in question
  • Should the subcouncil decide that remedial measures are to be installed on the street in question, the Subcouncil Manager will advise the applicant and forward the application to the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate for the design of the remedial measures. The Subcouncil Manager will inform the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate whether funds are to be provided by the Subcouncil or whether the application should be considered for implementation from funds available on the Transport, Roads & Major Projects Directorate capital budget

For more information, contact Sean Glass, Transport, Roads & Major Projects, City of Cape Town on 021 812 4409 or 084 222 1311

 See also