Lack of sidewalks a

2017-03-15 08:20
The lack of sidewalks along Mimosa Road causes pedestrians to walk in the road. Photo:ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

The lack of sidewalks along Mimosa Road causes pedestrians to walk in the road. Photo:ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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THE booming suburb of Fairview is a property developer’s dream area, but the lack of sidewalks in some streets has motorists, pedestrians and residents hot under the collar.

It has become a common sight to see schoolchildren and other pedestrians walk in the roadway in Mimosa Road owing to the fact that no sidewalks exist for them to use.

Charlene Rademeyer, principal of Willow Academy in Fairview, said the school had requested that walkways were erected for pedestrians.

“In August last year we sent a letter to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to request that walkways are put up for our learners and staff. The only thing they have done so far is to build a bus embayment,” said Rademeyer.

Rademeyer added that one of the staff members at Willow Academy once showed up to work shaken because a vehicle had moved so close past her that her handbag had moved.

“It is not the pedestrians’ fault that they are walking in the road. Many of my learners come from areas far away from Fairview, so they travel by taxi and get dropped off on William Moffett, and then have to walk to school,” Rademeyer said.

She added that motorists should also recognise and acknowledge that the current situation is dangerous and that they should drive with extra care and exercise caution.

“Another problem on top of the fact that there are no sidewalks, are that some of the building contractors park their vehicles just about everywhere, making it even more difficult for pedestrians.”

Catherine Elliot, a Trustee at Brylin Independent Learning Centre, which is situated parallel to Mimosa Road, also feels that the situation is a ticking time bomb.

“I definitely feel that our learners are in danger as many of them have to walk from William Moffett Expressway to the school and only have the option of the road to walk on. Mimosa is a very busy road and, therefore, very dangerous for them.”

Elliot added, “We have, however, had positive assistance from Algoa Bus Company and they have redirected all their buses that carry any of our learners to detour off William Moffett and drop them outside the school instead of on William Moffett from where they would have to walk. There are, however, many that still have to walk because they have to use taxi transport to get to school.”

Ward 6 Councillor, Morné Steyn, said that he was aware of the problem of the lack of sidewalks and had a meeting with a delegation from the community recently.

“I also attended an ad hoc neighbourhood watch meeting last week. I am also a member of the Fairview WhatsApp group where the residents are able to communicate with each other as well as myself on matters of immediate concern,” Steyn said.

He said that it was agreed that a wider meeting of the Fairview community would be held soonest in order to further improve communication with the community.

“I could not agree more that the lack of sidewalks and verges along the roadways in Fairview is of major concern where pedestrians have to use the roadways which is not a safe situation.

“On taking office last year I identified this issue as a priority and have included the provision of not only sidewalks and verges but also bus and public transport embayments as a ward priority within my ward-based IDP submissions.

“As such my office shall be endeavouring to obtain the required budget provision in order to have these matters addressed,” Steyn said.

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