Intersection to be reviewed

2015-05-05 06:00

Residents in Claremont can breathe a sigh of relief as plans are in place to review the “dangerous” intersection of Palmyra and Queen Victoria roads.

The review will consider alternative forms of traffic control both at the intersection and pedestrian crossing.

This comes as residents called for a reassessment of the intersections.

People’s Post previously reported that taxi drivers using Queen Victoria and Belvedere roads in Claremont are believed to be doing so illegally and have residents fuming (“Taxi shortcut irks residents”, Tuesday 3 March 2014).

Residents called on the City of Cape Town to take steps in apprehending the operators.

Ian Ryklief, who does not live far from Belvedere Road, says he has seen taxis driving down Queen Victoria Road on many occasions.

He added the speed at which they drive is dangerous. “They do not only put the lives of other motorists at risk, but also pedestrians who live and work in the area. An accident can happen at any moment,” he said.

Residents now suggest a number of solutions which include that either this intersection requires upgrading or a four-way stop street or traffic lights need to be installed here.

They also suggest that the entire length of Queen Victoria Road needs traffic calming measures and a maximum speed limit of 60km/h (ideally 40km/h) be enforced. They also urge that rat-running be discouraged by as many measures as possible to keep the traffic flows on the routes they were intended for.

Residents claim that cars are not allowed to park at certain locations in the road and that also encourages faster driving.

They would prefer improved pedestrian oriented facilities and on-road parking to discourage speedsters.

Residents further believe the fact that there is a school in one of the roads is enough motivation for traffic calming measures. And they claim that minibus taxis are frequently using this route, despite it being declared a ‘Minibus taxi free zone’ as signed at the corner of Belvedere and Queen Victoria.

Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, says the intersection of Palmyra and Queen Victoria roads is scheduled for review in the City’s new financial year which begins in July.

However, Herron says the road has been assessed in terms of the City’s traffic calming policy, and does not meet the necessary criteria for speed humps along its entire length. “Although Queen Victoria Road is a public transport bus route, where raised measures should preferably not be considered, one speed hump was approved adjacent to the play park,” he says.

Herron says the corridor along Campground and Palmyra roads will be subjected to a speed limit review process between Park and Stanhope roads, with a view to possible reduction of the current posted speed limit.

The process will take various environmental and operational factors into account.

“The presence of notable numbers of vulnerable road users could ultimately motivate for a reduction in the posted speed.

Various objective surveys and observations would, however, need to be conducted as inputs to this process,” he says.

Herron says in their experience traffic calming measures do not discourage rat-running. But while they do slow motorists down, they typically do not frustrate motorists to the same extent as congestion on the parallel arterial routes.

“Motorists therefore perceive that there is still an advantage to rat-running and continue to use the route. One of the reasons that a traffic signal has not been installed at Palmyra and Queen Victoria roads in the past is that a signal will ease access to Palmyra Road and further encourage rat-run traffic along Queen Victoria,” Herron says.

However, if a decision is taken to install a signal at the intersection, the signal timing plans will ideally give little green time to Queen Victoria Road and the majority of green time to pedestrians crossing Palmyra Road and vehicles travelling along the road,” he says

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