Residents want ‘more than paint’

2015-09-22 06:00

Steenberg residents are once again calling on their local ward councillor to take steps in ensuring Diamond Drive on the corner of Military Road is safe for drivers and pedestrians.

This follows an accident which occurred last weekend where a man lost his life. People’s Post previously reported (“Man dies in car accident on Military”, 15 September).

A resident says people have difficulty in crossing the road or entering Diamond Drive in Sheraton Park.

“It seems like a tin of paint is all that is good for the community in the area as Council do not even erect a sign post to instruct drivers to slow down,” he says.

He says all they ask for is for the council or traffic department to look into the intersection and try and find a way in assisting by possibly installing a pedestrian crossing, traffic lights, an island or something else that will improve the situation.

People’s Post (“Walkers swerve for cars”, 28 July) previously reported that despite traffic calming measures in the form of painted yield signage and a pedestrian crossing, residents in Retreat claim motorists have not reduced speed when driving down Military Road.

The traffic calming measures were implemented about two years ago after requests from residents living on the corner of Military and Diamond roads.

Eric Bailey, chairperson of the Sheraton Park Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, said those who live in Diamond Road and surrounds have a hard time exiting the area due to the high speed that some motorists maintain.

“We therefore requested traffic lights to be installed, but instead they have implemented yield signs, which almost no-one adheres to,” he said.

Bailey said the main concern is that pedestrians are hardly given the opportunity to use the pedestrian crossing. With children having to cross the road in the morning and afternoons, parents now have to escort their children to ensure their safety.

“We sometimes stand here for over ten minutes and even then when you do get a gap to cross the road, you literally have to run across to avoid being knocked down,” he said. Bailey added that there is also no warning sign to indicate that there is a painted yield sign or a pedestrian crossing, which he believes could be the reason why motorists do not yield or stop for pedestrians.

They are now suggesting that the ward councillor re-evaluate the road to see if that section of the road is suitable for traffic lights, pedestrian traffic lights or speed bumps. “This request is in the best interest of the community, motorists, our children and other pedestrians.

“We do not want someone else to get hurt before anything is done. We need to be proactive,” Bailey said.

Ward councillor Marita Petersen said she is aware that in spite of the yield signs and pedestrian crossing drivers are not stopping for pedestrians as they should.

“We have received complaints from residents and pedestrians about motorists not adhering to the rules of the road and are monitoring this behaviour by setting up traffic operations,” she said.

Petersen said the traffic calming measures implemented on Military Road were part of a non-motorised transport upgrade about two years ago.

“We did this on request from residents and motorists in the community to reduce the speed of motorists.”

Petersen said she will request traffic lights at the intersection, but an evaluation would first need to be done.

“Further down Military Road traffic lights were installed due to traffic congestion at Steenberg Villas, and this has somewhat assisted with the flow of traffic. But we will take the concerns of the residents into account and then decide,” she said

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