Calls for street closure

2016-07-05 06:00
ConWatch neighbourhood watch says they want Muritz Way closed as it brings a lot of crime into their area . PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

ConWatch neighbourhood watch says they want Muritz Way closed as it brings a lot of crime into their area . PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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ConWatch Neighbourhood Watch in Coniston Park says they want Muritz Way closed off as it is bringing a lot of crime into their area.

The neighbourhood watch members say it has become extremely difficult to control crime as criminals use Muritz Way as an escape route to Prince George Drive.

ConWatch co-chairperson Gilbert Carstens says the solution is simple.

“We want Muritz Way closed. Criminals easily come into the area and they run away easily because it opens for them to run to any direction as soon as they come out of Muritz Way. If we have it closed it will be difficult for criminals to escape,” he says.

Carstens adds that while corresponding with the City of Cape Town, they were told that the City couldn’t close Muritz Way.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport says ward councilor Marita Petersen first raised the issue of a closure at the intersection of Muritz Way and Prince George Drive in early 2012.

“This was related to a condition of subdivision approval granted in 1991, which stipulated that the access be physically closed with bollards and barrier kerbing. The matter was investigated and determined that, due to the time which had elapsed (approximately 20 years), we could no longer act on this condition. We could also not establish why this condition was never acted upon at the time,” says Herron.

Carstens says: “This is just adding to our problems. If they can’t close it we want a big wall that will separate our side from Prince George Drive. If we have the wall it will be difficult for criminals to come into our area and it will be difficult for them to escape. We just want something that will help us reduce crime in our area.”

Apart from crime, Muritz Way has also become a favourite for people that bypass traffic from Prince George Drive. This makes it very difficult for people in that area to go in and out of their driveways, Carstens says.

“During peak hours this area gets very bad. We can’t get into or out of our driveways because motorists bypass Prince George Drive causing a lot of traffic in this small road. Closing it will be a better solution for us here.”

Herron explains that given the purpose of the closure was to prevent rat-running from Prince George Drive via Muritz Way to Military Road, signage was erected in early 2014 to restrict vehicular movements from Prince George Drive between 06:30 and 09:30 on weekdays as an alternative to a permanent closure to vehicles.

Herron adds: “Traffic calming measures have also been implemented along Coniston Avenue to further deter motorists from rat running through Coniston Park. It should be noted that the proposed closure, as per the subdivision conditions, was most likely to prevent rat-running and was not intended to alleviate crime.

“This would need to be investigated by the City and in all likelihood a traffic study will be required to determine the impact of a physical closure to vehicular traffic on Muritz Way. The City must take into consideration the use of the road by all road users and the proximity of alternative routes – it is highly unlikely that a closure to all modes of transport would be considered. Residents must please approach their ward councillor with a fully motivated proposal for consideration.”

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