Going with the Tamboers flow

2015-11-24 06:00

A traffic plan to reduce congestion around schools may see Varsity Road in Tam-boerskloof converted into a one-way street.

Due to complaints received regarding the speed of vehicles on Varsity Street and the congestion experienced outside the Huppelland Pre-primary School during the peak school drop-off and pick-up periods, an assessment of the traffic situation was undertaken by the City of Cape Town.

There are no off-street parking facilities and, as such, parents either park on the southern sidewalk or on-street on the northern sidewalk while dropping off their children, explains mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron.

“These parents are blocking the pedestrian footway as well as movement for two-way traffic,” he says. “Some of the parents park so close to the resident’s driveways that the current practice has significantly reduced sight distance to these reversing residents, creating a safety concern for all road users along Varsity Street.”

Varsity Street also forms part of a route for parents dropping learners at the German International School of Cape Town in Upper Albert Road.

A traffic survey indicated that, on average, between 75 and 80% of existing traffic is travelling in the southbound direction during both the morning and midday peak school drop-off and pick-up periods.

The vehicles operating against this preferred flow of traffic were observed to cause congestion and frustrated behaviour from drivers travelling in the opposite direction. This is especially the case during the peak periods when there are few areas to pull out to allow a vehicle from the opposite direction to pass.

“Both Huppelland Pre-primary School and the German International School advise parents to use Varsity Street as a one-way in the southbound direction. The German International School also requests parents to use Upper Albert Road as a one-way in the downward (northbound) direction, thereby allowing a loop of Varsity Street into Bay View Avenue into Upper Albert Road into St Michael’s Road again,” Herron says.

It has been proposed that Varsity Street is converted into a one-way road in the uphill (southbound) direction between St Michael’s Road and Bay View Avenue, with on-street parking. This will also serve as a traffic calming measure during the off-peak periods and will improve available sight distance for residents exiting their garages.

“The informal one-way arrangement is currently functioning reasonably well and it is observed by the majority of the road users. The desired outcome is to formalise the current peak hour arrangement in the interest of mobility plus formalising on-street parking along Varsity Street in the interest of safety to motorists trying to reverse out of their driveways,” he says.

The formalised and marked parking within Varsity Street will also act as a visual traffic calming measure, Herron says.

“The road is currently 7,5 metres wide and will be narrowed to a width of approximately 3 metres for vehicular traffic, which will not allow for speeding,” he says.V Comment, input or recommendations can be submitted by 30 November via fax to 086 576 1644, e-mail to deon.manuel@capetown.gov.za or www.capetown.gov/haveyoursay

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