Traffic troubles

2016-05-10 06:00
The intersection at Woodbury and Racecourse roads in Lansdowne has long been a worry for residents, who say the intersection is not easily accessible and causes accidents.  PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

The intersection at Woodbury and Racecourse roads in Lansdowne has long been a worry for residents, who say the intersection is not easily accessible and causes accidents. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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A troublesome traffic intersection in Lansdowne will hopefully soon get a set of traffic lights if residents’ pleas are heard.

The intersection at Woodbury and Racecourse roads has long been a worry for motorists and residents after accidents at these roads. A recent accident spurred residents’ pleas for traffic lights at the intersection.

One resident, who did not want to be named, says the need for the traffic light should not be considered lightly.

“It is indeed a necessity for the area. Even though people slow down for the speeding cameras a few metres away, there are still accidents happening here that can be avoided. This can be done if traffic lights are put up,” she says.

The woman says the recent accident where a pedestrian was knocked down at the intersection is also worrying.

“People are walking home at night some times when they get back from work and use train as a method of transport. And because it’s getting dark sooner now, pedestrians are at risk because of low visibility,” she says.

The woman adds despite speed cameras fixed just over 100m away from the intersection, it does not help much. “People will slow down right before the speeding camera and then speed up again after they have passed it. It is very dangerous,” she says.

Lansdowne police spokesperson Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka confirms a pedestrian was knocked on Tuesday 3 May at 19:00.

He adds the woman was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital for medical attention. “The driver was charged for reckless and negligent driving. No arrests have been made.”

Ward councillor Anthea Green says: “The traffic lights are essentially on the cards. However, nothing has yet been confirmed.”

Mayco member for transport Brett Herron explains an internal approval process will have to take place for the traffic lights to materialise.

“The internal approval process is as follows: after completion of a conceptual proposal by the engineer, the proposal then needs to be presented to a technical review committee for consideration. This would not, however, imply automatic approval,” Herron says.

He adds at the committee meeting held on Wednesday 4 May, various queries and concerns were raised, necessitating further investigation relating to this approval.

“Approval was therefore not granted. The committee will sit again at the end of May. If the further investigations are completed by then, the revised proposals will be submitted for reconsideration,” Herron explains.

Asked what are the main concerns at the intersection, Herron confirms that motorists have reported “difficulty crossing the intersection and there is a risk of collisions occurring.”

Herron says the first application for traffic lights at the specific intersection was first received during July 2013.
“The first request was submitted in July 2013 and another request in October 2015, motivated on the grounds of difficulty experienced accessing this road.”
“In addition, final approval is ultimately granted by the technical committee. Once approved, projects are prioritised in terms of safety and delay considerations and the available funding for the financial year,” he explains.

Due to the approval not having been confirmed yet, Herron says the budget for the traffic lights will “depend on the solution that is ultimately considered”.

“The cost is very much dependent on the solution that is ultimately considered. By way of example, depending on the intersection layout, signalisation of an existing intersection can cost anything from R650 000 to R850 000. This would exclude larger civil works such as the addition of turning lanes,” Herron says.
“Further feedback can be provided once the investigation has been completed and final input from the technical committee has been received. Solutions other than signals may be deemed appropriate at this intersection – it is necessary to consider current as well as future needs, taking broader road network impacts into account,” Herron concludes.


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