Long Street set for safety upgrade

2013-10-25 09:25

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Cape Town - If you've walked down Long Street recently then you'll know that the iconic street in Cape Town, popular for its nightlife appeal, has taken on rather seedy subculture that either sees drug swindlers trying to dupe you into buying "headache powder on the street" or a series of beggars looking for a few "odds".

Sipho Hlongwe recently wrote in a column that Long Street's "promise of danger looms heavier than the famous mountain just over yonder".

And with the festive season silliness headed into town, the City of Cape Town is wise to get cracking on improving safety measures.

The Cape Argus reports the City, together with law-enforcement agencies, the Central City Improvement District, businesses and property owners will work to clamp down on these illegal activities. The plan is said to include 24-hour safety patrols and changes to the city’s Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances By-law to make it easier to crack down on illegal drug sales, the use of registered parking marshals to monitor the area at night and the installation of additional CCTV cameras.

The idea of closing off parts of Long Street was positively received, with the Good Hope Subcouncil approving a motion to turn the top half of Long Street from Watson Street to Wale Street into a permanent "fan walk" in August 2013.

Councillor Dave Bryant, who made the proposal, said service delivery vehicles would still have access during set hours, and emergency vehicles and the MyCiTi buses would still be able to drive along the road.

JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security says the anticipated pedestrianisation of a section of Long Street would be piloted in the next few months.

Fewer cars would mean easier patrols for law enforcement, however the overflow caused by the closed-off pedestrian area would create a host of other issues, including increased  pickpocket risk and drinking in public on the pavement areas.

Smith stated the strategy however would not be limited to Long Street alone.

While Long Street remains a protected architectural showcase thanks to the National Heritage Resources Act, as most of the building are more than 60-years-old, it really means diddlysquat if people don't feel safe to go there. 

Have you visited Long Street recently, tell us about your experience or some of your favourite hangouts by emailing info@news24travel.com



Read more on:    cape town  |  travel south africa

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