New-look PMB shown at IRPTN system meeting

2014-10-30 00:00

THE face of the Pietermaritzburg CBD could be barely recognisable in five years if the proposed Msunduzi Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) system is implemented in the manner being described to stakeholders.

A small group of public representatives met at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business yesterday to discuss the progress of the proposed project and to listen to concerns.

The meeting was called by the service provider, Urban Econ, as part of an environmental impact assessment study, a legal requirement in terms of the process.

There were representatives from car dealerships, other businesses and the public. The transport network development will probably be one of the biggest investments in Pietermaritzburg and will run over several years.

The project leaders screened a video presentation of what the network would look like once completed and how it would work.

The video was the idealist view of how Pietermaritzburg residents would want the city to look.

The flow and traffic management became an important talking point as the video showed clearly that once the project is completed, Church Street, which would be the spine of the project, would have been overhauled.

Some of the current parking bays would disappear and traffic would be strictly monitored.

Attendees were concerned over what the project would do to the adjacent streets.

Msunduzi project unit official Sikelela Mnguni explained the engineering changes, including how traffic would be accommodated in the new design.

He said the project was still in the design phase and many decisions were still being made, including how to accommodate delivery trucks and other vehicles servicing businesses.

“As part of the traffic management system, there will be CCTV cameras on the road, there will be traffic officials … to deal with such things [as illegal parking] and there will be a traffic monitoring centre that will ensure that traffic runs smoothly,” he said.

PCB CEO Melanie Veness said while they believed the system was “phenomenal”, they wanted to see the financial viability of the project.

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