On your feet, to the shore

2015-05-12 06:00
The reconstruction of Sidmouth Road will set the scene for a pedestrian walkway between the beachfront and village in Muizenberg. PHOTO: 
nicole mccain

The reconstruction of Sidmouth Road will set the scene for a pedestrian walkway between the beachfront and village in Muizenberg. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Bringing life back into Muizenberg Village is the aim of a new pedestrian thoroughfare which will link the area to the beachfront.

The Sidmouth Road reconstruction, set to start this week, will create a walkway between Surfer’s Corner and Melrose Road.

The project was proposed in 2011, when the False Bay Tourism and Business Association suggested a corridor in the style of the fan walk in Green Point, created there to accommodate the 2010 Soccer World Cup spectators, says chairperson Gerald Musikanth.

The project will now take place in two phases, he explains, with the second phase seeing the pedestrian walkway continued to Atlantic Road.

Locals have been trying to find a way to link the two areas for 20 years, says subcouncil 19 chairperson Felicity Purchase.

“It is felt that this will revitalise the area, and with the growing developments on Beach Road a pedestrian link has become even more important,” she says.

The project will make use of a parking area currently used by the electricity department.

This facility is in the process of being closed, Purchase explains, as it is too small to cater for the area’s needs.

She says a new depot in Fish Hoek will serve the area south of Silvermine, while the White Road depot will cater for suburbs north of the river.

The depot is expected to move in the next two years, she says.

“The roadworks being done to Sidmouth Road will prepare the way for the sale of this property, and will make the property more marketable, within the heritage parameters,” she says.

Muizenberg has always been portioned by physical barriers, explains Musikanth. As the railway lines cut through the seaside destination of old, bridges such as those needed at Atlantic and Main roads have over the years made it difficult for tour buses to access the suburb.

And while the beachfront precinct has been growing, it has “been sucking the life” out of the village, Musikanth says. However, this project is set to change all that, he believes.

“The project will open up a pedestrian link between the village and beachfront, which will see the growth and development spilling in the village by channelling feet,” he says.

He also hopes it will boost the tourist numbers. “If buses access the area from Albertyn Road, there will be a link through the village to the beach,” he says.

Ward councillor Dave D’Alton says the community has been waiting for this to happen since it was proposed three years ago. “They are delighted that it is actually happening.”

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