Verges are side walks

2015-05-05 06:00

Responding to the article “Residents and school meet” (People’s Post, 7 April). My suggestion that more children should be encouraged to walk and cycle to school was not mentioned. At the meeting this was dismissed as “too dangerous”. Here is my argument:

No, we do not own our verges, the City [of Cape Town] does and yes, we are expected to maintain them.

It is a bit of a contradiction. We are not supposed to plant anything on, or remove trees from our verges. Bearing that in mind, the best plan, in my opinion, is to make our verges as nice as possible, while allowing adequate space for pedestrians to pass without having to walk in the road.

Mowing the grass (or replacing it with porous stones) and trimming the trees so that they are easy to walk under is not a big job.

And it makes the outside of your home look neat and attractive. If you are going to do anything extra, it is best to plant indigenous water-wise plants only.

That way we do the least damage to the environment and may even increase the biodiversity in the area. Using the verge to plant veggies and herbs is another way to increase the value of it for the community. For some, the reason they plant alien agaves and cactuses all over their verges is actually to prevent people walking on them.

Some verges also have large rocks and other obstructions on them.

This is really not acceptable as we want to encourage walking in our suburb. A compromise can be found by planting indigenous spikey plants along the wall, leaving the rest of the verge for walking.

Crime and cars can be ultimately reduced by encouraging more pedestrians and cyclists in the community.

The more cyclists and pedestrians, the fewer cars! Fewer cars means less fumes and safer walking and cycling. More pedestrians and cyclists means less crime as the streets are populated and watched by more residents at ground level

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