Nightmare on Victoria street

2019-04-09 06:00
Cars illegally parked on a live reserved for busses.PHOTOS: THABANG KUAHO

Cars illegally parked on a live reserved for busses.PHOTOS: THABANG KUAHO

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The woes surrounding Queen Victoria Street in the central business district seem to be one that affects many motorists and passengers.

Last week People’s Post was made aware of the narrow street that is located between Perth and Wale Streets.

Glyn Fogell, who works in one of the offices in Queen Victoria, said the road is so narrow that two heavy motor vehicles tra-velling in opposite directions could hardly pass each other without having difficulty doing so.

All this is apparently due to the parking bays on both sides of the road.

Fogell said the two-way flow during the day was tight for normal cars or bakkies travelling in opposite directions.

“However, the City Sightseeing Tour buses have a stop just opposite the Western Cape Department of Social Development building and another at the planetarium at the curve where Grey’s Pass joins Queen Victoria [Street], so these buses travel up the street from Wale Street on a frequent basis,” she said.

“When a bus meets a car or a similar light motor vehicle, there is barely room for the two to pass at a snail’s pace and usually the car pulls in as far to the left as the parked cars will permit so that the bus does the careful navigation of the remaining gap,” Fogell explains further.

She said traffic comes to a standstill when two heavy motor vehicles move in opposite directions.

As if that was not enough of a problem for motorists, Fogell said the filming of movies and advertisements in the area also contributed to the problems.

“When the film crew’s trucks are parked on both sides of the road for ease of operation, there is barely room for a bus and only single stop-and-go flow is possible even for cars,” she explained.

She alleged that an ambulance rushing a patient to a medical facility once got stuck in the traffic at the very same street, but traffic spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said there was no record of this reported to the City. “No incidents have been reported about emergency vehicles not being able to move along Queen Victoria Street,” Bezuidenhout said.

Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase said the matter regarding the street had been brought to the City’s attention and investigations were currently underway.

“The City can confirm that Queen Victoria Street suffers capacity constraints in terms of mobility due to the current on-street parking arrangement within a limited street width,” she explained.

“This situation results in slower travelling speed which is not necessarily undesirable in an environment with a high number of pedestrians. Wider roads in general invite higher travelling speeds with greater risk to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users,” she explained further.

She said the City has initiated investigations into the concerns raised about congestion and safety along the street.

Purchase said there is a possibility that the street will be turned into a one-way or the parking bays will be removed.

Both possibilities form part of the scope of a current study that would also consider factors such as general traffic safety; the demand for on-street parking in the area; the implementation costs versus the objective benefits to be gained; and the practicality of any proposal, among others.

“The public must bear in mind that should the traffic study result in a recommendation in favour of the requested interventions, all proposals of this nature will still be subjected to an extensive public participation process whereby interested and affected parties will have the opportunity to comment or submit objections to the proposals,” Purchase explained. The cost of these changes has not yet been investigated.

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