The proposed conversion of a section of Strand’s Beach Road into a one-way during the construction of the second phase of the sea wall will not be implemented by the City of Cape Town.
The municipality has instead opted for a redesign of the road to ensure it remains open for traffic in both directions.
This decision follows objections by Strand residents residing in apartments along Beach Road, Haarlem Street and the immediate vicinity, who made their voices heard in the public participation process held from Monday 22 August until Thursday 22 September.
In August, the City announced its plans to permanently convert of a portion of Beach Road into a one-way street for west-bound traffic and for Haarlem Street’s conversion to a one-way to accommodate east-bound traffic (“Reaction to Strand one-way mixed”, DistrictMail & Helderberg Gazette, 31 August).
The proposal formed part of the second phase of the sea-wall rehabilitation project, which will comprise the construction of a new promenade and enhance the existing sea wall along Beach Road. But residents objected to the proposal, citing increased traffic, crime and noise concerns (“One-way plans are opposed, 5 October).
According to an email sent to residents by Maria le Roux, the City’s head of Coastal Management, the public was not in favour of the one-way proposal and raised a number of concerns with regard to the impact on Haarlem Street.
“In order to address residents’ concerns, an alternative layout was developed (in support of the subcouncil), which comprises reducing the promenade width from 5 m to 3,5 m and the width of the promenade steps from 600 mm to 400 mm along certain portions of Beach Road in order to maintain the existing two-way road,” Le Roux’s email stated.
“The outcome of the public participation process and proposed revisions to the conceptual design was presented to subcouncil on Thursday 20 October, which in turn supported the revised layout.”
One of the objectors Francois van Wyk, who represented at least 30 affected property owners, is elated at the news and thanked everyone for coming together to voice their concerns.
In response to the email Elke Watson, resident and trustee of Kuriake Apartments, thanked the City for listening to residents’ concerns. “We also want like to thank the City’s engineers for designing an alternative solution. I can assure you that many a Strand resident will be sleeping peacefully knowing Haarlem Street will remain as is.”
In a statement, Future Strand, an initiative founded to revitalise the town, said the one-way conversion would not be their first choice.
It, however, admitted keeping the two-way comes at the cost of reducing the promenade by 30%, which could mean cramped peak times. It accepted the latter as the lesser of the two evils.
“We can only provide further comment once we have seen the complete redesign plans,” the statement read.