Walking on the pavement is a daily challenge for pedestrians in Nomzamo’s busy Michael Street.
This is because vehicles park on the pavement, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road – a sometimes dangerous practise. And residents are not happy about the state of affairs, especially as the country faces an increasing number of pedestrian fatalities daily.
“I’ve lost count of how many people are hit by the side mirrors of cars as they try to make their way down the street. This is because of these cars are parked on the sidewalks, which are meant to be used by pedestrians,” says resident Nosiviwe Mtukela.
“Motorists do not reprimand each other, but they shout at pedestrians and ask whether they cannot see that a car is coming. Yet the ‘pedestrian walk’ is occupied by cars.”
This is not only a challenge for pedestrians, but also taxi drivers who claim they struggle to make their way down the street, especially over weekends.
Taxi driver Bathandwa Mdolomba (29) tells City Vision labels motorists who park their cars on the sidewalks as “inconsiderate”.
“This road is very busy. The taxi rank is on this road and the local shopping centre is also here. Motorists should really think before parking their cars here. We must always hoot for people, who cannot freely walk down the road,” he says.
Pedestrian Lubabalo Ntlosa says: “If you try to raise the issue with the drivers, they tend to be aggressive and violent. We do not know where to report these incidents; even traffic officers do not issue fines when they see the cars are parked illegally.”
In this case, children are most at risk.
Councillor Anda Ntsodo, former Mayoral Committee member for Area East, confirms it is illegal to park on the pavement or any part of it.
“Transgressions of the National Road Traffic Act and the City of Cape Town’s Traffic Bylaw are far too common. However, given our finite resources, we are not able to be everywhere all of the time,” he explains.
“The City calls on residents to assist traffic officers by reporting any traffic issues on 021 596 1999, to assist in directing our enforcement operations.”
Ntsodo further appeals to motorists to show due consideration for other road users – in this case, pedestrians.
“Countrywide, our pedestrian fatality rate is of great concern, so it is paramount that they have safe spaces to walk along,” Ntsodo says.
“That is the intention with pavements, and motorists obstructing these walkways are simply putting innocent lives at risk with their thoughtless behaviour.”