Durban Road in Little Mowbray is in dire need of revitalisation, says Jonathan Hobday of the Durban Road Action Group (DRAG).
For the past 20 years, DRAG, together with the Rosebank and Mowbray Civic Association (RMCA), has been campaigning to have the area, stretching from the historic horse fountain to the Liesbeek River, re-developed.
Hobday says changes to the City’s Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan, which at one point called for the widening of Durban Road, have led to the decline of Little Mowbray.
Many of the adjacent properties, which were bought by the City under compulsory purchase years ago, stand empty today. Hobday feels the whole area needs a rethink.
Creating extra parking is one measure which, Hobday believes, would change things for the better. He says if some of the empty City-owned lots could be used for parking it would immediately boost business.
Another suggestion, expected to bring feet to the area, is to link the pedestrian and cycle track around Rondebosch Common with the Liesbeek river trail by widening Durban Road to include cycle and running lanes.
For this to work, traffic calming measures will be needed. The group’s plans include an upgrade of the horse fountain at the intersection of Durban and Campground roads into what it calls “Fountain Square” (People’s Post, “Fountain desperate for attention”, 16 July).
“We would like to have the historic horse fountain restored and resited about three to five metres back to prevent it from getting damaged by passing trucks,” he says.