During the month of October travelling to, from and within the business hub of Sandton will be, to say the least, different.
The City of Joburg will be hosting the ‘EcoMobility World Festival’, aimed at decongesting traffic in Sandton.
A major part of the event is a changed traffic management plan for the Sandton CBD and certain access routes, aimed at limiting the number of vehicles in the CBD and increasing the use of public transport, cycling and walking.
The core of the Sandton CBD will be closed for regular traffic for from October 4 to the end of the month. The idea is that people travelling to and from Sandton will leave their vehicles at various park and ride facilities inside and outside the CBD and use public transport within the city, which may be more efficient, thanks to special measures to give preference to public transport.
According to Wonder Dlamini, speaking on behalf of the City of Joburg, the affected streets won’t be closed off completely for people who need to take their own vehicles in. The Johannesburg Metro Police (JMPD) will control access at some points, but will allow for example employees who have to take their private vehicles to their places of work inside the EcoMobility precinct.
The city explains the plan as follows:
West Street will be divided into two by a ‘hoarding’ (barrier) stretching from the corner of Fredman to near the entrance of the Michelangelo Hotel. On the east side of the hoarding, construction vehicles and private cars that need access to buildings on the east side of West as well as Stella street will be able to go up and down. On the west side of West Street, the pavement will be widened and include a cycle lane. This is a legacy project and will continue on both sides of West after the festival. Vehicles that have to access the Gautrain and other businesses will be able to do so from Rivonia Road through a managed access point.
Vehicles will be able to access Maude Street at 5th Street but there will be a cul-de-sac at West. This will give access to local users and more space for walking and cycling. Vehicles will be able to turn around at the West Street end.
Maude Street will be a one-way from West Street and only vehicles coming up West Street from Fredman will have access.
Residents, visitors and workers will be able to use this street, but it will be narrower, because it will also be used as a transport hub for metered taxis, tuk-tuks and public transport. There will be no access from Alice to West Street. Accommodation will be made for large trucks that need to get to the Sandton Convention Centre to make a u-turn.
During the weekdays and most weekends, Gwen Lane can be used by vehicles but they will only be able to turn left at Maude Street. On some weekends, Gwen Lane will be closed.
A public transport loop will be operational along Rivonia, Fredman and 5th Streets. One of the street lanes will be taken way and the pavement broadened. This will serve as temporary infrastructure during October 2015, but will become a permanent feature in Sandton from June 2016.
During the morning and afternoon, traffic peak contraflow lanes for public transport will be implemented on the route between Sandton and Randburg, along Republic Road, William Nicol Drive and Sandton Drive. Public transport will receive priority from Montecasino to Republic Road. Public transport express lanes will be in operation along the Rea Vaya lanes currently being constructed along Katherine Street – from just north of Grayston Drive. The roads can only be entered at a few designated locations.
A dedicated cycle route will be implemented from Alexandra to Sandton, as will temporary ‘pop-up’ routes from Rosebank, Parkmore and Benmore/Riverclub with signposting and marshalls on duty.
Travellers will be able to use the Gautrain, Metrobus, Gautrain buses and minibus taxis from the park and ride facilities. A list of the park and rides, the cost and hours of operation is available here.
The city said it is “confident that retail businesses will benefit from the closure of the streets as the festival is intended to attract “feet to the streets” in the form of pedestrians who will attend the various events hosted during the month and enjoy the opportunity to walk around in a car-free environment”.
These events include among others a fashion show, “Streets Alive” festival, Freedom Ride Jozi, a duathlon and Rugby World Cup Final Fan Park. Many of these events will take place in the streets and event specific traffic measures will be implemented.
Article Source: MoneyWeb