Cape Town proposes new traffic calming measures policy

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town said on Sunday it was putting out a new policy for traffic calming measures such as speed humps and traffic circles as it sat with a backlog of 500 projects.

The City said the new traffic calming policy, aimed at protecting vulnerable pedestrians such as children on their way to school, was being currently being considered.

In a statement, the City said that each year Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, received more than 400 requests for the implementation of traffic calming measures, including requests for speed humps, raised pedestrian crossings and intersections, mini-traffic circles, road markings and road narrowing as devices to force drivers to slow down on residential roads.

The City’s Mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said: “Over the past years, we have seen an increase in the number of requests for traffic calming measures, which can be attributed to the deterioration in driver discipline and a general disregard for the rules of the road by all types of road user.

“Given the current backlog and the steady increase in requests, it has become necessary to revisit the current regime. As such, a new policy which seeks to prioritise the implementation of these measures where pedestrians, and particularly children, are most vulnerable i.e. at schools, parks, libraries, etc. is now on the table and ready for public comment.”

There was currently a backlog of 500 traffic calming projects to the value of R30 million.

“The purpose of the new proposed policy is to provide for a system that is financially sustainable in the long-run; responsive to critical safety problems on residential roads; and that will assist in eliminating the backlog within a reasonable time,” said Herron.

Counting among the new policy proposals were the following:
That TCT implement traffic calming measures on roads adjacent to existing schools as a matter of priority with the benchmark of at least 50 schools per year
That Ward Councillors may identify, motivate and fund traffic calming measures in response to a proven history of accidents on a road or in response to a recent and very urgent incident that demands immediate intervention
That private persons or organisations may also fund traffic calming measures, subject to the prescribed conditions

“The proposed policy also stipulates on which roads the interventions may be implemented and how the public should be consulted,” added Herron.

The following directives were proposed:
Speed humps, raised pedestrian crossings and intersections, mini-circles and other traffic calming measures may be implemented at any location on a Class 5 residential road in the vicinity of public facilities
Traffic calming measures may only be implemented at intersections or locations where a significant number of pedestrians cross a Class 4 distributor road in the vicinity of public facilities. Calming measures may not be implemented elsewhere along Class 4 roads
Calming measures should not cause a hazard to any road user
Calming measures must be implemented in a way that minimises the effect on public transport users
TCT must implement calming measures at 50 schools each year, the funding of which is to be provided by Council
TCT must implement an additional 150 traffic calming projects from the priority list each year in an effort to eradicate the current backlog. These projects are also to be funded by Council
Ward Councillors may identify the need and motivate for traffic calming measures on a Class 5 residential road and Class 4 distributor road and shall reserve ward allocation funding for the design and implementation thereof
Other directorates within the City requiring traffic calming measures at public facilities shall provide the funding for these interventions
Private individuals, companies and organisations may fund the investigation, design and implementation of calming measures at public facilities, subject to the stipulated provisions
Ward Councillors and Subcouncils should be informed of the intended implementation of calming measures within their areas and be afforded the opportunity to comment on the proposed measures
Owners of property adjacent to a road on which calming measures are proposed to be implemented should be offered the opportunity to comment

“The public participation process commenced on Wednesday 1 July 2015 and will close on 16 August 2015. I want to urge residents and interested parties to please take the time to submit their written comments about the proposed policy. We are trying our best to make our roads as safe as possible for all road users, in particular for our children, but we cannot do this on our own.

“Apart from obeying the rules of the road, residents can also play their part by assisting us to find the delicate balance between policy, resourcing, engineering and education,” said Herron. – ANA