Crisis meeting over Ou Kaapse Weg

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Traffic on the Ou Kaapse Weg has been described as moving at two kilometres a fortnight during peak traffic hours. Picture: David Ritchie

Hard words were expected at a meeting on Friday to discuss severe traffic congestion on Cape Town’s Ou Kaapse Weg that is causing deep anger among residents and businesses in the southern peninsula.

Senior city officials were scheduled to meet representatives of seven civic associations and of some business interests at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre this morning. This had followed an urgent request by the groups in October to discuss traffic problems on and possible short-term improvements to the busy route.

The city has reported at least 111 accidents on Ou Kaapse Weg in the 10-month period between mid-December 2011 and the middle of October, and since then there have been several more, including a reported fatal incident last month - this could not be confirmed - as well as a hit-and-run incident that left a cyclist seriously injured and yet another truck accident at the “black spot” intersection of Ou Kaapse Weg and Steenberg Road last week that resulted in minor injuries to the driver and a passenger .

AN ALTERNATIVE TO MAIN ROAD

Traffic congestion on Ou Kaapse Weg has increased significantly during the rehabilitation of Main Road between Muizenberg and Clovelly, and has become particularly acute in the past three months.

According to last month’s newsletter of the Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers & Residents Association - one of the civic groups involved in Friday’s meeting - many residents and businesses are using Ou Kaapse Weg because of the Main Road work.

“This has resulted in long queues both up and down the mountain moving, as one radio caller described it, ‘at two kilometres a fortnight’. We are concerned about the congestion and safety on Ou Kaapse Weg and have joined the other groups)in asking the city to take measures to improve the situation.”

The association expressed particular concern about the intersection of Ou Kaapse Weg and Silvermine Road.

“After investigation the city has dismissed traffic lights or a roundabout, but has decided to level the ‘koppie’ opposite Silvermine Road to give better visibility. This has required an environmental impact assessment which has taken six months, but hopefully we will see action in the new year,” it noted.

It was difficult to determine the best option for this intersection, the association added.

“Widening the road at the intersection may increase the speed of north/south drivers and make it even more dangerous. We have asked that passing lanes be reconsidered as the big trucks moving slowly do cause a lot of problems. There is space for five passing lanes in one direction and three in the other.” - Cape Argus


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