The City of Cape Town could introduce a new type of road marking that creates an illusion that a vehicle is speeding up, so that the driver actually slows down, helping to improve traffic safety.
A first for Cape Town if accepted - city traffic engineers still have to give it the technical go-ahead - this will be one of several measures aimed at reducing the number of accidents at the “black spot” intersection of Ou Kaapse Weg and Steenberg Road.
Also, a third set of road signs warning truck drivers to slow down ahead of this high-accident intersection will be erected within the coming weeks, while existing lane markers on the road surface will be repainted.
Elsewhere on Ou Kaapse Weg, the city will post a limited number of traffic officials to patrol the road to create a higher law enforcement presence, and it will look at the possibility of banning right-hand turns off this busy route into Silvermine Road, Noordhoek, for drivers travelling south. This intersection is also an accident black spot where fatalities have occurred.
LIVELY TWO-HOUR MEETING
The city has agreed to start discussions with major businesses in the South Peninsula - such as the retail giants in the Sun Valley and Longbeach Mall - to see whether they will agree to keep their heavy delivery vehicles off Ou Kaapse Weg during peak traffic hours, but it has suggested that civic groups and non-government organisations do likewise and that this could produce quicker results.
These are some of the outcomes of a lively two-hour meeting between senior city officials and representatives of seven civic associations in the ‘Deep South’ and of the body corporate of the Steenberg office park and the Home Owners’ Association of the adjoining Silvertree Estate, at the northern end of Ou Kaapse Weg.
The groups had asked for an urgent meeting to discuss growing concern and frustration at the increasingly severe traffic problems and the high number of accidents on Ou Kaapse Weg in recent years - and particularly since the start of the project to upgrade Main Road between Muizenberg and Clovelly.
While the meeting, chaired by the chairwoman of Subcouncil 19 Felicity Purchase, was called specifically to discuss traffic issues on Ou Kaapse Weg, the civic groups also hit out at the city for not responding timeously to issues raised and for allowing the rapid development of the Far South in recent years without adequate infrastructure, and questioned whether levies from developers were being used appropriately.
Former councillor and Simon’s Town mayor Nikki Holderness warned: “I think we’ve come to crunch time now”, while Theo Verrijdt of the Kommetjie Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association said: “We are all getting to the tipping point.”
The possible use of the “illusion” road marker was raised during a presentation by traffic engineer Sean Glass, head of the city’s transport network development, who explained why the city did not agree with the proposal for a runaway truck “arrester bed” at the Steenberg intersection.
An analysis had shown that “risky behaviour” by truck drivers here was the major cause of accidents, not brake failures.
He also said the city believed the environmental and financial costs of passing lanes on Ou Kaapse Weg were “possibly not that well understood”. - Cape Argus