eThekwini Municipality to launch Open Streets Florida Road pilot to benefit pedestrians, boost foot traffic

Florida Road in the Morningside area of Durban

Florida Road in the Morningside area of Durban. File Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 15, 2023


Durban - eThekwini Municipality announced on Wednesday the launch of the one-day Open Streets Florida Road pilot on March 26 to increase foot traffic to businesses on Florida Road in Morningside, Durban.

In a statement, the City said the concept would see a portion of the Florida Road closed to traffic to promote active mobility.

“In a first for Durban, Open Streets Florida Road encourages the free and safe movement of pedestrians experiencing the space in a new and exciting way. In a bold approach to encourage active mobility, the City will launch its Open Streets pilot on popular street, Florida Road, Morningside on March 26,” said the statement.

The City said the one-day pilot programme would see a portion of the road closed off to vehicles, converting the street into a family-friendly precinct.

The pilot would be used as an experiment by the City’s Transport Authority where an assessment would be conducted on what works and how to improve the project for rollout in other areas around the City, it said.

According to the City, the Open Streets concept is about “pedestrianising” some of the busy areas on occasion for Durbanites and visitors as well as creating spaces that are accessible and safe for a day-long outdoor pop-up event.

Head of eThekwini Transport Authority, Thami Manyathi, said there would be market stalls, live music, arts and crafts and children’s activities among others.

“There will be a range of activities that will entice the senses, tantalise the taste buds and bring people together from all walks of life,” he said.

The City said a strong motivator was encouraging social interaction, community building, local tourism and family fellowship – and increased foot traffic to businesses in the area.

“The public is encouraged to support the pilot event,” it said.

From 9am to 5pm on March 26, no vehicles will be permitted from Florida Fields through to the top of 8th Avenue.

Motorists can make use of guarded street parking in the vicinity (side roads and dedicated parking area nearby) off Florida Road.