Durban - Residents of Rick Turner (Francois) Road in Glenwood have taken the law into their own hands by painting “Slow Down” on the busy street after failing repeated attempts to get the city council to implement traffic calming measures.
They say the stretch from the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Umbilo Road has become a racetrack for motorists who regularly crash into boundary walls and hit light poles.
Last year, in the most tragic of a series of incidents, 15-year-old Sakhile Manzini, a Glenwood Boys’ High pupil, was run over by an allegedly speeding car as he walked home. “We have taken it upon ourselves to do something because the council refuses to do anything. We cannot wait any longer,” said Craig McLachlan, a resident.
McLachlan said that over the years, residents had asked the municipality to install a pedestrian crossing or build speed humps.
Recently the council installed a 40km/h speed limit sign on the east-bound lane, but this had not deterred speedsters.
“This is why people have resorted to painting the (east-bound) road. We are tired of the speeding and not being able to get out of the driveway (because) motorists drive way over the speed limit.”
McLachlan said residents were so fed up with the municipality’s inaction that they planned to paint the west-bound lane, and a pedestrian crossing for pupils from Durban Girls’ High.
He said there was on average one crash a month. Last year the council had to replace one particular lamp-post four times. Two wooden crosses under a tree on the west-bound lane bear testimony to the lives lost on this road.
“We have three schools – Durban Girls’ High, Eden and Penzance – very close to where all the speeding takes place. I warned the council three years ago that someone was going to get killed and sadly it happened last year,” McLachlan said.
“We refuse to sit back and do nothing
He said residents were aware that the road markings were illegal, but had vowed to protest against removal of their markings.
“They cannot come and paint over the road because the residents will just do it again. If they come and try to paint over it, we will not accept it. These markings help.”
Ward councillor Warwick Chapman said that while marking a public road was illegal, he understood the concerns of the residents.
“This is what frustrated residents do. I feel for the residents in this road because they are the ones who are awoken at 2am when a speeding car crashes into their wall and open their gates to see dead or injured people in their driveway,” he said.
Chapman said that he had tabled a motion in council last year for the city to buy more speed cameras, but it was rejected. -Daily News