Roads and Transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge has promised many more car-free days, like this one in Israel. File photo: Oded Balilty / AP
Pretoria - No total road closure was expected this morning when City of Tshwane officials and other interested parties cycle in the streets of the inner city to encourage people to use environmentally-friendly modes of transport.

City officials and residents joining the ride were scheduled to embark on a 5km cycle run from Tshwane House to Sisulu Street, Visagie, Paul Kruger, through Church Square and into Madiba Street before heading back to the municipal headquarters.

However, those not joining the cyclists were warned of delays that might take place when the cyclists take over the streets.

Roads and Transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said: “There will not be a total road closure. We will be accompanied by members of the metro police to ensure that cyclists have a smooth ride and clear traffic.”

The green mobility Friday is one of the City’s October Transport Month activities under the theme, “Together we can move the capital forward”. For today and next Friday, Hatfield has been declared a car-free zone with a road closure of Burnett Street between Festival and Grosvenor streets from 5am to 5.30pm.

'Just the beginning'

The Car-Free Friday was not be a once-off initiative, Senkubuge said. It was the beginning of many more such Fridays.

“We do not want the initiative to be a once off thing as we aim to make a Car-Free Friday every week so we can get the green city we want,” she said.

Senkugube said the launch and the implementation of the initiative today was not aimed at inconveniencing anyone. She said they hoped people would get the feel of what it could be like not to depend on their individual modes of transport.

“We want to encourage people to use public transport not only to contribute to a greener city but to also ease traffic congestion, especially in areas like Hatfield where it is always congested," she said.

“We thought that launching this during October Transport Month is a good idea because this is also implemented in other cities this month."

Greener city, healthier lifestyle 

Senkubuge hoped for a huge turn-out of city dwellers taking part in the initiative on Friday, to be part of contributing to a greener city and a healthier lifestyle.

Mayor Solly Msimanga, Senkubuge and other City officials will this morning be in their takkies and on their bicycles to cycle their way around the city centre for the city’s first-ever Car-Free Friday.

Senkubuge said the City would close off Transport Month with the annual 30km green ride on October 29 at Hammanskraal Sports Complex.

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