Call for Tshwane to become a safe-cycling city
WITH the increase in the number of walkers and cyclists there is a growing demand to make the city safe, and encourage a move away from motorised transport.
The city authorities arranged the Cities Finance Facility event – which supports cities in developing climate change projects – and hopes to embed a culture of cycling in the capital and encourage a shift away from a car-centric city.
The City of Tshwane’s Rehana Moosajee, who facilitated the programme, spoke about walking and cycling as modes of transport and enabling communities to actively participate in the economy.
University of Pretoria transport engineering graduate Nahungu Lionjanga gave the example of a discussion he had with someone who moved from Cape town to Pretoria.
The person said in Cape Town they seldom needed a car to get around but now that they are in Pretoria and don’t have a car, the scope of what they can do has been greatly reduced.
“A major concern is the safety of non-motorised transport and pedestrians on the road, as well as the safety of women when they occupy public spaces," said Lionjanga.
"With the surge of gender based violence, it grossly affects how women perceive their safety in public spaces."
She said a cycle-safe city could be a reality on a larger scale, however, it would take a lot of change because the spatial planning in Tshwane was designed for people with cars.
Sandile Mabundla, who is co-founder of a bicycle shop, said there were a lot of issues with public transport, but the humble bicycle had come a long way.
Bicycles have become sought-after for transport and leisure, and he believed that townships could become cycling townships.
“One thing we have come to realise (is) not to wait on the government because it takes a while for the infrastructure to be designed.
“Just to get something as simple as a sign took a number of months because there are a lot of steps … but if you poke enough eventually they will come to play," Mabundla said.
"The history of safety for us is deep but it's time for us to create a safe-cycling campaign that will elevate motoring around sharing of the road,” he added.