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About Turn on Road Tarring

Updated: Mar 22


Residents on Arum Avenue have prevented their road from being tarred during a KRRA-convened meeting between officials and residents following the sudden arrival of City work crews to tar two roads in Kommetjie, including Diemaar Road.


Here is the summary of the meeting, which was held at 60 Arum Ave on 15 March 2024

 

Subject:  Tarring of Arum Ave and Diemaar Road, Kommetjie

 

Attendees:

Simon Liell-Cock, Ward 61 Councillor

Brendon Fortuin, District Engineer, City of Cape Town

Assistant District Engineer, City of Cape Town

 

Residents:

Michele Koch  -  60 Arum Ave

Sean Koch  -  60 Arum Ave

Roger McLeod  -  60 Arum Ave

Emma Hoops  -  62 Arum Ave

Nolan Hoops  -  62 Arum Ave

Cameron Griffiths  -  66 Arum Ave

Anneke Potgieter  -  68 Arum Ave

Brendon Potgieter - 68 Arum Ave

Dianne  Looman -  60 Arum Ave

Emma Staines, 2 Arum Ave

Chris Staines, 2 Arum Ave

Arthur Heywood  -  Diemaar Rd

Nikki Mitchell  - 6 Arum Ave

Marjan Ritchie

Ian Macduff, 4 Arum Ave

 

Summary

 The meeting was held to discuss the unexpected commencement of work on the tarring of Diemaar Road, and the imminent commencement of same of Arum Avenue, both at its western end and the short section between Kirsten Ave and Skilpadsvlei.

 

Residents had requested the meeting to address the following concerns:

1.     That the road improvement was neither needed nor in fact wanted any of the Arum Avenue residents

2.     There were concerns about increased rainwater runoff and its potential environmental impact on wildlife and property.

3.     The proposed 10m diameter turn around for large vehicles proposed at the western end of Arum Ave would form a de facto parking area and late-night party venue. Formalised roads also tend to allow higher speed vehicle traffic and reduced pedestrian safety.

4.     Inadequate notice had given about the commencement of the work.

5.     It was strongly felt amongst the resident group that, while appreciating the best intentions of City planners, they were the ones who best knew what was really needed by the community. Accordingly, the residents felt that not only were these improvements unnecessary and undesirable, but that the funds would be better spent on far more urgent and deserving projects elsewhere in Kommetjie. Most notable was the area of public safety, where the funding could have the most beneficial impact. 

 

Examples of more urgently needed upgrades were, amongst others:

1.     Erica Road, where the slope of the existing gravel road causes frequent erosion and gravel runoff and requires frequent regrading.

2.     The extension of the pavement along Benning Drive next to the Milkwood grove, where a pedestrian was killed owing in part to the lack thereof.

3.     A safe pedestrian walkway alongside Kommetjie Road between Ocean View and Kommetjie. (Pedestrian deaths at Rubbi Road intersection and other locations were cited.)

4.     A safe and continuous pedestrian walkway along the whole length of Wireless Road.


Mr. Fortuin apologized for the inadequate notice of work commencement and undertook to address this in future. He also advised that the 5yr Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was the appropriate forum for public participation in planning matters of this kind. He explained the City’s long-standing policy goal of formalizing,  (ie; tarring) all the roads in their jurisdiction, which had the long-term benefit of avoiding yearly maintenance costs for leveling, grading, etc., as well as being seen as a minimum standard by homeowners concerned with the value of their properties.


However, the residents present pleaded that they had no need for, nor did they want the remaining gravel roads formalised. The rural feel of unpaved gravel roads was for them an essential ingredient in the character of Kommetjie. It was also noted that the 3 short sections of road being considered effectively pedestrian-safe cul-de-sacs, and therefore not subject to fast-moving through traffic. The very nature of the gravel roads, potholes and all, slows vehicle traffic.


Mr. Liell-Cock was understanding and sympathetic to the residents’ representations and undertook to work with the City officials to stop the "formalising" of Arum Avenue. Regarding Diemaar Road, it was noted that as there had not been unanimity amongst the residents objecting to the upgrade, and as construction contracts had already been assigned, the work would likely go ahead as planned under an already approved IDP.


Mr. Fortuin said he would however be responsive to requests made by the residents of Erica Road to accelerate progress towards getting that upgrade funded.


Editor's note: The foreman on site said that the work at Diemaar was signed off, and that it was to reduce the height of the road to prevent the flooding of three houses during the winter.



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