Sign of the Times
The #Love30km campaign, which calls for a maximum speed in the village of 30km/h, is gathering momentum with another Surfboard Sign put up near Kommetjie Primary school calling on motorists to drive carefully and safely.
This follows the peaceful protest in June to call for a pavement on the road between Ocean View and Kommetjie, which was attended by children, cyclists, skateboarders and civic groups from Ocean View, Kommetjie and the surrounds.
Road safety activist and Kommetjie resident Caro Smit, head of the Road Safety arm of Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association (KRRA) and founder and director of South Africans Against Drunk Driving (Sadd), organised the protest held along the road between Ocean View and the Kom. Sadd works with similar road-safety organisations around the world to reduce road deaths and injuries.
According to an article in False Bay Echo, Smit said: “Speed is the main killer. We work on evidence-based practices, like asking for speed reductions – 30km, especially outside schools – as well as advocating for the rights of non-motorised transport (NMT) users, pedestrians, the elderly, people with disabilities, runners, cyclists and women with children in prams,” she said.
Elspeth Hurley, 7, said she dreamt of going to school either by horse or bicycle. Her mother, Emily Hurley, said the verge was too rough for her small bike and she would not be safe, especially in peak traffic.
KRRA chairperson Patrick Dowling said developers and City were not paying attention to NMT. “It’s the social fabric to building community cohesion,” he said. Skateboarder Sasha James, of Imhoff’s Gift, said he was tired of hearing about cyclists, skateboarders and even pedestrians on zebra crossings being knocked down. Matthew Gamage said skateboarding the 2km from his Slangkop home to work in Weavers End was dangerous, and recently he was almost hit by a taxi doing a U-turn in Kommetjie Road.
Ms Smit said that according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation, it costs the country R7 million, on average, when someone is killed on the road. “Therefore, installing NMT lanes will save money in the long run,” she said, adding that they were asking for a separate track for vulnerable users with a barrier to prevent vehicles crossing onto it. It should also be well lit.
Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock, who is a member of the City’s urban mobility portfolio, said he had tried for more than a decade to get funding for pavements from Ocean View to Kommetjie as part of a bigger plan to use NMT and public transport routes to link Ocean View to Fish Hoek station. Mr Liell-Cock said the unpaved verge was classified as “rural”, but the law required the City to prioritise requests. He said street lighting had been installed last year to make the road safer at night for pedestrians and vehicles, and further improvements would be rolled out as demand justified them and budget became available.
Felicity Purchase, political head of the City’s transport portfolio, said the Kommetjie Road upgrade was a three-phase process and would eventually get into Kommetjie: “The next phase is from Capri to Houmoed Road, which we are in the process of developing after land acquisitions and other details are finalised.” The green cycle path mats would be included in the upgrade, she added.
Mayoral committee member for urban mobility Rob Quintas said major upgrades to Kommetjie Main Road from Ou Kaapseweg to Capri Drive had been completed in March 2020. The City supported NMT facilities – including universal access for people in wheelchairs and others with special needs – along that section of Kommetjie Road and they would be built as soon as there was an available budget.Ocean View to