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Updates on Wireless Road Works

Two fully advertised, open community meetings were held in Kommetjie in the last few months to discuss the roadworks, and other road developments in Wireless Road, reports Caro Smit.

At the Sub Council 19 meeting in October 2022, I represented KRRA, asking for a traffic circle to be built at the top of Wireless Road. The City of Cape Town (CoCT) engineers turned this down, as it being too expensive, costing between R6 and R7 Million per circle.

Sub Council were also approached about bringing the speeds in Kommetjie Main road down to 40 km. This was rejected, as an assessment of speeds is very costly. The City can only do three assessments a year, and they did not feel this road warrants slower speeds.

Following meetings with the developer, Red Cliff, this year, this very unclear drawing was shared. The developer, who is owned by old Kommetjie family Van der Horst, are paying for the road works that are being carried out, by their own team of engineers and contractors as per specifications set by CoCT engineers.

These plans had been passed many years ago, and so changes could not to be made.

My voluntary, unpaid role is to try and negotiate to improve the road safety needs of motorized and non-motorized traffic, i.e. vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

The CoCT dictates the other plans, like tree removal etc. In terms of the aesthetics, like trees being removed, the safety of people and vehicles takes precedence. Trees being too close to the road or pavements are potentially enormous road safety and crash hazards. This “Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety” is what the engineers work from.

Kommetjie Road is being widened to include two lanes as slipways for going into and out of Wireless road. Two bus stops, pavements and cycle tracks are being built. At the top of Wireless road, an extra lane will be built, to prevent traffic backing up and to enable vehicles going towards Ocean View to exit more easily.

The trees are unfortunately in the way of these changes. Losing so many trees is very sad - we all loved the trees, and the aesthetics of coming into the village will change without them. This could unfortunately not be prevented, no matter how much we had protested, or had been aware of the extent to which the trees have been felled.

On the plus side, as noted by another Kom resident, while it is deeply disturbing that the trees are gone, this could be an opportunity to re-vision the entrance to Kommetjie with indigenous trees and careful planning to improve on what existed before.

Incorrect and dangerous speed signs that were put up last week were challenged by KRRA, and the three 80 km signs have been removed, and others are being amended.

As individuals in the KRRA, and not members of CoCT engineering department or the developer, it is very difficult to negotiate with everyone and to convey all of Kommetjie resident's wishes and needs. We try and do this to our best ability, whilst doing our own full time jobs.

A further communication about the Wireless road and Riverside road intersection will be shared when available.

Comment from Patrick Dowling, KRRA chair:

On Kommetjie Road, the council has contractors working on a new Wireless Road intersection to deal with the traffic generated by the new Riverside extension development under construction (above) and the approved but not yet begun Protea Ridge and Wireless one and two projects.

We as KRRA opposed these developments on the basis of insufficient road capacity between Kommetjie and Westlake including Ou Kaapse Weg and we went to court on the matter. Unfortunately, we lost and now the developer, Gerhard Van der Horst of Red Cliff Properties is exercising his rights and observing the conditions imposed by Cape Town City council including road widening, slip lanes, pavements etc.

In the process, Australian gumtrees have been chopped down, sadly affecting an historical avenue.


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