Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA
In an effort to create an efficient City, the City of Joburg engaged with property owners and managers yesterday afternoon, investigating the feasibility of implementing managed lanes within the Joburg Inner City. Commencement on the project is due to start around October, before the financial year end.
SAPOA is in support of the City of Joburg’s proposal to effectively manage access within the Inner City and commends the work done thus far.
Managed lanes are designated lanes in which operational strategies are implemented and managed (in real time) in response to changing conditions. It increases roadway efficiency by packaging various operational and design actions. Site visits and traffic counts were conducted by the The City of Joburg and the municipality believes that the introduction of these lanes will not only save on travel time, but will also increase roadway efficiency and maximise transportation infrastructure.
Principles, as outlined in the City of Joburg Managed Lanes Policy (2012), were used as a benchmark when deciding which interventions would be suitable at the selected streets being investigated. The principles were further strengthened with design guidelines such as the City of Johannesburg Complete Street Design Manual as well as the minimum JRA roadway standards.
The investigation focuses include traffic reduction, re-design the existing managed lanes, and the creation of new managed lanes.
Traffic reduction is being proposed on Albertina Sisulu, Commissioner, Mooi & Troye Streets in the Inner City by the formalisation of public transport stopping areas along these streets, upgrading the intersections and widening sidewalks and installing pedestrian friendly features.
Re-design of the existing managed lanes on Miriam Makeba Street will comprise of converting the section from Anderson to Albertina Sisulu Streets to BRT lanes only, widening sidewalks and installing pedestrian friendly features.
Other proposed changes include:
· Converting to a two-way public transport street only between De Villiers and Anderson Streets through the re-design of the existing managed lanes.
· Removal of selected on-street parking (not loading areas).
· Widening sidewalks and installing pedestrian friendly features on Eloff Street.
Although these upgrades reflect high level of strategic thinking around decongesting the Inner City, SAPOA is, however, deeply concerned that there is a lack of enforcement within the current transportation management system and therefore if there isn’t a collaborated effort to deal with the current situation it will be most challenging for the City to deal with the proposed solutions. In addition, the long-term viability of the proposed managed lanes to facilitate behavioural change is as well as the enforcement via technology (automated enforcement), coupled with human intervention will be an ongoing challenge.
Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA states “SAPOA wholeheartedly supports any upgrades that will make Johannesburg Inner City a commercially viable business areas. However, it is important that the process is closely guarded, and that law enforcement is strongly imposed from implementation to completion of the project and that property owners and managers within the affected areas are actively involved in the process”.