News

Construction of Sandton cycle lanes to proceed

Elaine Jack
Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager for Sandton Central Management District (SCMD).

All existing cycle lanes for Sandton will go ahead.

This is the word from the City of Johannesburg after the Sandton Central Management District sought clarity on the issue of cycle lanes following the city’s new mayor, Herman Mashaba, saying he would reallocate a R70 million budget set aside for bicycle lanes around Joburg, for projects in Alexandra township.

Lisa Seftel, Executive Director of Transport for the City of Johannesburg, has confirmed that cycle lanes from Alex No 3 Square to Sandton Central are still going ahead, including several routes within Sandton Central itself, such as parts of Maude and West Streets.

She also confirmed that construction of the pedestrian and cycling bridge from Alexandra to Sandton is continuing, except for the section over the M1 highway, which is pending Department of Labour approval as the investigation into last year’s scaffolding collapse is ongoing.

The Joburg Development Agency also advised that improved mobility and pedestrian safety would continue along a route between Sandton and Rosebank, although this route has yet to be finalised. This decision is expected by mid-2017.

In the meantime, cycling in Sandton Central is becoming more and more commonplace.

An electric bike share pilot project set up with 20 bikes at two Sandton Central sites by Growthpoint Properties and GreenCycles has reached a landmark 1,000 bike trips in a five-month period.

Based on the success of the project, both Growthpoint and Greencycles have committed to keeping it running for at least a year, to facilitate the growth of this catalyst project.

“With this innovative initiative, a greater cycling culture is being created in Sandton. Cycling is a healthy, more affordable and more environmentally friendly way of getting around,” says Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager for Sandton Central Management District.

She points out that besides the environmental benefits of cycling instead of driving a car, the e-bike charging stations in Sandton Central are solar powered. Plus, the robust e-bikes are well suited to the hilly topography of Sandton.

“Bike share schemes have become a standard feature of leading cities worldwide. This corporate e-bike share scheme for Sandton Central ensures that South Africa’s financial hub continues to be well positioned to attract business, investment, shoppers, tourists, work forces and residents, with its availability of easy, sustainable, and affordable personal transport,” notes Jack.

The next step is rolling out the Sandton e-bike initiative to other corporate sponsors, which will ensure their staff component enjoy free access to the scheme at all its locations in the neighbourhood and help expand the location station network. In addition, there are multiple branding opportunities.

What’s more, the initiative also creates jobs. All stations have dedicated Station Masters which are placed in the position through a partnership with Harambee, a youth employment accelerator which also provides skills development.

“The new cycle lanes in Sandton respond to a growing number of cyclists on our roads while connecting Sandton to Alexandra and improving the connections within the business node itself,” says Jack.