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Rehab project underway

A project to see more accessible walkways in the Blaauwberg area is currently underway and expected to be completed over the next two years.

The City of Cape Town’s Transport Directorate began work on new walkways and rehabilitation of some existing pedestrian facilities in the Blaauwberg North area with work set to be completed by May 2021.

Roads identified as part of the upgrade include Gie Road and Wood Drive in Table View, Ringwood and Humewood roads in Bloubergstrand, Birkenhead Drive in Milnerton and the landscaped areas between Sandown and Parklands main roads.

The project aims to improve road safety and make walkways accessible to people with special needs, says Mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase.

“It features safer pedestrian crossings, universal access for those with special needs, and improved infrastructure in general. Other benefits include temporary work opportunities to local residents.”The project was initiated by the City’s transport planning department: universal access and non-motorised transport (NMT) section.

“The NMT Masterplan was developed in 2009 and a number of projects have been identified and constructed since then. This area was one of the identified areas in the Transport Network to cater for special needs users, trollies, prams, wheelchairs, cyclists etc. including dropping of kerbs tactile paving at intersections/crossing points and repositioning of street furniture that are on the way,” says Purchase to TygerBurger.

“The annual NMT Data capturing programme assists with the periodical NMT Masterplan update which informs further project identification process.”

Work is currently also underway in Atlantis.

Of the R26.2m earmarked for the project, R12m will be spent on repair work and new facilities in the Blaauwberg North and a further R700 000 will be spent on work along Birkenhead Drive, Milnerton.

“The work includes standardised universal access between the roadway and the pedestrian walkways to avoid tripping hazards. This means we need to create smooth and safe walking conditions for those who are blind, or whose sight is impaired, and to also warn them of possible hazards ahead. Tactile pavers will be used at the ramps to alert blind or visually impaired pedestrians of signalised intersections and crossings,” says Purchase.

The ramps will also provide easier access to cyclists and persons with special needs. 

“Also, we will provide double access at the intersections where space is available. By double access we mean the intersection can be used by both pedestrians and cyclists. 

“The ramps at the intersections will ease the grade difference between the sidewalks and roadways which will make it safer and easier for crossing,” says Purchase.

The width of the walkways depends on the location and will differ throughout the project. 

The width will vary between 1.2m and 3m. Some 3m universal access sidewalks will be created in the recreational spaces identified as part of the Blaauwberg North project. 

Purchase says the City plans to provide a fully integrated NMT Network with all transport modes. To date over 40 projects have been implemented Citywide. 

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