The City of Johannesburg has sought to reassure Sandton motorists that the upcoming car-free month won’t be the disaster they expect.
“Let us say, probably on day one, there are going to be things [that] are not going to be business as usual… Remember, it’s an experiment,” Lisa Seftel, executive transport director at the City of Johannesburg, said on Tuesday.
“Sandton is not going to survive if everybody is going to come in private cars and we are trying to provide quality public transport.”
For the first time in South Africa, the EcoMobility World Festival will be held in Sandton. The first such festival was held in Suwon City, South Korea, in 2013.
For the month of October, key parts of Sandton will be closed to private vehicles. This means those who work in Sandton will need to use alternative forms of transport, such as buses, bicycles and the Gautrain or travel on foot.
There is a public transport loop, with a bus lane, that will be open to all vehicles, allowing private cars to turn left into certain parts of the CBD. The loop runs around the expanse of Sandton’s CBD.
The streets affected are:
5th Street between Fredman Drive and Rivonia Road
This forms part of the public transport loop. Private vehicles can use it only to make a left turn into buildings, such as the DaVinci Hotel. Public transport will stop near Maude Street, opposite the Sandton library.
Alice Lane between West Street and 5th Street
This section of road will be a cul de sac, with only local vehicles — those used by businesses in the area — and Sandton Convention Centre trucks having limited access at a managed access point on the corner of 5th Street. There will be some space for metered taxis, while pedestrian and cycling traffic will be encouraged.
Fredman Drive between Rivonia Road and 5th Street
This also forms part of the public transport loop. Private vehicles can make a left turn off the loop. Public transport will stop near the corner of Rivonia Road, between Gwen Lane and Protea Place and between West and 5th streets.
It will be open every weekday, but will operate as a cul de sac, with entry and exit available only through Fredman Drive. At peak hour, traffic around the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, HSBC and Deutsche Bank will be able to exit on to Maude Street towards Rivonia Road through the dedicated channelled island lane.
Maude Street between West Street and Rivonia Road
It will become a one-way street from West Street to Rivonia Road and will be accessible only from West Street’s east carriageway intersection. There will be no access to Gwen Lane.
Maude Street West between West Street and 5th Street
It will operate as a cul de sac, with entry and exit available only via 5th Street. Only local vehicles will have limited access through a managed point on the corner of 5th Street.
Rivonia Road between Fredman Drive and 5th Street
This also forms part of the public transport loop. It can be used by private vehicles only to make a left turn. Public transport stops near the corners of 5th Street, West Street and to the north of Maude Street.
Only local and construction vehicles will have access from West Street’s eastern carriageway, with road users encouraged to use Maude Street East to exit on to Rivonia Road.
West Street between Rivonia Road and Fredman Drive
This will become a dedicated pedestrian zone on the western carriageway from Citi Bank in Maude Street to Fredman Drive.
The eastern carriageway will be open for local and construction vehicles only from the Fredman Drive intersection.
It will have limited access to Maude and Stella streets, but cannot be used to get to Rivonia Road’s southern end.
There will be managed access points at Fredman Drive and Rivonia Road. — News24