All roads lead to complete streets

CompleteStreet small

Complete streets is a modern trend in many global cities to balance the interests of all road users, with a strong emphasis on safety and liveable communities. In Joburg, the concept will inform all road upgrades, explains the mayor.

Future street design in Johannesburg will give equal recognition to the rights and needs of all road users – motorists, commuters, cyclists and pedestrians.

Executive Mayor Parks Tau says the City is committed to the concept of “complete streets” which are safe, comfortable and accessible for all road users regardless of age, ability or method of transport. “Upgrades to our major city roads – including the highway network – will make provision for all road users and might include dedicated lanes for buses, taxis, cyclists or pedestrians,” he said at the launch of a major road construction programme in Rosebank.

“The reality is that the many of our residents still use taxis to travel from home to work and to leisure. More than 60% of users of public transport make use of taxis… At the same time we want to promote the use of public transport – through the expansion of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit and seamless connections to the Gautrain and passenger rail.”

This trend would be encouraged through the expansion of the City’s Corridors of Freedom, he explained. In terms of this plan, future economic growth will be directed towards transport arteries and nodes. Complete streets is a modern trend in many global cities and seeks to balance the interests of all road users, with a strong emphasis on safety and liveable communities.

“Public roads belong to all users, not only private car owners,” said Tau. “The roads are community assets and must be transformed to serve the needs of everybody regardless of their mode of transport.”

Joburg recently launched complete streets pilot programmes in Ivory Park, Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Bramfischerville. These will be gradually expanded into other areas and suburbs. Among the programmes are providing better pedestrian and cycling links to Rea Vaya stations and key economic nodes such as shopping and entertainment centres. A dedicated cycling lane will be constructed in Soweto linking the Noordgesig Clinic with schools in Orlando East along Mooki Street.

The objectives of the project are to enhance the appearance of streets and increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists without compromising the flow of traffic. The complete streets principles will be included in future street designs and will be integrated into infrastructure planning. It is believed that a shift towards public transport and away from private car usage will also improve Johannesburg’s ability to meet it targets for reductions in carbon emissions.

Source: Joburg.org.za