The JDA has earmarked R120m to create cycle lanes connecting the University of Johannesburg and Park Station in one of many moves to make Joburg bike friendly. There are also plans to build cycling routes between the station and Ellis Park, as well as Alexandra and Sandton.

generic bikeCyclists will be able to ride safely between the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park and Park Station in Braamfontein once the separate cycle route is complete.

The Johannesburg Development Agency is leading the initiative and worked with local cycling groups to identify the small but important changes to the city’s cycle infrastructure that will make a positive difference to cyclists.

About R120-million has been allocated towards creating the separated bike lanes that will connect the university and the station. The project is part of a wider scheme to enhance the cycling experience in Joburg and to encourage more people to use non-motorised transport.

According to Siyabonga Genu, a JDA’s project manager, the long-term aim is to make Joburg one of the most friendly cycle and pedestrian districts. “The city is trying to encourage cycling throughout the metropolitan. One of our target markets is the students,” said Genu, who added that the agency had received support from various cycling associations.

Construction of the cycling lane started in September 2014 and is expected to be completed in November this year. Genu pointed out that cycling lanes would help to reduce traffic congestion and travel times, as well as add to quiet streets and cleaner air with lower emissions.

“The new routes will make it even easier for cyclists to get around the CBD and the surrounding areas. Hopefully [they] will encourage some to leave the car at home and get on a bike as an alternative,” said Genu.

The route will connect areas such as the inner city, Westbury, Auckland Park and parts of Brixton. All the lanes will be painted green, the universal demarcation colour for a cycling network.

Joburg is embracing cycling like never before, with plans to construct bicycle lanes between Park Station and Ellis Park, as well as between Alexandra and Sandton. This project follows the opening of a bicycle and pedestrian lane in Orlando, Soweto in 2014.

Genu said the city was forming a specialised policing unit that would monitor the network in an attempt to keep it clear of motorists. “We will also monitor the lane using CCTV cameras and dispatch the [Joburg Metro Police] if there are any problems.”