‘Accidents waiting to happen’

John Wendell Smith, Helderberg

I am the owner of a property in Helderspruit Road. I bought this property as an undeveloped stand in 1986.

The average size of each property was about 2 200 sqm. By definition this would mean that the Bakkershoogte residential area is a low density suburb.

Since that time, Companje Road and Helderspruit Road received one “chip and spray”, sometime in the early 1990s.

The road surface is basically breaking up. The tarred surface is about 1cm thick and every winter develops into potholes. The edges have been crumbling away for years and repeatedly repaired, so that the repairs are the only “good” bits of road that remains.

Companje Road looks like a patchwork quilt. It’s quite obvious that the original developer of this area envisaged minimal vehicular traffic and built the roads to the lowest permissible specification for a tarred surface.

It’s quite inconceivable that these roads would be able to handle a doubling of the existing traffic flow. Heavy trucks carting building materials would pound the roads into oblivion. There are two blind corners at the confluence of Companje and Helderspruit and Arlington and Leccino. The upper section of Helderspruit has a blind rise and “kink”.

All these hot spots are traffic accidents waiting to happen as drivers usually cut the corner as it is; never mind meeting a large truck doing the same in the opposite direction.

Also consider the picturesque Harewood Avenue. This road is not built to a standard width, as the oak trees have been preserved. Their roots undermine the road bed, so that the road strength is also sub-par. This is all acceptable in a quiet suburb, but not as a main thoroughfare.

If Helderberg College wants to make money through property development, they should spend the money and provide suitable road access though their own property onto the main roads like Irene Avenue and Helderberg College Road.