Councilor Stuart Pringle, Ward 84, replies:
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond and to reassure Mr Brand that the ANC did not win Ward 84, and that I was elected as the Democratic Alliance candidate.
The pavement project to which he refers is, in fact, the building of cycle lanes, which has been planned and budgeted for in an open and transparent process, publicised and openly discussed in the ward committee and sub council, which are both open to the media and the public, and also publicised to all organisations in the ward representing civil society and also via social media.
I am aware that several of the trees planted by residents along Bizweni Avenue have been damaged by the contractors working there, and have inspected the damage and requested that the City address this in terms of due process, and also that City Parks be requested to see what can be done to assist.
The City is always grateful to residents who take the time to beautify the pavements, but would urge those who do take the trouble to approach the Roads Department prior to doing so, as the road reserve and the infrastructure below it remain the property of the City.
Having an arrangement in place will assist in preventing unfortunate incidents such as the one to which Mr Brand refers.
In any event, I will be keeping in close communication with both Roads and Parks to ensure that such destruction is avoided as far as possible in future.
At the several meetings I have held with residents in Bizweni Avenue, the issue of speeding motorists was discussed, and I explained that it was not a lack of funding which prevented the building of speed bumps along that stretch, but the class of road and City policy which militated against such a measure.
I was able to engage the City to come up with some preventative measure, and hence the construction of the raised pedestrian crossing opposite Cherrywood Gardens.
Similarly, I pointed out at these meetings that cycle lanes would be constructed as, according to the traffic engineers, these often served to reduce traffic speed over and above the benefits of encouraging non-motorised transport.
As this is National Transport month, the focus is on the City’s thousands of kilometres of roads network, and how these can best be utilised not only for vehicular transport, but also for non-motorised transport in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and promote environmental sustainability.
The cycle lanes being constructed now in ward 84 form part of the initial stages of rolling out this infrastructure throughout the Helderberg.
The proposed Mayoral Urban Regeneration Program and the roads upgrades planned in Sir Lowry’s Pass village itself are further evidence of this administration’s commitment to proper planning and accountable spending of residents money.
Each year about R100 000 of the ward allocation is dedicated to speed calming, over and above the amount funded by the City’s corporate budget and furthermore the City has done extensive work on pavement upgrades in the ward, including in less affluent parts of the ward, such as Garden Village.
Road upgrades in Main Road, parts of Lourensford and Gordon roads and Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, to name but a few, are testimony to the fact that the City is most certainly not squandering residents money, but is working in a planned fashion to not only extend the roads infrastructure and to promote non-motorised transport, but also to maintain the existing infrastructure.
Residents who wish to report issues regarding road maintenance are welcome to use the City’s various contact methods, including the 086 010 3089 number, the email@example.com email or the 31373 sms line.
The City has a 48 hour turn-around time for repairs of potholes.
Residents are most welcome to contact me on 082 446 1520 should they have any queries, and I trust that the above explains that the destruction of the trees is being dealt with, that the bicycle lanes have been consulted about over a number of years with residents and are certainly essential in promoting the use of non-motorised transport which is important for the protection of the environment, the reduction of road congestion and the protection of road users.