Cycle lanes demystified

Recently painted cycle lanes on Gordon Road, Somerset West, were obliterated when the road was resurfaced between Mountain Road and Caledon Street.


Somerset West residents who have noticed that cycle lanes are being delineated on a number of our roads, may also have noticed that some are delineated with yellow dashed lines – Gordon Road – and others with white dashed lines – Hillcrest Road.

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, cleared up the mystery, in response to a media enquiry from Bolander.

“The yellow cycle lanes are painted on roads where the traffic volumes are higher or where cars at higher speeds, and where the lanes are for exclusive use by bicycles,” Mr Herron said. “Vehicles can drive along but no parking is permitted in these lanes.

“The white lanes are painted as guidance lines for cyclists and to increase awareness by motorists. These lanes are used on roads where there is less traffic, or wider roads. Parked vehicles in these lanes cannot be fined. The lanes were painted white due to the fact that there is less traffic and/or space for cyclists to go around parked vehicles.”

In a Bolander report on the roll out of cycle lanes in Somerset West (“Cycle lanes here to stay”, January 25), Mr Herron said they are part of a broader initiative to improve non-motorised transport in and around central Somerset West, but something recently went awry in the City’s scheduling department.

The cycle lanes painted in Gordon Road in early January extended from the intersection of Gordon Road and Caledon Street to the intersection of Gordon and Hillcrest roads. The City continued the resurfacing of Gordon Road last week, from Mountain Road to Caledon Street, but in so doing, obliterated the newly painted cycle lanes on that stretch of road.

Bolander received phone calls last week from residents who questioned the waste of money and resources entailed in having to repaint the cycle lanes in Gordon Road, because of an obvious scheduling blunder.

In response to a media enquiry, Mr Herron, had this to say: “The road marking layout that was originally approved in respect of the non-motorised transport (NMT) project did not provide for any cycle lanes in Gordon Road and the proposed resurfacing work therefore did not raise any flags at that stage. However, after further consultation with various cycle groups, Gordon Road was highlighted as an important cycle link and was then included in the NMT project.

“The road marking work in the Somerset West area unfortunately commenced along Gordon Road before the City’s consultant team was advised of the impending resurfacing work, but was immediately stopped as soon as it came to the attention of the City’s project manager. It should be noted, however, that not all of Gordon Road will be resurfaced, and only a section will have to be repainted after the surfacing operation. Gordon Road will now be used to trial the green painted cycle lanes for the Somerset West area instead of Irene Avenue.”

The resurfacing of Gordon Road was completed on Monday.