If you drove down Gordon Road in Somerset West last week, you may have noticed something new: yellow broken lines down either side of the road, delineating cycle lanes.
The first of many, they extend up Hillcrest Road to the intersection with Lourensford Road, but it is down at the other end off Gordon Road, at the intersection with Main Road that the cycle lanes carry on.
A conversation with Ward 84 councillor, Stuart Pringle, on Friday, revealed all: “The yellow road markings in Gordon Road are the cycle lanes which are being constructed in ward 84, stretching down Lourensford Road, Hillcrest Road, Gordon Road, and then down Main Road, Bizweni Avenue, Schapenberg Road, down to Sir Lowry’s Pass Village Road, and back to Main Road, to form a loop around the Vergelegen Medi-Clinic.”
According to Mr Pringle, the extension of the cycle lane, from the interesection of Gordon Road and Main Road around the medi-clinic, will only happen once the intersection is upgraded to better handle traffic congestion.
“The measures were first proposed via the ward committee in 2013,” Mr Pringle said. “After consultation with City roads engineers, the public, and the cycling community, the project started toward the end of 2016.”
“Cycle lanes create safer conditions for cyclists using the roads, and encouraging the use of bicycles has both environmental and health benefits,” Mr Pringle said, adding that “the hardening of the sidewalks which is accompanying this project, provides better access for persons with disabilities, the elderly, and people pushing prams along sidewalk.”
“According to the City’s roads and traffic engineers, an added benefit is a reduction in speed by motorists, because the road now appears narrower than it actually is,” Mr Pringle said.
“Demarcated cycle lanes are coloured green where the cross-section of the road is wide enough to accommodate them, otherwise cycle-awareness signage is erected,” according to mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.
Mr Herron said the cycle lanes are part of a broader initiative to improve non-motorised transport in and around central Somerset West, and includes the upgrading of existing walkways by hard-topping, widening of other walkways, and the construction of walkways with universal access, such a dropped kerbs.
“I’m pleased that the project is nearing completion, and I’m grateful that Ward 84 was chosen for the pilot of the non-motorised transport project in the Helderberg,” said Mr Pringle.
Visit Bolander online – iol.co.za/bolander to view two maps which show the cycle lane and walkway upgrades planned for Somerset West.