Good news! City proposes R750 million for road infrastructure investment to alleviate traffic congestion.
This announcement made by Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille delivered in a speech at the Congestion Summit held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 4th November 2015.
The Mayor references the TomTom global traffic index 2013 which reveals Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa and 55th in the world.
We do not have a choice in tackling congestion. As the Mayor clearly states “We have to act”
“The different spheres of government and the private sector will have to work together to find economically sustainable long-term solutions to ensure that we meet the travel demands of a population which is predicted to increase to approximately 5,6 million in 2032.”
The peak hour period on the City’s roads has already increased from 07:00 – 09:00 (two hours) to the current 06:00 – 10:00 (four hours). It is not uncommon for residents to leave their house at 05:30 in the morning to avoid congestion.
Although, there are obvious congestion hotspots where money can be spent, the Mayor recognises “Without operational and behavioural change projects running alongside infrastructure intervention, we will not have a sustainable approach.”
“Merely building more roads is not a viable and long-term solution because the more roads we build, the more private cars we get onto these roads.”
To back that up “We will also take the lead in investigating travel demand management and how this can be applied to the City by way of flexi-time for City officials and car-sharing initiatives.”
R750million will not go very far on road infrastructure to improve congestion. But a small proportion of this budget would go a very long way to raising awareness and promoting the issue of car sharing, ride share or car pooling, where the infrastructure already exists.
This speech needs to be followed up with a specific measurable objective.
City to ease congestion by increasing car sharing to 7% within 3 years.
This would save 65,000 road trips (less cars) per day, now that’ a headline.