Motion to curb queue jumpers

Ward 5 councillor has tabled a motion to have barriers put up opposite the Engen garage in Edgemead Drive to prevent people from making illegal U-turns.

Motorists making illegal U-turns on Edgemead Drive to beat congestion may soon be curbed if Ward 5 councillor Helen Carstens has her way.

Ms Carstens has tabled a motion before Sub-council 3 to have barricades put up in Edgemead Drive opposite the Engen garage to stop motorists U-turning or turning at the garage to get back onto Edgemead Drive in the direction of the N7 and N1.

Ms Carstens had to step down temporarily as sub-council chairperson in order to make her motion at the Sub-council 3 meeting on Thursday February 16.

She said traffic was horrendous during morning peak hours on Edgemead Drive and motorists making illegal U-turns made it worse.

“This has been a problem for many years, and I have been wanting to apply traffic-calming measures there since I became councillor,” she said.

She said a barrier of poles could be used to stop the U-turns.

“These measures are in place in various areas throughout the City with one exact example across from the Engen garage in Wynberg and another example in Ebenezer Road, Green Point. The advantages of such a system include the following: the traffic will flow a bit better without a string of vehicles attempting to enter the lane and the traffic flowing over from Vryburger Avenue will not be able to U-turn, and motorists will be less road-raged.”

Assistant traffic chief Kevin Heckrath said Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the city’s transport authority, would have to investigate the best option and type of barricade to put up.

Engen garage manager Luzuko Tseku said he didn’t feel motorists using the garage to get back into Edgemead Drive in the opposite direction was a problem.

“It doesn’t really have much of a negative impact on business as it doesn’t stop customers from filling up. It’s more of a nuisance since we always have to manage it to avoid any possible accidents on-site,” he said.

He doesn’t want to see barriers of any sort because it would be “bad for business”.

“More than 50 percent of our customers are coming from the direction of Bothasig and Richwood, so putting up barriers on Edgemead Drive will have a negative impact on our business. Those motorists will continue to Monte Vista to have their cars filled with petrol.”

He said he would rather see traffic officers keeping motorists in check during peak hours.

“Taxis drive in the oncoming traffic lanes and on the yellow lines. Only when there is visible policing do people tend to do the right thing. I don’t expect them to be there every day, maybe just on the busy days. It will prevent motorist from making illegal U-turns on the road and improve traffic flow,” he said.

In 2014, former Ward 5 councillor James Vos told Tabletalk he hoped the MyCiTI service would reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the area, and he said a direct line from the N7 into Montague Gardens would greatly ease congestion at the exits from Bothasig and Edgemead.

At the time, the City was talking about several areas, including Bothasig and Edgemead, getting MyCiTi feeder buses (“MyCiTi service to extend,” Tabletalk, March 5, 2014), but three years down the line there is still no sign of them.