Driving through the Joburg CBD may never be the same again

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In a few years’ time, driving through parts of the Johannesburg city centre is likely to be a very different experience as the City of Joburg sets out to transform some of its busiest streets into spaces that are much more pedestrian- and public transport-friendly.

Drawing from some of its observations from October’s awful Ecomobility Festival, the municipality recently revealed drafts for new managed lanes and the upgrading of existing ones that it’s conducting a feasibility study on.

Plans detailed in the draft include widened sidewalks, raised intersections, new public transport stopping areas, improved road markings and better street signage.

“The most effective long-term solution is to cut the time commuters spend sitting in traffic by offering improved public transport, reducing the number of single-occupant vehicles, and introducing changed land-use planning,” Joburg transport MMC, Christine Walters, said at the plans’ launch in Braamfontein.

Below is a breakdown of what the city proposes:

  • Albertina Sisulu (formerly Market Street), Commissioner, Mooi and Troye: Formalising stopping areas for minibus taxis, and upgrading intersections.
  • Miriam Makeba: Fully converting the section from Anderson to Albertina Sisulu to a BRT (Rea Vaya)-only lane.
  • Eloff Street: Converting fully to a two-way, public transport (buses and minibus taxis) street only.
  • Jorissen and De Korte streets: Creating a managed lane for public transport only.
  • Harrison Street: Converting the existing, northbound contraflow bus lane to a southbound managed lane for public transport only.
  • Rissik Street: Creating a northbound managed lane for public transport from Anderson to De Korte.
  • Lilian Ngoyi (formerly Bree) and Rahima Moosa (formerly Jeppe) streets: Formalising stopping areas for minibus taxis, upgrading intersections, relocating informal traders to new trading areas elsewhere, and beautifying the environment with landscaping, greening and street furniture.
This is what a managed lane on De Korte street may look like

The transport department said shorter travel times, improved on-time performance, better access to places of work, study and leisure, are among some of the benefits of the proposed changes.

The city has opened the platform for residents to comment or object to the proposed plans. The deadline date for this is yet to be finalised but will be only in early 2016, so there is plenty of time to have your voice heard. Submissions can be made by emailing [email protected].

The plan doesn’t reveal when road works on these plans are set to begin, however.

[Source – Johannesburg Development Agency, image – CC by Jeppestown]