Pretoria east residents and commuters can breathe a sigh of relief after the Tshwane metro reversed a decision to decrease private vehicle lanes on Lynnwood Road to one last week.
The previous mayor and city manager had unilaterally decided to reduce lanes for private vehicles on certain roads in the east, particularly Lynnwood Road despite objections.
Ward 82 councillor Siobhan Muller said the then administration had taken advice from a town planner instead of a traffic engineer.
“Our own traffic engineers shouted in opposition to the decision and were ignored, road agency, Sanral wrote to oppose the idea and were also ignored,” said Muller.
Muller said no impact assessment was done to gauge what the reduction would cost in jobs, economic growth, job creation or travel time.
“It was a bad decision with no logical reasoning that would affect above all the poor.”
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Muller said the traffic impact assessments used to justify the reduction were so old and out of date that one wondered what the real motive for the proposed cutting of lanes.
“After following the correct processes and an economic impact assessment study, we are sure the best decision for all is to keep two lanes for cars.
“It’s time for line 2B to be approved and finalised, it’s time to create jobs and stimulate the economy for yet more jobs, it’s time to protect the jobs that put food on the table, and it’s time to stop wasting money and time.”
Nyeleti consulting company traffic engineer, Pine Pienaar said from a technical perspective it made sense to keep the two lanes because even with these, road users still experienced heavy traffic congestion.
“One could argue that people could use the bus to help alleviate traffic but the initial challenge is the coverage of the bus which as time goes should cater for more people and it would be fantastic to have more people riding on the bus,” said Pienaar.
Frequent road user Stephen Bekker said it was a relief that the two lanes for private vehicles would be kept.
“This is a busy road and having one lane for all these cars would be a big disaster for most of us. I am personally pleased that the two lanes will remain,” said Bekker.
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