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Tuesday Apr 18, 2017

Durban's Florida Road to get shake-up

With new speed humps and a clean look, Durban's popular social precinct, Florida Road, is now set for a new identity.

It's going to be touted as the "go to" place in Durban as part of a new branding initiative to market the road.

More details will be made known in the coming months, said Cara Reilly, of the Urban MGT company responsible for the overhaul of special precincts in eThekwini, such as uMhlanga.

Part of the overhaul was the introduction of speed humps on the road, which was completed a few weeks back.

"Speed humps was one of the issues we needed to address because business owners and the public complained about speedsters along the road. People no longer feel as though they are running a gauntlet when they need to cross the road. It's been a fantastic initiative that's making a difference," said Reilly.

Gina Corrigan, of Botica Fashion, agreed that cars had definitely slowed down since the speed humps were put in place.

"It's made an immediate difference on the road. But maybe the city could have made the humps much higher," she said.

Byron Harker of Blockbusters said he'd seen vehicles slow down.

"It's made a big difference," he said.

Now that the speed humps have been built, and extra security monitors placed on the road, Florida Road is gearing towards its new branding.

Reilly said: "After more than 18 months of research, surveys, workshops, meetings, participation processes and public engagements, a new Florida Road brand is ready to emerge, and with it the action plan and interventions needed to help the road reach its full potential as a go-to-place for Durban's locals and visitors alike."

Reilly said this was important to avoid the road sliding into urban decay.

"The research has been very clear in revealing that Florida Road remains a vital physical, historical and emotional connector to so many elements of Durban living and the business community are looking forward to delivering an enhanced experience and offering on Florida Road," said Mike Holland, chairman of the Florida Road Marketing Committee.

According to Gary Cullen, project manager for eThekwini's Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit, the Florida Road brand process had brought a range of road users, such as residents, businesses and customers, into a discussion about the road and how to collectively develop it as the special social and economic place it is.

The Independent on Saturday

 
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