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Monday Aug 07, 2017

Heavy traffic adds to growing pains for Table View

The greater Table View area is one of Cape Town's fastest- growing suburbs. With rapid expansion comes increased frustration for those who have to spend hours in traffic.

"Road access in and out of the area is limited," says resident Stephen Twine.

Twine says traffic on the R27 in the mornings is a horrendous nightmare because of all the vehicles that join the road from the surrounding suburbs.

"The R27 is complete chaos in the mornings because of the traffic from the Blouberg, Melkbos and West Beach all filling into one point."

The R27 is the one of a few choices for those needing to travel into the city for work. Currently, the road which carries about 40 500 passengers a day has a capacity for 2 000 vehicles an hour – with a peak travel time of two hours in the traffic.

Residents have complained the over-congestion in the mornings leads to gridlock and the MyCiTi service has done little to make a difference.

Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron says the MyCiTi service helps to alleviate some of the traffic burden by carrying about 17 600 passengers a day on the R27 and Koeberg road routes.

"This means just under 6 000 additional vehicles would have been added to the roads in the area in each direction per day."

Herron adds if such a volume of vehicles were added to the road the travel time in peak periods will reach three hours.

The MyCiTi all-stop service running from Table View to the Civic Centre delivers an expected travel time of about 35 minutes, with the express service taking about 27 minutes.

"Thus, the data confirms the MyCiTi service is making a significant contribution in alleviating traffic congestion in this area," says Herron.

Karen Davis, Greater Table View Action Forum chairperson, says that on an almost daily basis they have been made aware of a general dissatisfaction with the MyCiTi service.

"I think a lot of people, who initially used the bus service, have now gone back to using their cars."

The Malibongwe Drive extension was built to connect to Sandown Road to help commuters access the N7 freeway more effectively but there has been dissatisfaction with this as well.

"The Sandown Road extension to N7 was supposed to alleviate the problems but with the uncontrolled expansion of Sunningdale and Parklands areas it has been useless."

"It can take up to 45 minutes to get to the N7 along Sandown Road in the mornings," says resident Stephen Twine, a member of the action group.

Another resident, Kim Jurgens, says the road infrastructure has not kept pace with the development of the area.

"When Sandown Road was built, it was already five years too late. The new high-density developments going up continually mean even new infrastructure is stretched beyond capacity," says Jurgens.

Herron says the city has allocated additional funds to road infrastructure in the area over the next five years.

He adds Blaauwberg Road has also been extended to give a link between Koeberg Road in the west and Tyger Valley Road in the east, which is situated close to the intersection with Contermanskloof Road.

The link is to help improve access to the MyCiTi system for the Richwood and Burgundy Estate suburbs.

However, residents' woes may not be over, with further development taking place and new projects still to come.

RE/MAX broker Caron Leslie says that there are multiple-housing developments in Table View North, Sunningdale and Parklands North.

Even with improved road infrastructure, the recently released 2017 TomTom Traffic Index shows Cape Town is the city with the heaviest traffic congestion in the country.

Jessica Shelver, Western Cape Education department spokesperson, says the growth places demands on all resources, including schools, housing, medical facilities and jobs. "Our schools in the area are struggling to keep up with demand..."

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