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Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Sea Point promenade now open for cyclists and skaters

Cape Town has lifted the ban on skateboarding, cycling and rollerblading on the Sea Point promenade as a trial for a month, a move which has been welcomed by cyclists and skaters.

Two boys skate along the Sea Point promenade while their mother strolls.

By-laws prohibit skateboarding on the city's roads but mayco member for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron yesterday announced the experimental lifting of the ban on cycling, skateboarding and rollerblading on the promenade for a month from Monday, October 1.

He said the city would monitor the situation for the month and then consider lifting the ban for a longer period.

"Users must exercise caution and be on the look-out for pedestrians, and use the space for leisure and recreation. Not for racing or professional reasons. I am confident that the experience will allow us to overcome some of our misperceptions and prejudices," Herron said. Cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders would have to give way to pedestrians, prams and wheelchairs.

He said skateboarding would "never" be permitted on all public roads. "We will do a test on the promenade to see how well it works and if we look at options on other individual roads then it would have to be on a street with low traffic volumes," Herron said. "The initiative has been successful on promenades and walkways in other parts of the world and is a logical extension of the Share the Road Campaign."

Andrew Wheeldon, of the Bicycle Empowerment Network, welcomed the initiative: "Cyclists have been forced to use very busy roads or break the law by coming on to the promenade. We want to interact well with pedestrians and other road users, so this is a fantastic opportunity."

Marco Morgan, from the National Skateboard Collectors group, said skaters were often harassed and fined. "There is no facility for our recreational use so this is a step in the right direction."

The ward councillor for the Atlantic Seaboard, Beverley Schafer, said: "I am very happy we are going to be sharing this space, it forms part of our mandate to create an inclusive city." Caution was important as many senior citizens used the promenade for walks.

Cape Town

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