Dushanka Aldera, Plattekloof
I am writing in response to “Electric vehicles a danger on promenade” (Off My Trolley, May 1) regarding the continued danger to pedestrians of irresponsible users of wheels on the Sea Point Promenade and the lack of action taken by the City of Cape Town to amend and enforce its by-laws.
I am a 57-year-old woman who walked along the promenade regularly for recrea-tional purposes until I was knocked down head-on by a young unsupervised boy of about 12 or 13 who was cycling on his private bicycle without any protective gear in November 2017.
I sustained severe injuries – a broken wrist, a shin wound resulting in cellulitis causing untold grief and two extended stays in hospital, a skin graft and countless visits to the wound clinic for almost an entire year.
The pain I had to endure for the greatest part of 2018 was unbearable.
To add insult to injury I, to date, haven’t gotten any empathy nor compensation from the boy’s father despite his word of “how can I help” upon our first telephonic communication when we first made contact three days after the incident.
I then made contact with the then Sea Point ward councillor, Shayne Ramsey, early in December 2017, to inform what had happened and to highlight my concerns about the outdated signage and the serious threat the undisciplined cyclists and in fact all users of wheels, other than people pushing prams, pose to pedestrians. She responded stating that she was sorry to hear this and given the number of people using the promenade there were in fact very few such incidents, intimating that I am purely an accident statistic – so much for the caring City. She also stated that she would escalate the issue of the outdated signage, which incidentally clearly forbids cyclists to use the promenade, to (former) councillor Brett Heron.
Subsequently, in April 2018, I received an email from her informing that the budget for new signs had been approved and these would appear in the upcoming financial year.
I walked along the promenade as recently as Saturday, May 4, and alas, no new signs have been erected and the outdated ones are still in their original places.
There were also a number of groups of cyclists on the Orange Bikes driving abreast the width of the walking space, not looking ahead and chatting to one another resulting in the pedestrians having to be very vigilant and each time give way to them.
This leaves me thinking that their right to be there and behave in that reckless and selfish manner is more important than my non-threatening right to enjoy a safe stroll.
There were also persons on electric scooters with earphones plugged into their ears zigzagging at tremendous speed (at least 40 km/* ) to whom we also had to give way. Needless to say the whole experience was anything but a pleasant and relaxing one.
I may be one of a few multiple promenade users who got injured, through no fault of my own, and despite the ordeal I endured have survived to share my story, but what more needs to happen before the City of Cape Town enforce laws that protect its citizens and visitors alike.