Residents demand traffic circles

Malika Thomas, 12, Zinakho Nela, 11, Ahishah Saralina, 12, Shakira Cloete, 8, Misrah Ismail, 12 and Amien Samodien. Mr Somadien is leading a campaign to demand for traffic circles along Duinefontein Road in Manenberg to curb the loss of life.

Manenberg residents took to the streets to highlight the dangers for pedestrians crossing Duinefontein Road, and to demand that the City of Cape Town erect traffic circles to address the challenge of speeding drivers.

Many of those who took part in the demonstration, were children. They held posters with the names of those who lost their lives over the years, because of speeding cars.

The protest was arranged by community worker, Amien Samodien.

Said Mr Samodien: “Madressa time usually starts after 3pm, and this is also peak hours for traffic. There have been several cases of children being killed while crossing the road, because of speeding drivers. Adults also lost their lives. Even with the traffic lights here – when pedestrians cross when it is green for them, a driver turning right does not always consider the right-of-way the pedestrian has. The corner of Duinefontein Road and Jordaan Street is especially dangerous. Silverstream Primary is here, and Phoenix High and Easter Peak Primary schools are not too far from here. Some people lost their lives while using the pedestrian crossing. The only effective traffic calming measure, is to erect traffic circles. It has proven to be effective in Delft, and it will work here.”

Activist Tara September said they gathered to create awareness around the issue. “We are busy engaging with schools and to mobilise the community. Our concern is that too many children lost their lives on this stretch of road. The whole of the Duinefontein Road corridor is a challenge. Traffic circles right along this road will be better intervention. There were even some cases where truck drivers drove into houses because of speeding,” Ms September said.

Resident Aaisha Daniell, who also joined the protest, said her children had to witness how a 10-year-old boy was knocked down two years ago.

“There have been so many accidents at the pedestrian crossing. My children were with the 10-year-old boy who was knocked over. They were on their way home from madressa. He stood on the pavement at the pedestrian crossing, but he still lost his life. It was traumatising for my children to witness that,” Ms Daniell said.

Mr Samodien said speed humps will not work in this instance. He said they had not yet approached the City of Cape Town with their concerns, saying that they first wanted to create awareness about it in the community.

The Athlone News sent a list of questions to the City of Cape Town, to ask of the viability of erecting traffic circles there.

At the time of going to print,
they have not responded to the questions.