Sky circle on its way to Hanover Park

An artist’s impression of the free-standing elevated traffic circle planned for the intersection of Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive in Hanover Park.

The City plans to start work on a free-standing elevated traffic circle, at the intersection of Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive, in Hanover Park, on Thursday July 7.

This project forms part of the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east which will take nearly four years to complete, the City says.

About 6.2m above the ground, the traffic circle will let in light to the intersection below and be for the exclusive use of MyCiTi buses, according to mayoral committee member for urban mobility Rob Quintas.

He said MyCiTi commuters could look forward to a reliable service that ran on time with shorter travelling times, and the sky circle should ease traffic congestion.

Pedestrians and cyclists would have dedicated lanes, separated from the road, and street lights would improve visibility and safety at night.

Local residents and subcontractors would be employed to complete the project, said Mr Quintas.

“About R15 million will be spent on temporary work opportunities for residents who are registered on the local job-seekers database, as well as R15 million for local subcontractors to provide goods and services to the main contractor for this project,” he said.

By separating the MyCiTi buses from general traffic, the service would operate optimally between Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha, and Wynberg and Claremont, he said.

The proposed Hanover Park closed-median station would be the closest MyCiTi station to the intersection and would serve commuters along the trunk route to operate along Govan Mbeki Road.

The reconfiguration of the intersection, dedicated turning lanes and improved traffic signals and sequencing would help to improve traffic flow, Mr Quintas said. Sewer, water and stormwater infrastructure within the road reserve would be relocated and upgraded.

Public transport should be accessible, convenient, affordable, reliable and safe, he said.

“We are committed to these goals. Improved mobility means improved productivity, more jobs and economic growth, and better lives and futures for all of us who call Cape Town home.”

Hanover Park resident Ashraf Portland said the roads leading to the intersection were completely backed up in the morning peak-hour traffic.

“A traffic circle would definitely help to ease congestion, but four years to complete the project is a bit long.”

Hanover Park Residents’ Forum chairman Denver Andrews said that he didn’t understand how traffic congestion would be eased if the sky circle benefited MyCiTi buses only. He said that there had been no further communication about the project after the initial residents’ meeting two years ago.

“There was one initial public-participation meeting with regards to the MyCiTi bus route. At the time, nothing was mentioned about a bridge. I can also not understand why Hanover Park is highlighted as the recipient of this bridge. The impact cuts across four wards, and were all consulted? Also, Govan Mbeki carries its usual or normal traffic challenges in the morning and evening peak with the main congestion point at Wetton’s first and second bridges,” he said.