Local government has intensified its efforts to alleviate traffic congestion following the recommendation by the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee that council adopt the interventions outlined in the draft Travel Demand Management Strategy (TDMS).
Issued for public participation in October last year, the TDMS offers practical solutions to help alleviate the ever-growing levels of congestion on the Mother City’s road network and reverse the effects of Apartheid spatial planning. Among some of the proposals are the implementation of flexible working hours, compressed working weeks, satellite or remote working, car-pooling, and more sustainable methods of traveling such as exploring the various public transport services and walking or cycling where possible.
“We have received overwhelming support from residents, who have also made valuable contributions in terms of how we can all pull together to reduce the number of private vehicles on our roads,” said Mayoral Committee Member for transport and urban development, Councillor Brett Herron.
The suggestions mentioned are over and above the R750 million that the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) is spending on road infrastructure in Kommetjie, Kuils River and Blaauwberg over the next five years.
Although the developments earmarked for these regions will greatly improve the flow of traffic, similar projects around the world have shown that the rapid rate of urbanisation usually results in the increased road capacity reaching peak in less than a year. For the improved infrastructure to be more effective, however, requires a significant change in the behaviour of commuters across the Peninsula – particularly those who contribute to the worsening gridlock by traveling to the CBD and other centres of employment by private vehicle.
Flexible working hours or remote working arrangements for employees are some of the practical solutions that can be considered to relieve traffic levels during the peak hours, which are now widely considered to be between 06:00 and 10:00 in the morning and 15:00 and 18:00 in the evening.
The upsurge in the City Bowl and central city residential market – for those who can afford it – is part of a worldwide urban trend to live as near to your workplace as possible, but dramatically improving the commuter rail system is still the key to fixing the growing gridlock.