CYCLISTS and pedestrians using the pathway on Marine Drive can now breathe a sigh of relief as the controversial kerbstones are being removed.
The stones were erected for the safety of residents using them, but according to Ward 1 councillor Stanford Slabbert they did more harm than good.
“The stones leave very little space for cyclists who use them to manoeuvre should they encounter a pedestrian on the pathway,” said Slabbert.
Many of the kerbstones are blackened with tyre marks from both cyclists and motorists, and some are even broken.
“If there are cyclists in the road, motorists cannot go past them, and because of the kerbstones, the normal verge area no longer exists.
“I am elated that after many years of fighting to have them removed they are finally making a plan,” said Slabbert.
Work began about two weeks ago with the removal of the cement kerbstone blocks and replacing them with a rounded hump which will allow the flow of bicycles onto to the road and cars onto the verge, if necessary.
Former national u-23 champion Clinton Barrow who cycles for Mecer-NMMU said he often uses that stretch of road to train and said he had heard many complaints from other cyclists at how dangerous it is.
“There is very little space to move on the pathway and I am very happy they are removing them.
“I work at a cycle shop and have seen what damage those kerbstones can do to a bicycle.”
He said riding into a curb stone while training could mean the end of a bicycle that costs in excess of R10000.
“Someone came in about two weeks ago with a total write-off after hitting one of those.”
Motorists have also had problems with the kerbstones.
“Having a bump instead of stones will allow some room for manoeuvring and many accidents can be prevented.”
Municipal spokesman Ongama Mtimka said the kerbstones were put there for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and to prevent water from ponding on the sea-side of the road.
“Following a number of complaints by both cyclists and motorists, they are now being replaced.
“The work was started at the beginning of November and will be completed by the end of the month.
“The affected area is over a 1.6km stretch and we have used a labour-intensive method. The total cost is R300000.”