Lasheigh Lucas and Liesl Ah Shene
CHAOS reigns at the intersection at St Kevin’s Catholic Church and Windvogel in Stanford Road.
Stop signs are now in place because the traffic lights at the busy intersection are not working, after they were uprooted due to the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system roadworks, and after thieves stole the cabling.
According to Gelvandale Police Station spokesman, Alwin Labans, eight motor vehicle accidents have occurred at the intersection since the roadworks began and the robots have not been operational. One such accident, involving a motorcycle, happened on the day the “temporary” stop signs were introduced. To make matters worse, motorists are not treating the intersection as a four-way stop.
Stanford Road is the longest main road in the Northern Areas and stop streets placed at a very busy intersection seem to be causing more chaos and accidents.
Labans said two of the eight accidents were serious. According to resident Janine Davies, Stanford Road has become a complete mess and the stops streets are of no use because there are too many cars negotiating traffic every morning.
Davies did not understand why the robots were replaced with stop streets. She said authorities instead should have come up with a more effective plan that had the well-being and safety of drivers and residents in mind.
According to Hillside and Windvogel Ward 31 councillor, Penelope Naidoo, the roadworks should be completed by December 10.
Naidoo said the robots were taken away from the intersection because the cables were stolen. She said the situation should be back to normal once the roadworks were completed.
According to the Automobile Association of South Africa’s head of public affairs, Graeme Scala, the question that should be asked in putting up a stop sign, is whether it meets the need adequately for that intersection.
“I am quite surprised that instead of moving forward, they [authorities] are moving backwards by putting up those signs,” he said.
Scala said that eight accidents should be a red flag that something serious needed to be done in that area. “I think the road works have been dragging on for too long. More has been destroyed than fixed in the road and there is no such thing as a waiting period when it comes to the safety of our community,” said Hillside resident, Ranaldo Boggenpoel.
Another resident, Charndre Hendricks said when the road works were completed it would be to everyone’s advantage. There should not be any complaints or hassles about the so-called chaos, as that is normally the case while roadworks are proceeding. To which Naidoo added: “When the roadworks are done everything will be back to normal and a pedestrian crossing will be put near the intersection as well.”