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Glenwood road humps 'not needed'

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By Lee Rondganger

The accident rate in Rick Turner (Francois) Road in Glenwood – where residents have taken it upon themselves to paint “slow down” signs – was low and did not warrant traffic calming measures such as speed humps, the eThekwini Municipality said.

The deputy head of the eThekwini Traffic Authority, Carlos Esteves, said that in addition to the low accident rate, the road was a metropolitan road and served as a significant accessibility route.

“A wide range of vehicles use this route, including emergency vehicles and public transport vehicles,” he said.

“Speed humps can only be effectively profiled to suitably address a single class of vehicle. The implication is that if we install humps on this road, any ambulance and/or fire tender has to effectively stop before going over the hump.”

He said this resulted in travel time loss of several seconds.

TIME LOSS

“This is not significant if it is just one hump, but if one takes the potential cumulative effect of an emergency response route, through to say a residential fire, the travel time loss could amount to minutes and this is significant,” Esteves said.

“In view of this and other factors one has to ensure a suitable balance to speed humps as a speed reduction tool.”

At the weekend, Rick Turner Road residents painted “slow down” on the east-bound lane of the busy street after failing to get the city council to implement traffic calming measures. They say the stretch from the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Umbilo Road has become a racetrack and called on the city to implement measures such as speed humps and speed cameras.

Residents point to the death last year of 15-year-old Sakhile Manzini, a Glenwood Boys’ High pupil who was run over, allegedly by a speeding car as he walked home.

The residents plan to paint a pedestrian crossing on a section of the road that pupils from a nearby high school use.

But Esteves said an investigation had been carried out after Sakhile’s death and warned it was against municipal bylaws to paint a public road, warning that depending on what paint the residents used, it could make the road slippery.

Esteves said an extensive assessment of the road was carried out and experts evaluated the road in terms of speed, safety record and appropriateness of the operational conditions currently taking place.

“Temporal restrictions for heavy vehicles were introduced to mitigate against their impact on the residential portions of this route. The same report also analysed the speed profiles and in general indicated that the speed profile was well within that for a 60km/h zone.” -Daily News

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