INTERESTED AND AFFECTED PARTY COMMENT SHEET BACKGROUND
I act as a Trustee of the Techno Park Owners Association as well as a representative of Capitec Bank, the latter is a property owner and a resident with more than 750 employees residing in Techno Park.
Further to the meeting of 27 February 2013 held at the Protea Hotel which I attended, I have the following comments:
- It is very pleasing and commendable that Province is willing to invest funds (numbers such as R250m were mentioned) and time towards the improvement of the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch;
- First impressions of the proposal and designs from the engineers are that it is great and would work wonderfully to achieve the goals of improving safety and service on the 13km stretch of dual carriage way;
- Listening to the concerns and comments and experiencing the emotions of some of the affected parties, I certainly think that one should work towards finding an amicable and rational solution without compromising the reason for and the goal of the project.
PROBLEM STATEMENT FROM TECHNO PARK RESIDENTS AND OWNERS’ POINT OF VIEW
From the stats that were presented by Roy Tyndall of the engineers, it is very clear that there has been a tremendous increase in vehicle volumes on the R44 over the past 10 years – if I recollect correctly he quoted 15,000 vehicles per day in 2003 which increased to 30,000 to present day and a projected 5% future increase in vehicle numbers per year – one of the wall-mounted charts prepared by the engineers displayed 33,744 vehicles per day and 31 accidents per year at the Techno Park intersection.
The intersection and entry road (Techno Road) into Techno Park is heavily congested during peak times and leads to gross frustration and loss of productivity for businesses in Techno Park
Currently there is quite a lot of vacant floor space and undeveloped land in Techno Park. Developments such as the De Waldorf life style village is on the table and should in time to come, more space be occupied in Techno Park, this already very grave and intolerable traffic situation will become worse.
The single entry point into and egress point out of Techno Park is a major concern to residents. It poses a huge risk to the safety of thousands of people working in Techno Park or guesting at the hotel in instances of emergency situations (i.e. fires, floods, labour/political unrest) that require total evacuation of Techno Park
PROPOSAL FOR CONSIDERATION BY PROVINCE
- Relinquish the two expensive round-abouts at Annandale and Winery Roads
- Introduce traffic lights at Winery Road
- Close the 21 x median crossings
- Widen the carriage way both ways at the intersections at Annandale, Winery and Techno Roads with another lane and relevant road signage to allow U-turning at the intersections by setting the timing of the traffic lights accordingly
- Either erect pedestrian bridges at selected locations on the R44 or introduce pedestrian road crossings with traffic light intervention such as the one just beyond Dorp Street on the R44 used by hundreds of pedestrians from the train station every day
- Invest R125m – R150m of the original amount allocated by Province to the R44 project to a 2nd entry road into Techno Park to accommodate the very real and escalating traffic issues in Techno Park and Stellenbosch.
A second road linked from Polkadraai Road (R310) to Neutron Road in Techno Park, will most certainly take a lot of traffic from the Northern suburbs (where a lot of workers in Techno Park travel from) out of central Stellenbosch and away from the R44.
Below is a suggested routing for consideration for the construction of a second route into Techno Park. Obviously this will need Province’s expert investigation and configuration.
You will appreciate the fact that the Techno Park Owners Association is not in a position to fund such a road and therefore this plea for the kind and favourable consideration of Province to address this very serious issue in conjunction with the improvements of the R44.
For your perusal I enclose a copy of an Afrikaans article in the Eikestad News.
TECHNO PARK OWNERS ASSOCIATION & CAPITEC BANK