R18m upgrade to Sable Road to improve Century City traffic
Major measures including a R18million upgrade of Sable Road are being undertaken to improve peak traffic flows at Century City.
Chris Blackshaw, CEO of the Century City Property Owners’ Association, the non-profit company responsible for the day to day running of the burgeoning precinct, says any successful mixed-use development of the size of Century City, particularly one that includes a major regional shopping centre, generates heavy traffic flows especially in the morning and afternoon peaks and over holiday periods.
“However, apart from the odd occasion when a major traffic incident in Century City or a bottleneck on the surrounding national and/or arterial roads has adversely impacted on Century City traffic flows, traffic within the precinct generally keeps moving even at peak traffic times.
“That aside the CCPOA is taking extensive measures to further improve peak traffic flows while the developer of Century City, Rabie Property Group, has committed to additional infrastructure upgrade projects which should significantly improve the traffic capacity and flow, particularly on Sable Road, and more than mitigate the extra traffic expected from additional projects coming on stream.”
He said the combined additional developments being undertaken in the Bridgweays precinct including a 900 seat Conference Centre, a 125 room hotel, office blocks, apartments and restaurants around an Urban Square were expected to generate an additional 1000 vehicles in the peak morning and afternoon traffic hours. In the morning, about 80% of these will be inbound with the reverse situation in the afternoon.
Blackshaw said infrastructure projects being undertaken and due for completion in the second half of 2015 include the creation of an additional left turn only lane from Bosmansdam Road into Century Avenue; the creation of an additional permanent left lane out of the Bridgeways precinct into Sable Road with a dedicated free flowing left turn onto the collector distributor road (the road running parallel to the N1); a queue jump lane for the MyCiTi Bus on Sable Road to improve travel time to the railway station and a free flowing left hand turn from the N1 Exit 10 offramp into Sable Road going west towards Century City.
“The engineers say these measures will have the effect of reducing the current average afternoon peak hour waiting time (at the intersection of Sable Road with the west ramp terminal of the N1) of 31 seconds per vehicle to just 15 seconds per vehicle. A saving of over 50% even after taking into account the expected increase in vehicular traffic generated by Bridgeways.
“These measures are also expected to help alleviate the peak north bound traffic congestion at the Steel Bridge on the other side of Century City as motorists will now have the option of taking the dedicated left lane on Sable Road leading to the collector distributor road.”
He said CCPOA CCTV operators keep a special look out for anything out of the ordinary on the Century City and surrounding road network and response vehicles are immediately despatched to deal with any problems that are identified.
“In addition the timings of the traffic signals are constantly monitored and any required adjustments are immediately reported to the City of Cape Town’s Traffic Management Centre (TMC) for attention and the eight CCTV cameras we erected in 2014 to focus on traffic management have greatly improved our Control Centre visibility and response times.
“Agreement has been reached between the CCPOA and the TMC for both parties to have controlled access to each other’s CCTV networks for traffic management and safety and security purposes and the link up between the CCPOA Control Centre and the TMC is urgently being initiated. This will enable the CCPOA Control Room to view what is happening on the adjacent national and main arterial roads in real time.”
Blackshaw says two Outsurance pointsmen are deployed during the afternoon peak at the Steel Bridge intersection and the City of Cape Town Traffic Officer, who is contracted by the CCPOA to provide traffic law enforcement in Century City, as well as the two City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Officers based at Century City, are deployed to assist with the management of traffic congestion particularly during peak hours when required and if necessary to assist with point duties.
“Furthermore, we installed a pilot Variable Messaging System (VMS) to assist with traffic guidance within Century City in December last year and this was successfully used to assist with Ratanga Junction’s peak season parking management. Three VMS signs have so far been installed on Century Boulevard and we continue to use these to direct traffic flows for special events within Century City and to convey messages about traffic congestion both within Century City and on the surrounding road network – for example to warn motorists there is a truck broken down on the N1 and to advise them to use an alternative route.
“The pilot project will be reviewed in June and if deemed necessary additional VMS signs will be installed at Century City before the end of the year.”