CY streets ditch cars

A section of Voortrekker Road will be transformed into a pedestrian playground, on Sunday November 20, with the celebration of Open Streets Bellville.

The stretch of road between the intersections of Durban Road and Oos Street will be car-free from 10am to 3pm, lending a festival atmosphere to Bellville’s main street for at least five hours.

Look out for the Book Station reading corner, elastic drawing and chalk mandalas, performances by Mapiko African Masquerade, Terreiro Capoeira (a form of Brazilian martial art) and the Ultimate Frisbee game.

“Open Streets draws inspiration from Bogota’s Ciclovia, which transforms 120km of streets across the Colombian capital every Sunday and public holiday,” said Open Streets Cape Town managing director, Marcela Guerrero Casas. “The intention of Open Streets in Cape Town is to demonstrate that streets can connect people across social and spatial divides.”

The car-free day demonstrates how one of the city’s main transport corridors can be turned into a public urban space for pedestrians.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, said the City fully supported the concept, as it gave residents and visitors to Cape Town the chance to “walk, cycle, skate, play or perform” without having to worry about their safety.

This will be the second in a new six-month long series of Open Streets days. Last month, the city celebrated Open Streets Day in Langa.

The Cape Town CBD will host an Open Streets Day on January 15 next year, followed by the fourth and last in Mitchell’s Plain on April 2.

“Voortrekker Road is one of Cape Town’s busiest streets. Last year, when we made a section of this busy corridor car-free for the day, people from all over Cape Town showed up, meeting each other in the street. They discovered in Bellville a vibrant suburb, and we are looking forward to hosting them again this year,” said Greater Tygerberg Partnership CEO Chris O’Connor.

Mr Herron added: “Open Streets also focuses our attention on transport possibilities beyond those offered by the private car. I want to encourage Capetonians to opt for walking and cycling for shorter trips. It is a healthy way of getting around – for our bodies and the environment. We are experiencing the demoralising consequences of growing private vehicle use in Cape Town on a daily basis.”