Roadworks causing congestion in suburb

Oakdale Watch's Tommy Milakovic.

Oakdale residents have blamed the N1 upgrades for congestion in the suburb.

At a public meeting on Thursday last week, residents complained that motorists were rat-running through their neighbourhood to avoid the roadworks.

The residents want traffic-calming measures to ease high traffic volumes on Wagner, Barnard and St George’s streets.

Some said the area’s sewers and drains had also taken a knock from the upgrades.

Last month, the Department of Transport and Public Works said the R487 million upgrade to the highway between Plattekloof and Old Oak roads was more than one third done (“N1 upgrade one-third done,” Northern News September 14)and should be completed by April 2019.

Ward 3 councillor Brendan van der Merwe told last week’s meeting that the drains had to be cleared and the upgrades would give the sewers more capacity, but he said complaints should go to the contractors or the department because it wasn’t a City project.

Residents also asked when the long-distance bus terminus in Oakdale would be moved.

Mr Van der Merwe said the move was still on the cards, but he couldn’t say when, as the terminus was part of the City’s plan to develop the Bellville public transport interchange.

Residents complained that traffic congestion around Bellpark Primary School was a problem and some had had their driveways blocked by parents dropping off and picking up their children.

Mr Van der Merwe said he had held a site meeting to assess the problem, and the traffic police had been asked to do more random patrols in the area.

Bellpark Primary School principal Pierro Louw said contractors were digging trenches along the school, and that had aggravated the situation .

The school had helped to pay for a drop-off-and-go zone in St Andrews Street to address the situation, and he had sent previous complaints to the traffic department but hadn’t received any recently.

The school regularly sent letters to parents asking them to consider residents when dropping off their children, he said.

Oakdale Watch chairman Tommy Milakovic called on residents to only put out their bins on collection days so as to not attrac homeless people to the area.

“You are not helping by leaving food and items on the bin, rather give to a proper organisation,” he said.