Traffic dispute

Taxis causing delays on the corner of Lincoln Street and 11th avenue in Boston.

Boston residents feel they’re not getting enough bang for their buck out of a deal to appoint a designated traffic officer in the area.

It was agreed at a sub-council meeting in the middle of last year that a traffic cop – paid for with R278 000 in ward funding – would be posted in the neighbourhood, says Pieter de Waal, a member of the Boston Ratepayer’s Association (BRPA) and Ward 2 committee member. But the officer has still not been appointed, he says.

“Last July, we were promised a designated traffic officer for the area, and we have been paying for it. However, nobody has been appointed so instead we are just getting random officers being dispatched when there is an issue. So basically we are paying extra money just to get extra attention from the officers, and that is not what we want. We want andwhat was promised – an officer that we can call personally to address any issues that may occur in the area.”

One of the big problems in Boston, he said, was taxis Mr De Waal said that one of the big issues facing the Boston area are taxis that break away from their going off their assigned routes and speeding down residential roads during peak-hour traffic.

“In order for people to get to Welgemoed and other areas, the taxis have to drive from the taxi rank, up Voortrekker, Boston Avenue and then turn into 3rd Avenue before turning into Lincoln Street which takes them to their destination. However, they are cutting off from Boston Avenue and driving down residential roads like Cleveland, Salisbury and Washington and they are doing so at massive speeds all so that they can avoid traffic.

It has become so bad that children cannot walk to and from school anymore, and it has been impossible to allow them to ride their bicycles outside as well.”

According to Mr De Waal, the taxis, after reaching Lincoln Street, forced their way illegally through the busy traffic and cause major traffic delays.

The issues had been ongoing for several months and several pleas to the City for action had been of little help, he said.

Ward 2 councillor Leonore van der Walt said the designated traffic officer would cover the whole ward and not a specific suburb.

“If money is allocated from a ward allocation the traffic official has to be provided. If a traffic official cannot be externally sourced and appointed, the traffic department must still provide the service in terms of the agreement that the funding comes from the ward allocation. Ward 2 gets extra traffic services. During the period 20 January to 20 February, a total of 402 fines were issued to the monetary value of R277 800.”

Only one taxi had been impounded during that time, she said. The driver had been arrested for 13 outstanding warrants worth R35 150.

Mr De Waal argued there was very little protection offered to Boston, which pays a quarter of the ward’s rates.

According to traffic reports, he showed the Northern News, only one of the 260 fines issued from November 2019 to January 2020 was for Boston.

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