What impact has allowing cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers onto the Sea Point promenade had?
Increased inclusivity and access, according to Councillor Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member in charge of for transport, roads and stormwater.
Read why he thinks so below:
The City of Cape Town’s lifting of the bicycle, skateboard and rollerblade prohibition on the Sea Point Promenade over the summer season has proven to be a resounding success.
In September 2012 I announced that, as part of the City’s efforts to build an inclusive city, we would be lifting the prohibition on the Sea Point Promenade for the duration of October, which is Transport Month. After the success of the trial period, the City extended the lifting of the prohibition to the end of March 2013.
It is a source of great pride for me that the lifting of the prohibition has resulted not only in increased inclusivity on the promenade, but also increased access, diversity and tolerance amongst those enjoying the amenity. It is precisely this kind of respect for each other that we as a City are working to instil in our residents.
The lifting of the prohibition, which affects the entire promenade from Mouille Point to Queen’s Beach, brought communities together. We have heard inspirational stories via the social networks and from officials and businesses on the ground.
Jared Chaitowitz, co-owner of Up Cycles, a bicycle rental company based at the Sea Point Pavilion, told me that local visitors from Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Sea Point and Grassy Park, amongst many other areas, had hired bicycles – along with international visitors from more than 50 countries.
Earlier this year, Chaitowitz taught a 46 year-old local visitor to the promenade to ride a bicycle for the first time and after they started talking, it turned out that they were first cousins.
Meanwhile, a regular visitor from the United Kingdom wrote Up Cycles a letter, saying that he had not ridden a bicycle since 1970. He wrote the following about the pleasure of riding a bicycle along the promenade: “…gentle exercise, at my pace, clean ocean air, a pause to admire the seascapes and a stop for coffee or a light meal. Pure, simple pleasures and at the end … a lovely feeling of achievement.”
I also received the following tweet from Chaitowitz on the evening of 10 February 2013: “We were a part of a five year-old’s first ride without fairy wheels today. Took the wheels off ourselves. Proud dad watching. Kid’s a natural — Up Cycles”.
These stories confirm the prediction of active mobility experts that the high volume of pedestrian traffic on the promenade would ensure that new visitors using other forms of non-motorised transport would visit the promenade for leisurely rides, rather than sport.
It is clear that the opening of the Sea Point Promenade to other forms of active mobility has also led to a surge in the use of bicycles, rollerblades and skateboards.
The decision as to whether to make the lifting of the prohibition on bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades permanent will be made and announced before the end of March 2013.
Issued by: Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1298 or Cell: 082 518 3264, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph by Lisa Burnell.