Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting read for MyCiti

The City of Cape Town is alerting drivers that traffic signals will change along certain stretches of the R27 when the MyCiTi bus service starts running. This week the new signals are being unveiled and will be operational by the end of the week.

Next week, MyCiTi bus drivers will start testing buses on the R27 and drivers are asked to be alert to the new traffic signals.

City spokeswoman Kylie Hatton emphasized that delays caused by the buses will be marginal and that the greatest threat to delays at intersections is increased traffic which is exactly why MyCiTi is being introduced. "We are urging residents near the new service to use the bus service when it starts wherever possible, to help allay the rising traffic congestion in the area," she said.

The City is aiming to introduce the service in early May, subject to the conclusion of negotiations with the new vehicle operating companies and the obtaining of licenses to operate the buses. There are three aspects to the changes in traffic signals:

a. At intersections: To accommodate MyCiTi buses and pedestrians, the intersection layouts had to be modified and signal phasing and timing plans adjusted. Great care has been taken over the design of the intersections, to maximise capacity for the buses and pedestrians as well as cars.

b. Along the R27 from Racecourse Rd to Blaauwberg Road, and CBD on Hertzog Boulevard: Right-turn traffic will be stopped while the buses go straight through these intersections. Thereafter, right-turn traffic is given a flashing green arrow.

c. At the intersections between the R27 and Milnerton Road, Boundary Road, Loxton Road and Blaauwberg Road: Here there are "pre-signals" - traffic lights 60m upstream of the signalised intersection. These pre-signals are in place where the bus lane stops and the bus must enter normal traffic lanes. At the pre-signals, the traffic lights change five seconds before those at the intersection, turning red for normal traffic and green for the bus. This allows the bus to be at the front of the queue at the signalised intersection, and to enter the bus lane easily when the lane begins again.

"There is one simple rule, which applies here as on all roads - that drivers must stop when they see a red traffic light or a stop sign," Hatton said. "Drivers will now have to be on the look-out for the new traffic signals."

A trip by bus from Table View to the city centre is expected to take half an hour, in peak-hour traffic or at other times of the day and will cost users R10 for a one-way trip.