26 March 2015

Johannesburg: Sandton to be (almost) car-free in October 2015!

update (30 Sept 2015): Traveller24.com has created a very useful map showing all roads affected by the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 in Sandton's CBD

update (10 Sept 2015): What will be different during the duration of the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 in the Sandton CBD?
Transport Management Plan

update (03 Sept 2015): Plans to close off Maude Street (between Rivonia and Fifth), West Street (between Rivonia and Fredman), Alice Lane and Gwen Lane private vehicles during the EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition in Sandton (Johannesburg) in October 2015 have been dismissed, following an extensive process of public consultation to understand the freight, delivery and construction requirements.
  •  only one street in Sandton – West Street (between Maude Street and Fredman Drive) – will be closed to private vehicles during the EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition
  • about 100m of West Street will become a dedicated pedestrian zone for EcoMobility
  • private cars will only be permitted to enter West Street via Rivonia Road. 
  • cars will be prohibited from entering Maude Street (between West and Fifth) and Alice Lane from West Street. 
  • motorists will have to drive down to Rivonia Road and enter via Fifth Street.
    Rivonia, Fifth and Fredman will form a transport loop surrounding the Eco-Mobility precinct. 
  • within this loop, one lane will be designated for public transport only and the other will be available to private cars.
  • officers of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) will be located at entry points onto Alice Lane, Maude Street (both ends), corner Rivonia and West, corner West and Maude, corner Maude and Gwen and corner West and Fredman
  • JMPD officers will ask commuters if they are based on the road they are trying to enter. If they are not, they will be asked to turn around, re-join the transport loop and reach their destination via the appropriate entry points.
  • several park-and-ride facilities will also be introduced to facilitate travellers commuting to Sandton from other parts of Johannesburg, including Brightwater Commons, Montecasino, Waterfall, Nicolway, Randburg Square and Morningside Glen. 
Johannesburg will be hosting the second EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition from 01-31 October 2015. During the event, large sections of the Sandton CBD will be turned into an "EcoMobile neighbourhood" with certain road closed off for most private cars and the hosting of a range of activities where the focus will on bicycles and pedestrian activity. The roads affected will include Maude Street, West Street, Rivonia Road, Fredman Drive, Alice Lane and Gwen Lane.
The following roads have been proposed to be closed to all cars during the EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition (update 10 April 2015):
  • West Street between Rivonia Road and Fredman Drive
  • Alice Drive between Fifth and West Street
  • Gwen Lane between Fredman Drive and Maude Street
  • Stella Street from West Street to its dead end

Johannesburg's objectives during the month-long EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition are to:*
  • encourage behavioural changed by showing that car-free methods of transport – walking, cycling and public transport – are achievable and have many positive impacts on commuters and the environment;
  • envisage the future by showing what the Sandton CBD and surrounding areas will look like once alternative transport infrastructure has been introduced;
  • contribute to making Johannesburg a cycling-friendly city through profiling dedicated cycling lanes and leisure events such as the Freedom Ride between Sandton and Alexandra;
  • create awareness about the positive contribution that sustainable transport can make to mitigate climate change and create a future for coming generations; and
  • showcase Johannesburg's initiatives to promote clean, sustainable transport and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
*via City of Johannesburg website (www.joburg.org.za)

The EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition is a global event hosted in a major international city. The first festival was organised in partnership with Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and was held in Suwon (South Korea) in 2013.

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