For many years the CRRA have been asking the City to upgrade the intersection of Constantia Main Rd/Parish Rd and Ladies Mile Extension to cater for rush hour traffic and thus alleviate the long tailbacks – particularly traffic coming from the Constantia Nek side and being blocked by vehicles turning right into Ladies Mile Extension. For most of last year it was reported to us that design was in progress and then finally in November construction commenced. The design solution was somewhat a ‘fait accompli’ with no invitation from the City for the CRRA or general public to comment.
Thus, when we were eventually given a copy of the drawings, we were rather disappointed that the design seemed inadequate in fully addressing the problem. Nevertheless, we requested an on-site meeting with City officials/consultants, which Councillor Liz Brunette was able to arrange. City engineer Tim de Villiers explained the following:
- A traffic circle was considered but rejected because
- Circles do not work well when there are different volumes of traffic entering from the feeder roads, which is the case here as Constantia Main Rd has much higher volumes, and because vehicles on the minor feeders have to give way and have difficulty entering
- Approximately 45 meters would be required for an appropriately sized traffic circle which would mean land expropriation and re-aligning Constantia Main Road. Also, the cost of re-locating underground services would be prohibitive
- Traffic counts that were done did not warrant right turning lanes in Parish Road and Ladies Mile Extension. They are aware of the tailbacks but believe that this will be alleviated through the correct timing settings for the traffic lights. The CRRA are on record as objecting to this omission. In response, the City agreed to monitor the effectiveness and if there is still a problem, other solutions may be considered;
- The right turn lanes in Constantia Main Road have been lengthened (more than shown on the initial plan), which is in line with CRRA concerns;
- The City will provide access for verge parking on both sides of Constantia Main Road for overflow parking for Christ Church;
- There have been construction delays due to unforeseen complications with underground services but the project should be completed by the end of March.
Below is an engineering drawing of the project: