14 April 2014
Today the Executive mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau, delivered the annual State of the City Address (SoCA) in which he reported on the status of the City and outlined priorities for the year ahead.
JUCA is pleased to note that Mayor Tau has explicitly committed to turning Johannesburg into a cycle-friendly city. He acknowledged the work that JUCA has done to map 100km of safer cycling routes in the city, and committed to signposting those routes on-street.
“We are progressively turning Johannesburg into a cycle-friendly city. To celebrate the life of our great hero, Tata Nelson Mandela and in partnership with cycling organisations we organised a Freedom Ride on the 9th of February. This ride attracted 5 000 cyclists from all walks of life riding from the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the inner city to Mandela’s House in Soweto and back. To make sure that cycling is accessible to all we handed out 350 bikes in Tshepisong last year, 50 to Orlando school children during the Freedom Ride and are working with partner organisations to set up a Bike Empowerment Centre in Soweto before the end of this year. Soon the dedicated cycle path outside this venue – which starts in Noordgesig and ends at Madlala Street in Orlando West – will be completed. And over the next two to three years the City will be implementing dedicated cycling infrastructure from Melville to Doornfontein, from Alex to the Sandton CBD, from Diepkloof to Fourways and from Rosebank to Sandton. To complement this dedicated cycling network we are working with the Johannesburg Urban Cyclists Association (JUCA) to identify and sign over 100 kilometres of safe cycling routes across Joburg.We are a City at Work transforming our movement and spatial patterns.”
Mayor Tau is referring the materialisation of the JUCA Cycle Map through signposting. The safer cycling routes that have been exhaustively researched by JUCA take into account traffic and elevation. The map will be printed and distributed (for free) this year, and along with the matching signposting system to be implemented by the City of Johannesburg, will make the city significantly safer and more navigable for commuter cyclists.
Read the full SoCA speech: soca speech by clr parks tau – final 14 april 2014.
For audio and video recordings of the speech, click here.
Bicycle commuters are invited to comment on the current National Department of Transport Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Guidelines, last updated by the DoT in 2003. A copy of the document is available here.
The NMT Guidelines aim to assist practitioners in urban and rural areas to carry out the planning, design and implementation of facilities and programmes for cyclists (and other NMT modes), and to encourage consistency in the provision of facilities, to the best possible standards.
The Guidelines consider, among others, matters of policy development; legislation; planning & demand analysis; facilities design (including intersection design); maintenance; monitoring & evaluation; pavement; landscaping; signage & signaling; route classification; bicycle parking facilities; and integration with other transport modes.
Within the project there is a two-stepped consultation process: the first is this call – addressed specifically to people who use bicycles as a mode of transport – for comments and proposed additions, updates and revisions to the current NMT Guidelines. What do the current Guidelines not cover or include? What should they include, based on your experience as a bicycle user?
Please e-mail your comments and input as soon as possible, but at the very latest, by Friday 2 May, to: Gail Jennings.
JUCA’s logo was designed by Tiago Correia-Paulo, a well known “Jozambican” musician and artist. We’re very lucky and grateful that this friend of JUCA contributed their talent and time to the commuter cycling campaign in Joburg. Thank you, Tiago.
The logo shows the acronym for JUCA in a typeface evocative of the movement of a commuter cyclist, with graphic elements added to symbolise the simple beauty of the bicycle. We love it and we hope you do, too!
On 31 March, a “Cycling Indaba” was hosted by the Gauteng MEC for Transort, Dr Ismail Vadi. Two JUCA board members, Njogu Morgan and Muhammed Suleman attended the event. Njogu delivered a brilliant presentation on “Everyday Cycling” (which you can view here: cyclingindabapresentation).
The idea of the Indaba as explained by MEC Vadi was to move from policy to implementation. The Indaba was intended to bring together ideas on how our cities could move forward; looking for clear and simple ideas. JUCA was very happy to share some ideas about how Gauteng can invest in Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) and cycling in specific.
The Indaba began with presentations from the National Department of Transport presenting the state of NMTs in South Africa. This was followed by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport who spoke about the 25 year Integrated Transport Master Plan and introduced the different municipalities. Thereafter the City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, City of Ekhurhuleni and the Sedibeng District Municipality made their presentations. Each focused on what their municipality has done, mainly discussing how many bicycles have been handed out through programmes like Shova Kalula and how much money has been spent on these programmes. They as well proposed the way forward showing us that the policy does exist.
The JUCA presentation focussed on the opportunity that cycling represents for urban mobility and raised the challenge that those in policy, implementation or activism who want to promote cycling should actually cycle themselves as often as possible. JUCA challenged the cities and the province to organise a ride to work/school/shop/gym day. Along with other community cycling activists present, JUCA argued that cities in Gauteng should not prioritise the construction of cycling lanes but instead invest in signalling systems and the identification of safe cycling ‘networks’ (for example, the networks JUCA has already identified in Joburg).
Discussion at the Indaba centred on several concerns, such as the importance of coordinating between our municipalities to promote cycling across the region, the low impact that programmes like Shova Kalula has actually had on cycling and why, the importance of education for cyclists and motorists, the provision of service stations and cycling hubs, and the need to involve law enforcement and traffic departments in such meetings and in the process of promoting cycling in general.