Open Streets Cape Town will be arriving once again next month. Sunday, 1 October, will see a section of Observatory Main Road reserved for walking shoes and bicycles, and not for cars. A 5km section of the road will be closed off for cars from 10am – 3pm.
Motorists will be able to find alternative routes when the M4 (Main Road) between Observatory and the Cape Town CBD is closed on the day. Managing Director and Co-founder of Open Streets Cape Town, Marcela Guerrero Casas, says that the road will be dedicated to pedestrians, skaters and cyclists.
She informs us that the idea was inspired by the Bogota’s Ciclovia, a recreational programme which creates 120km of car-free streets in the Colombian capital every Sunday and public holiday.
“More than 400 cities around the world have followed suit with their own versions of streets that provide space for recreation and social interaction. The initiative in Cape Town is the first formal Open Streets programme in Africa, and offers a practical way to help bridge the city’s social and spatial divides.”
Guerrero Casas has advised motorists to start making their travelling plans now to avoid inconvenience. She’s also encouraged anyone who can, to support the initiative by walking or cycling. She says it’s an opportunity for members of the public to enjoy their street safely and freely.
Mayco for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron, says the City of Cape Town supports Open Streets as a platform to demonstrate the potential of streets by making some of them temporarily car-free.
He says it gives Cape Town residents the opportunity to experience the streets as safe and welcoming open spaces where they can connect, socialise and participate in activities.
“Open Streets days have been held in King Langalibalele Drive in Langa, Voortrekker Road in Belville, Bree and Longmarket streets in the CBD and Eisleben Road in Mitchell’s Plain. We believe Open Streets can help is rethink how we move around in Cape Town and how we can change our transport habits,” he says.
View event info here.