If you build it, they will come. In this case, they have simply been unable to.

Less than a year ago the green cycle lanes were implemented by the city and have been nearly unusable to date, owing to the lanes acting as a magnet for stationary vehicles. In Cape Town, over R300 million has been spent on non-motorised transport in the form of cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways during the past five financial years.

The City of Cape Town (as do I) clearly sees a future for cycling as a feasible and active way to get around. Cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Buenos Aires have, and continuously are, being transformed to put cycling first – a no brainer when you consider how beneficial cycling is.

But, the problem here lies with general carelessness and indifference to the cycle lanes in Cape Town. Barely a day passes without an offender being shamed on Twitter, and up until now, it has just been a lot of hot (digital) air.

‘The more cyclists who make use of the cycling lanes that are being provided by the City, the better the chances are that cycling will become an accepted norm – and not the exception – of transport in Cape Town for visitors and residents alike. This will create awareness among other road users, and motorists in particular, that cyclists are also rightful road users and not a nuisance. It has become clear, however, that the City will have to step in to improve cyclists’ safety along the cycle lanes. As such, we will be implementing some measures to ensure that motorists stay out of the green cycle lanes at all times,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

Changes are coming and would-be offenders need to take note. According to the city, measures will be taken to promote cyclists’ safety along the green cycle lanes over the next few weeks:

– Apart from Vuka Bumps (road studs), TCT will also install bollards along the green colourised cycle lane along Albert Road in Salt River to indicate their exclusive use by cyclists and pedestrians and to prevent other road users from entering the lane

– Drivers who double-park and obstruct the cycle lane can be towed away in terms of the National Road Traffic Act. The City’s Traffic Service will assist as a matter of urgency in towing away any vehicle that is parked in the cycle lanes along Albert Road and along the streets in the Cape Town central business district. Apart from having to pay a release fee for the impounded vehicle, the owner of the vehicle will be fined as well.

Cyclists wishing to report any illegal activity on the cycle lane may do so to the Safety and Security Directorate on +27 21 596 1999. Cyclists can also report transgressors to the Transport Information Centre on +27 0800 65 64 63.

Photography @iluv2ridemybike

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