We have all been very excited about the construction of bicycle lanes in Johannesburg.
However our excitement has been dampened by poor motorist conduct on the lanes. People driving vehicles have been witnessed parking or driving on them. This diminishes the value of the bicycle lanes. Many including ourselves on numerous have complained about this lack of respect to the City of Johannesburg. In March of this year, during the launch of the Cycle Jozi Week, Johannesburg Mayor, Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau, asked that Metrobus drivers and others stop parking on the University Corridor Bicycle Lanes.
At last there is progress. Lisa Seftel, Executive Director at the Transport Department in the City of Johannesburg reports that:
- Since May of 2015, 31 motorists have been ticketed for parking on the lanes. In the same period 6 cars have been been impounded
- The cycle lanes are being patrolled and monitored constantly
- A dedicated cycle lane patrol unit both on bicycles and on vehicles (via the Joburg Metro Police) is being set up
This is great news.
However there is much more to be done. As you will see in the images below that we took about a week ago, the enforcement still leaves much to be desired. Motorists continue to park on the lanes.
What can you do? A lot.
- For starters if you see any motorists parked on the lanes, inform them of the violation and ask them to move.
- Secondly, take a photo and post it on Joburg Metro Police’s twitter account asking for enforcement; @JMPDSafety
Finally, a bit of perspective. This is a permanent struggle. Even in one of the most bike friendly cities in the world – Amsterdam – vehicles do sometimes park on bike lanes. The picture below was taken on the 1st of August 2015.
Of course it does not mean we do nothing. One day such scenes as above in Amsterdam will be the exception. Happy cycling.