273 | Comments for the Rooderpoort CBD Transport Master Plan

14 May 2021: These comments were submitted to the teams involved on the 14th May 2021.

Overview 

  1. Given the depth and interest of the Transport Master Plan on pedestrian and non-motorised development, it is essential that all transport modes be observed through the same lens. 
  2. The Master Plan needs to account for critical overlapping of the various modes in an integrated fashion and show how the various modes overlap in their facilities, stops, ranks and movement, routes and operations, as indicated in the following points. 

Pedestrian Facilities and Movement 

  1. For pedestrian traffic, the pedestrian volumes by key location, intersection and time (AM, Mid Day and PM Peak) data seems to have not been presented. Perhaps this data is already available and only needs to be assessed. 
  2. Pedestrian movement at intersections and along the roadways is also critical to observe and assess the pedestrian routes with respect to the quality of the available infrastructure. 
  3. More specifically, a technical assessment of the pedestrian sidewalk quality, condition, width, and connectivity (continuation); then an objective assessment of the distribution of shading, obstacles and other characteristics unique to the pedestrian environment. 

Bus Stops and Routes

  1. For bus stops and routes, the level of route boarding and alighting detail is necessary, as the aggregate route or market data presented in slide 21 (forecasted) will not be sufficient as the actual number of passengers along the route would not be known. 
  2. Furthermore, in addition to assessing the schedule performance of the buses along the routes, it is also key that the team assesses the passenger activity times at each bus stop for morning peak, midday and evening peak times. This will be useful for the long-run forecasts and it will provide a better assessment of where pedestrians emerge with respect to buses. 
  3. Another goal is to enable a shift away from private car use, it is rather essential to note that there is also a need to enhance bus use, improving various elements of the bus service offering (short-run Metrobus, and Provincial Subsidised Buses). 

Minibus Taxi Rank and Operations Data

  1. For minibus taxi operations data, it is unclear what the average fare price of the rank is across all routes. This is important information. Furthermore, there is a need to present the actual number of passengers that were interviewed. 
  2. For minibus taxi rank data, a more detailed checklist is necessary, without passenger interviews, but with an objective checklist to audit the facilities based on a specific criteria. That is for instance, the number of abolition facilities (no. of toilet seats, basins etc.), clean water availability (i.e. number of taps, water wells). 
  3. A critical missing element is an analysis of the way finding of commuters at the taxi ranks, this needs to be assessed and evaluated in detail, as it provides an indication of the variety of infrastructure that is necessary. 
  4. Finally an assessment of nightlife activities in the CBD and at taxi ranks may also be necessary in order to determine the lighting, security, social development and community safety needs.

Wider Road Network Issues

  1. The wider road network assessment, while appropriate from a traffic volume perspective, and congestion density, there are some elements that can be sourced from the City. In particular, and assessment of intersection type in the CBD, and traffic light phase timing data needs to be captured. This will enable a more accurate assessment of the road network’s performance. 
  2. There is also a need to ensure that the road condition rating data is captured and included, in order to determine the quality of the existing infrastructure. 
  3. Finally, the team should also consider consolidating any road accident data from the relevant sources in order to account for road safety dynamics and related issues. However, for the Master Plan to be consistent with best practice, especially focusing on pedestrian and other forms of non-motorised transport, road safety audits and universal accessibility assessments need to be conducted. 

Parking 

  1. The various parking area assessments were good, and provide sufficient information. However, there is a gap in the assessments. These need to be associated with valuations of the properties adjacent to the parking bays in order to determine the value of the land-uses (including parking). 
  2. Furthermore, the roadways need to be assessed within the “Complete Streets” framework so that the parking assessments for each roadway account for the broader potential for planning. 

Missing Elements

  1. Freight transport assessment is missing in the master plan. This is particularly important within CBDs as delivery vehicles may pose significant risks for pedestrians and cyclists as obstructions at loading bays and their activity. As a result, freight network management and loading bay assessments need to be assessed. 
  2. Land use values and number of persons interacting with these locations over time. This is critical for an NMT CBD, where foot-traffic volumes are correlated with retail revenues. This is a critical measure in order to develop appropriate assessments fo the impact of the interventions. 
  3. Characterisation of informal retail based on their permits and the products that are being sold at these locations. These are key parts of the Master Planning process. 
  4. An assessment of the current train station in detail: pedestrian volumes, interaction with other transport modes, and the physical characteristics of the station (i.e. abolition facilities, seating capacity, shelter etc.). 

Concluding Remarks

  1. At this stage of the Master Planning process the project is making good progress. However, the items indicated make for inaccurate proposals or concepts to emerge. 
  2. Observing the above mentioned comments may help provide critical data, prior to developing proposals for possible avenues for rank relocation, pedestrian oriented complete streets and the train station precinct. 
  3. The team needs to make a more detailed assessment of the available operations and practices, including consultation with the incumbent minibus taxi associations in order to co-create possible interventions. 
  4. From a compliance perspective, the team should ensure that the project is tied to the existing Integrated Transport Plans, Development Plans and other related strategic outputs. This must be cross-referenced with all the broad concepts and ideas presented. 
  5. Finally, informal traders need to be consulted in order to better understand their relationship with the public and non-motorised transport networks, as increased complete streets may be obstructed by street retail that is not appropriately coordinated. 

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