The unveiling of dedicated lanes for cyclists in Orlando East, Soweto, on Thursday October 22 was a further demonstration of the City of Johannesburg’s resolve to move with speed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city, Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau said.
Mayor Tau was addressing residents who packed the Orlando East Community Hall, Soweto, to witness the official launch of the non-motorised transport project in the township, one of the events marking this year’s Transport Month, held under the ecomobility theme.
Cycling is one of the non-motorised forms of transport that the City is promoting.
“It is not only about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that we are concerned about. The cycling programme will also ensure a better lifestyle for the people of Orlando,” the Mayor said.
The R1 million project was undertaken in partnership with the German government and was funded by German development bank KFW. The cycle track runs from Orlando East to Noordgesig.
The plan is to replicate the project in other parts of Johannesburg.
Mayor Tau said the City would establish another dedicated cycle lane in Sandton, Johannesburg’s second-biggest central business district (CBD). The project, he said, would be launched a year from now.
This will coincide with the Ecomobility World Festival, during which certain streets of the suburb will be closed off to motorised transport, encouraging residents to use the cycle lanes instead to get around.
The Mayor said the choice of Orlando as the first beneficiary of dedicated cycle lanes was in line with a strategy to upgrade the infrastructure in the area so it matched that of new townships.
“Orlando is one of the oldest townships in the country. It might have been left behind when new townships were established. It is for that reason that we took a conscious decision to work on projects here so that it is brought line with the rest of the area,” the Mayor said.
The project is fully supported by the national department of Transport and of Environmental Affairs.