Grey Street upgrade
The Knysna Municipality has stated that following the public engagement sessions held on 20 and 21 February this year on the proposed Grey Street urban renewal upgrades, the draft urban design framework (UDF) is being revised and completed as part of the conceptual and design development stage of the project.
“The need for a traffic impact assessment is recognised by all as part of the design development stage and is currently being undertaken before making available the final draft UDF for final public and stakeholder inputs. The traffic impact assessment will include traffic counts, impact of proposed changes to turning lanes and parking configuration through detailed traffic modelling. The outcome of this assessment will recommend adjustments to the draft UDF to ensure the most optimal streetscape upgrade that improve the functionality of the Grey Street node,” the municipality said in a statement.
The key elements of the proposed urban upgrade discussed at the public engagements included the following: road and pedestrian infrastructure upgrades; parking; signage and street furniture; safety and security; public open spaces; urban art; and landscape upgrades.
Services infrastructure a priority
“Public inputs emphasised that as a minimum requirement the road surface, sidewalks and crossings need to be upgraded with high-quality materials and only commence after services infrastructure below the road surface is fully upgraded – something that has been taken into account during project planning. Traffic congestion is a major problem and the proposed changes need to consider improvement, not to be confused with increase, of vehicular traffic in relation to pedestrian needs,” the municipality said in a statement.
They added that the draft urban design concept intends to decentralise the flow of traffic to and from the taxi rank; improve congestion; and allow for facilities that accommodate public transport along the street. Precedents from across the world illustrate that pedestrianization of towns and cities is only achievable when public transport systems are given priority.
The upgrade of the Grey Street water main infrastructure will be done as one project with the street, sidewalk and complementary street furniture upgrades when construction commences. Budget for the project has been allocated to the value of R18-million over two financial years and implementation will therefore take place in stages. –