Sandton Central Management District has announced that it will launch an information campaign to help those who work, visit and live in Sandton to get to grips with getting around the Sandton CBD during the World EcoMobility Festival, from 1 October to 31 October 2015.

Driven by the City of Johannesburg, the upcoming EcoMobility Festival is part of the city’s plan to decongest traffic and give preference to public transport, bicycles and pedestrians on our streets. With the high and growing levels of traffic congestion in the Sandton CBD, the country’s leading business hub, it was a clear choice as the venue for the festival to optimise its positive impact.

Elaine Jack, city improvement district manager for Sandton Central Management District, explains that, essentially, Sandton residents, workers and visitors will still have full access to the Sandton CBD during the festival, but the emphasis will be on using public transport to move in and out of the CBD. There will also be new ways to move around the area. Sandton’s CBD was originally not built for any mode of traveling other than private vehicles. Now, as part of the city’s festival initiative, it is putting in place infrastructure to enable safe walking and cycling as well as public transport.

“The EcoMobility Festival has put the Sandton CBD at the forefront of the city’s attention with vital investment in public transport that is not fully available in the area. Public transport is one of the sustainable solutions to ensuring Sandton remains competitive and the preferred location of choice for business and tourism in the city. By choosing Sandton as the location for its World EcoMobility Festival, the City of Johannesburg is giving us all a chance to choose new alternative ways of getting around Sandton, during and after the event.”

People can improve their health and fitness by walking or cycling to work. They can enjoy reading, instead of getting hot under the collar in traffic jams, while catching a bus from one of more than a dozen park and ride venues across the region, or taking Gautrain into the Sandton CBD.
“We’ll have more, safer spaces to walk and cycle,” notes Jack. For the 10,000 people who walk from Alexandra to Sandton every day, the city will be upgrading the walkways and offering a dedicated pedestrian and cycling bridge across the M1 carriageway into Sandton that is safe and dignified.

The 1, 2, 3 of getting around Sandton Central during the EcoMobility Festival:
1. Essentially, there is only one street – West Street – that will become a dedicated pedestrian zone for EcoMobility. This area will span about 100 metres of the West Street roadway, from around Maude Street to Fredman Drive.

2. There will be more space for pedestrians and cyclists on three of the streets that intersect West Street. Maude and Stella will have limited access for local vehicle users and construction vehicles, while Alice Lane will function in the same way, but also offer access for public transport, including metred taxis and Tuk Tuks. On certain weekends, Gwen Lane will be activated as an EcoMobility zone, but on weekdays it will remain open to vehicles from Fredman Drive.

3. All this will be surrounded by a public transport loop running around the Sandton CBD on Fredman Drive, Fifth Street and Rivonia Road, which will remain open to all vehicles, but will feature a dedicated bus lane and wider pavements. Preparation work is already beginning on this loop. Public transport, in the form of bus and Gautrain, will also be available into Sandton CBD.