King Langalibalele Drive in Langa will be transformed once again on Sunday 30 October 2016, with the celebration of the first Open Streets Day for the summer season. The street will be car-free for the day, meaning residents and visitors can either walk around or invade the space with their bicycles, rollerblades and skateboards for fun. Read more below:
King Langalibalele Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic on Sunday 30 October 2016, from 12:00 until 17:00, turning the main street into a pedestrian paradise for at least five hours.‘The City of Cape Town supports Open Streets as a platform to demonstrate the potential of streets by making some of them temporarily car-free. In so doing, pedestrians can enjoy the space without needing to be concerned about their safety. On this day residents and visitors can use the car-free platform for expression – be it to walk, cycle, skate, play or perform. Car-free Sunday received exceptional support from the local community and visitors in the past and I want to encourage them to come out in their numbers again,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The car-free day in Langa is the first in a new six-month long series of Open Streets days that will take place in Bellville on 20 November 2016, the Cape Town central business district (CBD) on 15 January 2017, and in Mitchells Plain on 2 April 2017.
‘This will be our third Open Streets Day in Langa. It has always been a special experience, with local residents really making the most of the opportunity to experience their main road in a different way,’ said the Managing Director of Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT), Marcela Guerrero Casas.
Local musicians regard Open Streets as an opportunity to focus attention on how residents can contribute to creating sustainable communities in the urban environment.
‘Open Streets is an opportunity for all of us to get involved in creating something positive. For me as a musician, filling the route with music is a powerful way to do this. We are looking forward to creating the most beautiful Open Streets on earth,’ said Langa resident and local musician, Dizu Plaatjies.
On the same day OSCT will also run Cape Town’s first ever low-carbon transport race: the A-to-B Challenge. Teams will compete to arrive in Langa from the Cape Town CBD with the smallest carbon footprint. OSCT partner, the WWF Nedbank Green Trust, will determine the winners by the modes of transport they use for their journey.
The challenge will require the teams to explore the different modes of transport, weighing up the advantages of each mode, and making the link between mobility and its effects on climate change.
‘Open Streets focuses our attention on transport possibilities beyond those offered by the private car. I want to encourage Capetonians to opt for walking and cycling for shorter trips. It is a healthy way of getting around – for our bodies and the environment. We are experiencing the demoralising consequences of growing private vehicle use in Cape Town on a daily basis. Congestion is a familiar sight on our major arterial routes during peak-hour traffic and it is getting worse every year. As such, it is high time we rethink how we move around in the city and what we can do to make our city function better,’ said Councillor Herron.
An Open Streets Day is an opportunity for all to explore a street as a space that connects people. It suspends reality for a few hours and shows a glimpse of what our future could be. The purpose of the series of Open Streets days is to open our eyes to the variety of mobility choices on offer.
‘Our programme draws inspiration from Bogotá’s Ciclovía, which transforms 120 km of streets across the Colombian capital every Sunday and public holiday. In Cape Town we want to demonstrate that streets have the power to connect people across social and spatial divides. So, come along to Langa and let’s explore streets together,’ said Guerrero.