On 1 October 2017, between 10am and 3pm, Open Streets grows into a 5km car-free route along the M4, creating a space for people to move, play and interact freely and safely. The route between Cape Town Science Centre and the Grand Parade includes sections of Main Road, Victoria Road, Sir Lowry Road and Darling Street.
One of the most exciting activities taking place on the day is a cycling school for adults. Using a technique learned from the Bike New York education programme, Lebogang Mokwena has successfully introduced adult bicycling lessons in Cape Town. Although structured around the Bike New York technique, the Learn2Cycle programme is informed by her personal experience of learning how to cycle as an adult. The result has been phenomenal with more than 30 adults learning in the span of 6 weeks. She will be working with some of people she has taught to teach other adults at Open Streets
Open Streets Day is a collaborative effort between the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) and Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT).
Says Cllr Herron: “Open Streets can help create a new mindset about mobility that creates a conducive environment for people to walk and cycle more often and, in the long term, contribute towards the reduction of traffic congestion.”
Says Robert Vogel, CEO of the Pedal Power Association: “Creating the space for people to cycle safely and freely can be a transformative opportunity for those who do not feel comfortable getting on a bicycle on the streets of our city.”
Says Augustine Morkel, executive manager for operations at WWF South Africa: “Transport is the fastest-growing source of climate change-causing emissions. To tackle this, we need to go in the opposite direction and get out of our private vehicles as much as possible. Initiatives such as Open Streets are vital for creating a shift towards a climate-friendly transport sector.”
At Open Streets Main Road, there will be many short journeys people can embark on. Whether on a bicycle, a skateboard or by foot, the opportunity to discover this historic stretch of Cape Town is limitless. For example, you could cycle the less than 3km distance from Trafalgar Park in Woodstock to the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory. Or walk from Cape Town City Hall to Woodstock Town Hall.
Marcela concludes: “By showing that walking and cycling short distances is possible, these journeys could inspire more day-to-day shifts in our transport behaviour. We invite everyone to come out and help make the street come alive on the day!”