Sandton Central has welcomed the positive changes to its streets by the City of Johannesburg
After two years of construction and road disruptions, the City of Joburg has completed its transformation of the streets of Sandton. This iconic commercial, residential, tourism and leisure district has also become a public transport and pedestrian-friendly hub benefitting people, business, and community.
Elaine Jack, who is Sandton Central Management District’s (SCMD) City Improvement District Manager for Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate, says the city’s investment in Sandton Central’s improved streets reinforces its position as Africa’s centre of ideas, trade, and culture.
Jack highlights this progress was only possible as a result of the close and constructive working relationship that has been nurtured between the district and the city over many years.
SCMD manages the public urban spaces of South Africa’s cosmopolitan financial hub. It is home to three business improvement districts funded by commercial property owners to ensure the creation of an exceptional experience of this key node of Johannesburg for employees, visitors, tourists, shoppers, property owners and residents of Sandton Central.
The city’s complete streets initiative helps to relieve traffic congestion by offering more public transport, while also making walking and cycling into and around Sandton Central safer and easier.
At the same time, the project has built bridges between Alexandra and Sandton, provided infrastructure that addresses poverty, and offered construction opportunities that created jobs and boosted the city’s economy.
Sandton Central now has new pavements that help everyone put their best foot forward, whether they are wearing sneakers or heels, wheeling suitcases, using a walking stick or in a wheelchair. Its new cycle lanes encourage more cyclists and support their safety. Reinforcing positive environmental impacts, its new street-side landscaping is all made up of water wise or drought resistant plants.
Quicker journeys lie ahead for people using public transport thanks to the dedicated lanes of a new public transport loop along parts of West Street, Rivonia Road, Fredman Drive and Fifth Street. Improvements made to the Marlboro off-ramp now help to reduce congestion at the Grayston off-ramp.
Jack says: “Excellent public transport and walkability are essential for the country’s vibrant and bustling economic hub to function optimally. The improvement to our streets is significant and meaningful. It benefits the people who use them, the communities they connect, and the addresses they provide for business. And, there is even more to come.”
By 2018, additional infrastructure, including stations and demarcated trunk routes, will be ready for the Bus Rapid Transport services of Rea Vaya. These buses are expected to transport 50,000 passengers between Sandton Central, Alexandra and Joburg’s Inner City each day.
“We are serious about creating a safe, clean and well-managed and attractive environment and this can only be achieved when the city and its stakeholders work together. Sandton Central’s complete streets achieve key objectives for the district and the city. We are thrilled at what we have been able to achieve together,” Jack adds. “The improved streets make a difference to the quality of people’s lives, create an even more positive experience of Sandton Central and strengthen its position as a leading city and investment destination.”