Sandton Central, South Africa’s business and lifestyle capital, has introduced new initiatives at its traffic signals that improve its streets for pedestrians, including those with impaired vision, and all other road users.
Working closely with the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) Sandton Central has introduced sensory pedestrian crossing traffic signals for the visually impaired at several intersections across the district.
The recently installed traffic signal system provides sound alerts and push buttons at intersections to enhance the safety of visually impaired pedestrians crossing the road. With this new technology, an audible push button gives a loud signal when the light is green for pedestrians to cross, which changes to alert them when it is no longer safe to enter the intersection.
The ‘audible’ signals are at the intersection of Rivonia Rd and Fifth St/Johan Ave, Fifth St and Alice Ln, Rivonia Rd and Pybus Rd. Maude St and Rivonia Rd, Katherine St and Johan Ave, Katherine St and Pybus Rd. Another will soon be installed at the corner of Katherine St and Rivonia Rd.
Elaine Jack, City Improvement District (CID) Manager of Sandton Central Management District, says “We are very proud of this project which enables the safe and independent mobility of visually impaired pedestrians in Sandton Central. We strive to create a people-friendly, inclusive, well-managed environment in a world-class city.”
The project is among many that Sandton Central undertakes in various partnerships to ensure that Sandton Central’s busy road network offers the best experience for all its road users.
Over the past two years, Sandton Central Management District has worked in close partnership with the JRA, Eskom, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and Traffic Freeflow’s pointsmen programme.
“Because of the improved communication, we are reporting traffic signal outages as soon as they happen, and the response and repair are now much faster. This includes quickly deploying pointsmen to critical locations when signals are out until repairs can be completed,” reports Jack.
The results are remarkable. Traffic signal outages in Sandton Central have decreased from 10 to 15 days on average, to a mere two to three days (provided the cause is not cable theft). Sandton Central’s six uninterrupted power supply units (UPSs) also keep signals at its major traffic intersections working in the case of power outages in the area.