A wider road could avoid congestion

Vyvyan Myerson, Simon’s Town

Some 30 years ago I spoke to the late Neville Riley, who was the then chief engineer of Cape Town, at a Muizenberg business meeting about congestion on Main Road from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town.

The situation then was bad and I foresaw that in the future it would inevitably worsen. At present, car users are faced with a long drawn-out commute between Lakeside and Simon’s Town, irrespective of the delay now caused by water pipes and so on being replaced.

The only other alternative routes between Muizenberg and Simon’s Town are Ou Kaapse Weg and Boyes Drive. It would be difficult to widen either of these roads, due to the instability of the mountainside.

Twenty to 30 years before my suggestion, the council expropriated a few property frontages in St James on the mountain side of the road, with the intention of, at some future date, widening the road.

This never got off the ground, mainly due to lack of funds, and presumably, the cost of expropriating a great many more frontages, which made it impractical. The few properties whose frontages were expropriated, were where alterations had been carried out on the houses during that period.

I suggested to Neville at the meeting, the idea of a monorail, to run from Retreat station to Simon’s Town station. A monorail system would allow for land to be expropriated on the seaward side of the road, where there were far fewer properties and a fairly large vacant area which still exists, running parallel to the railway line, which is owned by the railways and by the province.

If this concept materialised, a wider Main Road could be constructed, thus avoiding the congestion people experience every day and night, travelling on the existing narrow road between Lakeside and Simon’s Town.