The construction firm rehabilitating Main Road could be called on to include an upgrade of the congested gravel parking lot at Kalk Bay Harbour in the project.
The development’s consultants floated the plan during a meeting with about 15 to 20 members of the Kalk Bay and St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association at the Holy Trinity Church in Kalk Bay on Wednesday May 10.
John Craig, from engineering and environmental consultants KAYAD Knight Piesold, and environmental specialist Sadia Chand said upgrading the area known as The Point would improve traffic flow and create a more controlled parking area.
They said civil engineering contractor Martin & East could upgrade The Point using the existing road rehabilitation budget and the project would not need a new tender.
“When parking gets clogged in the area, it tumbles back onto the Main Road. All sense says to build the parking area while we’re here. We’re ready with the EIA (environmental impact assessment). We will be able to accommodate more cars in there,” said Mr Craig.
“At the moment, it is chaos in there. The idea is to get more flow. At the moment, you go in there and there is no flow, once you’re in [if the parking is full] you can’t get out. The conceptual proposed layout will include landscaping and we’re thinking of a cobble type surface.”
The proposal received a positive response from those at the meeting, but some felt the fishing community would oppose it, as it could be seen as only benefiting “the rich.”
However, Ms Chand and Mr Craig stressed the parking lot would be for the benefit of all.
The City owns the land at The Point, but Mymoena Poggenpoel, one of the management representatives for the blocks of fishermen’s flats, said The Point had been given “in principle” to the Kalk Bay Fishing Community Residents’ Association in the 1990s, so if parking there was upgraded it should be a paid system that residents could benefit from.
“We’re struggling people, some of us are unemployed and fishing is not what it suppose to be. We would be for it if it is paid parking and the funds could be used to refurbish the fishermen’s flats,” said Ms Poggenpoel.
Kalk Bay and St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association chairman Tony Trimmel said The Point had been neglected for years and he welcomed the plan to upgrade it.
The City will hold a public meeting at Holy Trinity on Monday May 29 to gauge public sentiment on the project.
Mr Craig said both the parking lot upgrade, if approved, and the road rehabilitation could be completed by October if all went to plan.
With regards to the road rehabilitation, Mr Craig said the Quarry Road substation, near Wooley’s Tidal Pool, had been replaced with a new unit at street level. Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south said the City could not say how much it would cost to upgrade The Point, until proposals had been submitted and agreed to.
“Funding can only be sought when the estimated costs are known,” he said. “The City has not yet established a start date for the rehabilitation, this will depend on the outcome of the meeting.”