Traffic Planning

Bus Rapid Transit system - where to now

By Pierre Joubert

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executive summary

Kempston Road

This 2007 proposal was turned down because in the planning rush leading up to the 2010 Soccer World cup there was negligible public participation and no time for looking at all the possible alternatives. The planners were going to impose a modal interchange arrangement on the highly congested area around mercantile hospital, however, they could not come up with a workable set of plans to support the original concept. This was requested through the public participation meetings but nothing was ever shown. The channelized and unused bus lanes in Kempston Road therefore just stopped next to Mercantile as if waiting for the next planning phase to come about.

There is no way a busy modal interchange as conceptualised in the Public Transportation Action Plan could work there in the limited space available.

As the top end of Kempston Road with the confluence of Langenhoven, Burt, Diaz, the crossing of Standford and the Korsten taxi hub, is one of the cities most congested areas, this Author will continues to push for the concept herein, viz free flowing intersections at the bottom of Langenhoven and Standford, one way arrangements around the Korsten taxi ranks, and a route through the dry lake, as a means of relieving congestion in this area.

Original 2007 text follows here

To avoid further congesting Kempston road and loss of parking through the proposed position of the new BRT route, it is suggested that an alternate route be developed parallel to Kempston road along Cottrell, Herbert, Neal and Reith streets

Such a route can enter Commercial road and continue accross the N2 taking advantage of median cross-over turns further along Uitenhage road, as suggested on this website and described below

Click on any of the photos on this page to see enlarged views

The aforesaid streets have sufficient width to accommodate bus lanes, provided they are painted and not channelised, so that they can be used for general traffic outside of rush hours. There is adequate space for parking along this route, in this case looking south along Cottrell to Mercantile in the distance

A new route through the dry lake further provides the option of a one way pair with Kempston Road, which would provide additional general relief of congestion in this area

Closer to Mercantile

Cottrell street looking north towards present dead end above the Dry Lake

and Herbert street on the north side of the Dry Lake, where the suggested new road would enter from the Dry Lake

This is Neal street between Juta and Haupt (looking south)

and Reith looking north from Haupt towards Commercial. Click on any of these pics to see enlarged view

The marked up sattelite photo shows how such a BRT route could run. Traffic will enter Cottrell street from the south through a unique style roundabout that will permit a cross flow with Burt drive traffic. At the north end as a continuation of Cottrell street a new road will be constructed through the Dry Lake and enter Herbert street. From Herbert the route will continue up Neal and then into Reith, from where it will join the westward bound side ramp of Commercial road

Since such a parallel route will be clear and relatively straight, and a continuation over commercial will be complex with many obstructions, it is suggested that the BRT route from Commercial road be deflected west to cross the N2 on Uitenhage road and enter New Brighton via Mati road.

click on pic for enlarged view 240kb









Access to Cottrell street from Langenhoven can be achieved by means of the said suggested free flowing roundabout, the Langenhoven Interchange (LI), as described here-under and in sketches

The LI proposal will provide near free flow crossing of heavy traffic at the juncture of Kempston, Langenhoven, Burt, Cottrell and Diaz.

The LI will allow rapid transit busses from Green Acres to travel down the alternate route along Cottrell street parallel to Kempston road, instead of in Kempston road, and avoid the crowding the rapid transit route would otherwise impose on Kempston road

click on pic for enlarged view 194kb

The LI proposal will employ vacant ground south of Burt drive.

The proposed LI will be large enough so that a unidirectional modal interchange could be located inside it, instead of that proposed between Durban and Highfield, and relieve the heavily congested area around Mercantile and the Cottrell / Durban intersection.

View of periodic heavy traffic in Durban road suggests that a modal transfer station should not be built at this point

Gridlock at Durban / Cottrell intersection, click on pic to enlarge, note green light for Durban, but Cottrell is blocking intersection. Ambulance from Mercantile is on a callout, but cant move because of traffic jam. Black car on wrong side is looking in vain for a fast way out

If the BRT route goes down Cottrell, the vacant ground between Essex and Gatley could also be used as a modal interchange, to further relieve congestion around Mercantile and the Cottrell / Durban intersection. Click on pic to see enlarged view 154kb.

Comment inserted July 2011
Regretably this option is no longer available as the ground, being privately owned, has now been built up. Instead of this ground playing a roll in relieving future congestion, it is also now a contributor to future congestion, through the extra traffic activity an additional building will bring to the area. See this author's views on road reserves

If two modal interchanges are built, the one on the LI could be for northbound busses and the one on Cottrell between and can be for south bound busses

If the two modal inerchanges are built, the existing taxi rank between Durban and Highfield can be used for a commercial center for present street traders, with roofing, paving etc and other architechtural designed features





the suggested langenhoven interchange


click on pic to enlarge 194 kb

The LI will function as a large four sided polygonal roundabout, that maximizes available space utilization and maximizes the length of weaving sections between various flow paths

A new ramp from Cottrell with a right hand offset will enter the roundabout on the north west corner, the purpose of the offset being to allow a weaving section across Burt drive traffic

Space from the taxi rank between Burt and Highfield will be used for this

A second ramp from Cottrell will be able to loop around the Mercantile Center into Kempston Road, allowing free exit for taxis and general purpose traffic at the top of Cottrell

Highfield road will become a one way east at this location.

The LI proposal will eliminate traffic signals at the LI as well as at Durban Road intersections with Cottrell and Kempston.

At Durban Road intersections with Cottrell and Kempston right turns will not be permitted.

Should the BRT route be directed towards the Uitenhage / N2 crossing as suggested above, benefit will be had from employment of median cross overs described on the pages for continuous flow methods as "turn left to go right". Also please see marked up satelite view on the right and click on the pic for an enlargement

As indicated on the page intersections median cross-overs can be employed to great advantage all along Uitenhage road past Kwadwesi to eliminate traffic signals


click on pic to enlarge 194 kb

An image here shows how the suggested route from Green Acres to Njoli would run. A new parallel route from lower Langenhoven would carry the BRT route as far as Commercial and at the same time relieve Kempston Road. No construction in Kempston road would be necessary


click on pic to enlarge

Pictures and text by By Pierre Joubert November/December 2007

Posted on website 2008-01-30

Additional comments added July 2011

Satellite views from Google Earth free version



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