Ride your bike – Ecomobility Festival launched in Sandton

Ride your bike – Ecomobility Festival launched in Sandton

Ride your bike – Ecomobility Festival launched in Sandton

Posted by Artlogic on Wed Oct 2015


The month of October marked the launch of Ecomobility Festival in Sandton to promote the potential for a car-free urban living space. Sandton CBD are one of the most dense populated work areas in South Africa with over 100 000 people commuting into the area daily and 80 000 of these by car. Supported and driven by the City of Johannesburg and its Mayor, the festival launched the implementation of a Transport Management Plan in Sandton CBD with partial road closures and designated cycling and pedestrian lanes on West Street.

We supported the initiative and took to the streets on monday 4 October 2015 to observe and test the system. The general public had mixed feelings about the cycling lanes and partial road closures, but overall a positive outcome. We spotted various cyclists and asked a few questions.

Herewith some feedback:

Most cyclists did a trail run of routes to cycle the week prior. Cycling in traffic was scary and daunting. As first time cyclists, some felt too embarrassed to ask other cyclists for potential cycling routes, common cycling rules and dress code. Since only a small portion of Sandton had cycling lanes, most cyclists had to cycle for the designated park and ride venues or home. This meant over 10km of cycling on busy roads into Sandton for most. Cyclists felt that if there were safer riding conditions, most of them would do this every day. Majority don’t own helmets or cycling specific gear to cycle in, but they own a bike and it is an affordable means of transport for them.

Realistic feedback. On the eve of 6 October 2015, the Mayor’s Ecomobility Imbizo took place and opened up some interesting conversations around the implementation of the proposed Transport Management Plan. In short, execution will be key if this has to work in South Africa. But like he said: “there is no traffic, you are the traffic”. Praise to a Mayor Tau for taking a strong stance on congested streets and  carbon emissions which affect commuters on a daily basis.

Finally a strong voice in an ocean filled with empty promises and more deaths of cyclists anyone would like to admit. Now if we all can just forget about our SUV’s and shiny cars for one second, Johannesburg could actually become a very friendly, healthy city leading the change in transport structures.

Read more about Ecomobility Festival.


Dawid, works at Michellangelo Towers. Cycles from Alex daily and enjoy the new Road closures. Needs a helmet pic.twitter.com/ehuTz08vw0

— Africa Cycle Fair (@AfricaCycleFair) October 5, 2015


Thea Els accompanied her husband to work this am. Designated cycling lane on West Street&traffic marshals on Duty pic.twitter.com/Q6vZmjwJov

— Africa Cycle Fair (@AfricaCycleFair) October 5, 2015

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