Change the way you move: walk, cycle and use public transport
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Ecomobility is an environmentally friendly way of moving that aims to decongest major cities. The goal is to reduce the number of private cars on the roads to allow free movement of people, designed to give the cities back to the people, by giving them the freedom to cycle, walk, jog and stroll freely. It’ll also reduce the amount of air pollution and make our world a cleaner place to live in.
The Sandton central business district (CBD) in Johannesburg will be the second global city to celebrate the idea of ecomobility, after the city of Suwon in South Korea. More than 100 000 people travel to and from Sandton every day, with more than 75 000 vehicles driving into Sandton in the mornings, making it one of the most congested growing city centres.
If these numbers are not reduced, the Sandton CBD could lose its attractiveness as a business destination. The City of Johannesburg is investing in significant infrastructural changes, including introducing bus rapid transit (BRT) and cycling lanes in the Sandton CBD. But this needs to be accompanied by behavioural change, thus the decision to host an international festival to show residents, workers and visitors that a different future is possible.
From October 1-31, the City is giving the Sandton community, and visitors, a look at how an ecomobile city works and what it feels like. By changing road spaces for a month it will make the Sandton CBD an easier place to walk and cycle.
Public transport, cyclists and pedestrians will be given preference on some of the streets of Sandton during October. Walking is the most sustainable way of moving, but you can also get about by using bicycles, tricycles, velomobiles, wheelchairs, push scooters or skates.
The EcoMobility World Festival will also be a place for dialogue and debate – and it’s an ideal platform for exhibitions, street sports, fan clubs, family days and many other fun-filled events.
As part of the Festival, there will be an exhibition on the history of transport in Johannesburg. And you can view and try out innovative vehicles and experience travel options. (You can also view it online at www.ecomobilityfestival.org.)
TRY THE ALTERNATIVES
Park your car at one of the designated park & ride facilities and catch a Metrobus, Putco bus or minibus taxi.
- The city will be creating dedicated lanes for these modes of transport from the east and west and around the Sandton CBD, making them safer, easier and faster.
- Electric bikes will be available for sharing.
- Cycle along dedicated pop-up lanes feeding into the Sandton CBD. You can also cycle with others by joining a cycle train coming into Sandton.
Travelling within the Sandton precinct you can make use of the tuk-tuk services, pedicabs, electric vehicles and metered taxis.
For more information, visit www.ecomobilityfestival.org, or www.facebook.com/cityofjohannesburg, or twitter #ecomobilityjoburg
A number of roads will be restricted and access managed around the Sandton CBD to give priority to public
transport, walking and cycling. A temporary transport loop will be created along Rivonia Road, Fredman Drive and 5th Street for all public transport users. One side of West Street is being reconstructed to be a complete street, including a cycle lane.
After the Festival, both sides of West Street, as well as Maude Street, will include cycle lanes and the public transport loop will be made permanent.
The changes introduced during the Festival are the start of a process of long-term changes. The streets will give dignity to pedestrians, access to cyclists and safety to public transport users.
A FUN PLACE TO BE
The Sandton CBD is the place to be in October – pop-up parks, restaurants, food stalls and entertainment stands will be located on the roads that are being closed. Members of the public will be able to ride in ecomobility transport, such as Segways, pedicabs and electric vehicles.
Residents from all over Johannesburg are encouraged to come together in Sandton on the following important dates:
October 1: Media briefing and Joburg shopping festival and fashion show.
October 4: Streets Alive: We-r-1 – Come and walk, ride your bike or skateboard between Alexandra and Sandton, and be present at the opening ceremony.
October 4-25: Exhibitions: find out about the history of transport in Johannesburg, view and try out innovative vehicles and experience travel options beyond private cars.
October 11: Participate in the fourth Freedom Ride, followed by a Family Fun Day along West Street, together with food, music and a focus on road safety education and activities.
October 18-19: Come and play a variety of sports on the closed-off streets, including action netball and action soccer.
October 23-25: Participate in or watch the Discovery Duathlon along the streets of Sandton and Alexandra.
October 31: Rugby meets Soccer Derby. Come and join us for a double-header of sporting entertainment. View an action-packed Rugby World Cup Final, and/or witness the ongoing rivalry between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. There will also be many other fun-filled activities, including the “battle of the DJs”.
What about people with disabilities?
The City of Johannesburg is committed to universal access. The new broadened sidewalks will be universally accessible. Gautrain buses and stations are also universally accessible. For the duration of the Festival, a person with a disability that travels by car will still have access to their parking areas.