A circular “skywalk” is set to make life easier, and a lot safer, for the thousands of University of Johannesburg students who daily navigate the intersection of Kingsway Avenue and Beyers Naudé Drive in Auckland Park.
The elevated walkway, which is currently in the advanced design phase, will enable pedestrians to travel on foot or by bicycle between the university campus and neighbouring residences, Campus Square shopping centre and nearby restaurants and shops.
Situated along the Empire-Perth Corridor of Freedom, along a busy route for minibus taxis, Rea Vaya buses and ordinary traffic, the Kingsway-Beyers Naudé intersection is one of the busiest in the area and, for the pedestrians who use it, a safety hazard.
Easing pedestrian-vehicular conflict
Speaking to the Sunday Times, development manager at the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) Siyabonga Genu said“There is a lot of pedestrian and vehicular conflict. We have counted more than 4 000 students crossing that intersection at peak hour.’
The JDA has been tasked by the City of Joburg with designing and implementing a solution for this pedestrian-vehicle congestion, which according to Genu is compounded by the vehicle slip lanes at all four legs of the intersection.
A skywalk that raises pedestrian traffic above ground level is not only a simple and elegant solution, Genu told Sunday Times, but would also become “a landmark in its own right”.
The walkway is also firmly in line with the City’s commitment to creating liveable, sustainable urban environments which residents are able to navigate safely and efficiently using both public and non-motorised transport.
Genu told Sunday Times that, pending approval of the final designs, construction of the skywalk should begin around the middle of 2016 and take about a year to complete.