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WEST COAST CYCLE PATH: a plan of action

The Pedal Power Association (PPA), has provided input and information to the City Of Cape Town and the South African Police Services (SAPS), to implement a strategy to make to West Coast cycle path safer for all cyclists.

 As useful as it has been for cyclists, the West Coast cycle path route in and out of the city has also been a dangerous one – since  2017, 15 cases of cyclists being robbed have been reported to the PPA. However, given that not all cases get reported to us or police authorities, the actual number of incidents is much higher. SAPS, in conjunction with City Of Cape Town, has assessed that it is a criminal element among vagrants living along certain areas along the path that are the biggest threat.

In a recent meeting chaired by Pieter Robberts, Director Policing and Law Enforcement for the City of Cape Town that included the PPA and other role players, the criminal activities on the cycle path was specifically discussed and the following plan of action agreed upon.

 REGULAR PATROLS

The area worst affected by the criminal activity is from Woodstock to the Paarden Island My Citi bus stop. This will now be patrolled by a Law Enforcement Unit employing two motorbikes, Segway’s, bicycles and foot patrols.

The PPA is willing to donate #bike4All bicycles for these patrols over peak times from 6h00 to 9h00, and then again from 15h30 to 19h00, as well as Sundays when the path has the most traffic. There is also a need for volunteers to do patrols over weekends.

MONITORING AND ANALYSIS

Along with a clear and increased law enforcement presence, there will also be 24-hour CCTV monitoring of the area. City law enforcement will also conduct a weekly analysis of activity on the cycle path. They are also looking for volunteers to monitor the cameras in the traffic management centre.

CYCLISTS – CALL TO ACTION

For the plan to work requires assistance from Cape Town’s cycling community too.

  • Report cases: The PPA and SAPS are calling on cyclists to report the cases to the Maitland or Milnerton Police Stations. Building a clear picture of the criminal activity is an important element of effective policing. Given the CCV footage that can quickly be retrieved, the chances of apprehending criminals and making a strong case against them is dramatically increased.

The PPA is asking cyclists who have been attacked in the area from 2017 up to now to please contact liz@pedalpower.org.za with your case number and details in order to investigate possible prosecution.

  •  Volunteer for patrols: SAPS is asking for volunteers to join the Auxiliary Services that will patrol the area over weekends to ensure the path is safe

The PPA will host a co-ordination meeting, inviting all the role players and cyclists who regularly use the cycle path. The aim will be to discuss issues and give input to further improve this action plan.