Students will no longer be able to park on Lynnwood Road in future.

In a ward meeting held last week Tuesday, members of Tshwane municipality explained that a new bus system was going to be implemented in Hatfield that will include dedicated bus lanes.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will run from the Central Business District (CBD) through to Lynnwood Road, Menlyn and Mamelodi. According to the City of Tshwane website “the BRT systems enhance bus efficiency through segregated bus lanes, designs that make boarding and exiting buses quick, bus priority at intersections and effective coordination at stations and terminals.” Charl Oberholzer, National AfriForum Youth Chairperson, told Perdeby, “In order to do this the road needs to be widened, which means that student parking will be affected.”

The project is currently in the public consultation stage. Oberholzer said that, “I requested, as a member of the Ward 82 committee, that they supply a plan that will make up for the loss in parking,” but added that, “It seems that there [are few] alternatives and that students will probably lose the parking on both sides of the roads in Lynnwood.”

Deputy Director of Planning and Administration at UP Hennie Coetzee said that, “Parking on Lynnwood Road [has been] used by students over many years. [However] it was [always] the intention of the city council to do some work in the road reserve and that this parking on both sides of Lynnwood road will eventually not be available for parking.”

Professor Antonie de Klerk, the Executive Director of UP, told Perdeby that, “[W]e (the university) have indeed been engaged in discussions on this (the BRT system) with the CoT (City of Tshwane) for some time.” He said that, “The planned route in Lynnwood Road will lead to the loss of on-street parking,” and added that, “This is certainly unfortunate and the university is aware of the implications this will have for students.”

According to Prof. De Klerk, “[I]n recognition of the growing need for parking and the future loss of on-street parking, the university has already proactively undertaken two major initiatives.” These initiatives include the construction of the Engineering 3 Parkade which provides about 650 parking bays for students and the introduction of park-and-ride facilities on the Groenkloof and the sports campuses.

Prof. De Klerk said that, “The BRT will introduce additional public transport and students will be encouraged to use this new option.”

“The university will also continue to pursue and develop parking solutions for students as funding and priorities permit,” he added.

“A new long-term campus master plan is currently under development and parking has been recognised as one of the important requirements. The university receives no funding from government for the development of parking facilities and is dependant on its own resources for this purpose,” Prof. De Klerk said.

The City of Tshwane wrote on their website that, “[T]he first phase [of the BRT system], stretching from Nana Sita Street (formerly Skinner Street) in the CBD to the suburb of Hatfield, will be operational in April 2014. Overall, the entire BRT system should be completed and operational by October 2015.”

Oberholzer said that another meeting is taking place this Wednesday to further discuss the issue.

Photo: Brad Donald

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