Upgrading of Voortrekker Road

Posted On Monday, 28 January 2002 03:01 Published by
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AN ambitious and far-sighted development plan to upgrade and revitalise the Voortrekker Road Triangle, including Goodwood and Vasco, has been approved by the City of Cape Town.
AN ambitious and far-sighted development plan to upgrade and revitalise the Voortrekker Road Triangle, including Goodwood and Vasco, has been approved by the City of Cape Town.
However, there are concerns that nothing has come of undertakings and promises made by the Grand West Casino owners to contribute to the upgrading of this run-down area.
Although the area is well located in terms of transport, access to the Cape Town CBD and local job opportunities, it has languished in a state of decline for many years and is today associated with social problems, taxi problems, and environmental degradation.
A lengthy and inclusive public consultation process has revealed that local residents and businesses are concerned about a decline in property values, an exodus of business, high crime, a poor environment, and a lack of schools, public facilities and services. In general residents perceive the area as unsafe and dirty.
Despite the optimism about the positive impact of the Grand West Casino, it is noted that little had materialised.
Councillor Brian Watkyns, Executive Councillor for Planning and the Environment, says that although Grand West does not consider itself bound, it has a moral obligation to meet its undertakings.
'During the casino bid process, the casino owners promised to facilitate the upgrading of the area between Goodwood and Vasco stations, ' he said. 'I believe it is their duty to fulfill those undertakings.'
Driven by the City of Cape Town, the revitalisation process will continue regardless of the role played by Grand West.
In November 2000 the City of Tygerberg Council - now disbanded and part of the unicity - appointed MCA Urban and Environmental Planners to prepare a development framework which would guide growth and promote the revitalisation of the area bounded by Voortrekker Road in the North, the railway line in the South, Vasco Station to the East and Vanguard Drive in the West.
For the purposes of the Voortrekker Road Triangle Development proposals, the area has been divided into six precincts. They are Western, Central, Eastern, Goodwood Station, Voortrekker Road and Vasco Station.
The main thrust of the management guidelines for the area is to see the establishment of a public/private sector body to drive the management process.
Goals and objectives - relatively general in at this point - have been formulated to address the challenges and set the basis for strategies for the future development and upgrading of the Voortrekker Road Triangle area.
These objectives include
· increasing residential densities
· identifying informal trading areas
· promoting tourism activity
· identifying landscaping opportunities
· improving pedestrian safety
· discouraging taxi operations at Goodwood Station and
· creating a strong pedestrian link between Goodwood Station and Voortrekker Road
'The upgrading of the Voortrekker Road Triangle is long overdue,' said Councillor Watkyns.
'The area has great potential for residential, commercial and industrial investment, and Voortrekker Road has also been identified as a major development node for the future.
'By taking the right steps now, we can halt the decline of the area and make it a safe and desirable place in which to live and work.'

Publisher: Cape Business News
Source: Cape Business News

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