Monday will be real beginning of EcoMobility Festival - city

Adam Wakefield, News24

Johannesburg - The road closures and traffic changes in the Sandton CBD over the course of October for the EcoMobility World Festival will be fully operational come Monday, said the City of Johannesburg.

Lisa Seftel, executive transport director at the city, told News24 the dry run on Tuesday was only focused on the contraflow lane which will run from Brightwater Commons in Randburg, and Monte Casino in Fourways.

The roads affected will be William Nicol Drive, Republic Road, and Sandton Drive.

This was different compared to Katherine Street, which would have an inflow lane, moved from all vehicle use to dedicated public transport use.

A contraflow lane allows for traffic to flow in the opposite direction to surrounding lanes. She said the contraflow lane will start on Monday morning during peak hours - from 06:00 to 09:00 in the morning and 15:30 to 18:00 in the afternoon.

While Tuesday's test run drew the ire of motorists on social media, Seftel said it was an important opportunity to learn how certain processes worked in practise.

"For example, we learned exactly how many cones we needed, how long it takes to put the cones out in the morning, how long it takes to collect the cones, how the people doing the cones interact with the JMPD, especially at the intersections," she said.

The city also went out with the bus and minibus taxi operators to explain to them how the system would work.

"On October 1, we are going to have a big media briefing and then from [Thursday], and also on Friday and Saturday, this is really set-up time," Seftel said.

"The opening ceremony is on Sunday, [and] all the changes will be completely in place by 06:00 on Sunday morning."