Joburg Expat: Traffic Update

March 8, 2011

Traffic Update

This just in: The robot at William Nicol and Broadacres coming out from Dainfern is now fully functional!

I like to chalk it up to my persistent efforts to complain, but of course it might also be pure coincidence. After all, it was out (or, like I said, half out) for over three weeks.

Anyway, my latest action in this regard was to send a letter to the editor to one of the local newspapers, The Star, I think it was Friday last week (see email and response below). They, in turn, promptly replied to me that they had forwarded my letter to the Joburg Roads Agency, and I was slightly annoyed by that, as I had wanted them to print my letter, not forward it to the very people who had already not been responsive. However, maybe a complaint coming from a newspaper carries slightly more weight? And I'm glad to see that South African newspapers seem to be very prompt and responsive. Like I said, it did the trick, and the traffic light was working again by the following Monday.

Coincidence or not, I'm happy we can now all drive a little more safely (though not any faster, as witnessed in these photos).

Typical morning rush hour in Johannesburg

Minibus taxi passing us on the left shoulder and squeezing back in

Ample time for snapshots while stuck in traffic - love this recycling concept!

My correspondence with the Star:


From: Sine Thieme 
Sent: 04 March 2011 11:38
To: starnews
Subject: Letter to the editor: Broken Robots
How can Johannesburg call itself a “World Class City” when the average driver goes through at least three broken robots on any given day?

There is a robot coming out from Dainfern onto William Nicol that has been “half” broken for almost a month. One side shows green while the cross traffic’s light is out, then the cross traffic’s light turns green while your light turns off. No repair crew, nor any police to direct traffic, has ever shown up.

Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous. You can’t have robots with green on one side and NOT RED on the other. I almost got hit by a car there yesterday while trying to turn onto William Nicol. When I called Joburg Connect to report the robot, the person on the other line was extremely unhelpful. It took three tries to even report the robot, but of course no one could tell me if and when it would be fixed.

Surely a “World Class City” would have a better system and act more quickly to protect citizens and visitors alike?

Regards,
Sine Thieme

Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 11:46 AM
Subject: FW: Letter to the editor: Broken Robots

Dear Sine

We have forwarded your complaint to Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA).
Please let us know of the progress or the lack thereof.

Kind regards

Yasmin Palani & Anna Cox