Bicycles on the Seapoint Promenade – Open Streets in the making…

Photograph by Frames of Mind

UPDATE: The Seapoint promenade will now be open to cyclists and skateboarders until the end of March 2013!!!

Imagine a street where joggers, cyclists, skaters and dogs transit safely and harmoniously… you have arrived at Cape Town’s Promenade in Seapoint!
As part of the Transport Month celebrations the City has decided to lift the ban on bicycles, skateboards and rollerskates on this highly desired and contested public site.
Only time will tell how it all unfolds; yet it is nice to see the principles of Open Streets being put into practice; namely,  using and celebrating public space, creating friendly streets, fostering safety and freedom of movement, building community and social integration and promoting sustainable mobility.

Some are skeptical and fear everyone will be colliding and creating havoc. Nothing surprising, after all we haven’t had the chance to try it before. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, our human nature is to adapt and more activity and more people will simply lead to the reduction of speed on the promenade.
The rationale behind making the promenade more inclusive is a commendable attempt to foster the (safe and inclusive) sharing of public spaces by different groups of people. In order to build a type of environment which calls for radical behavior change, it is important to take this sort of risks.

It may sound trivial but what are cities if not people and those of us who will be running, cycling and skating on the promenade can decide whether or not we can share this type of public space safely and constructively. The city has simply provided the opportunity to try it. It will be up to us to utilise those spaces responsibly so we can demand more!


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