Residents and motorists are growing increasingly apprehensive about the deteriorating condition of Gordon Road, primarily due to the danger posed by large trucks using the route. Gordon Road is becoming a thoroughfare for heavy trucks, much to the dismay of residents. This two-way street is notorious for frequent accidents, with another truck collision into a property just last week serving as a stark reminder of the difficult conditions.
Concerns voiced by residents revolve around the raucous noise and constant vibrations triggered by the passage of trucks exceeding the prescribed 5-ton weight restriction and height limit. These vehicles transport various goods, including flammable materials like petrol, to and from the N1 highway via Ondekkers Road.
The noise pollution during nighttime operations and the heightened risk of accidents associated with nighttime travel along this route have prompted residents to voice their concerns. The slippery road surface exacerbates the potential for accidents, as it may challenge truck drivers and motorists with worn brakes to come to a stop in time.
Jacques Louw, a resident, noted that the road’s uneven terrain and the surface damage resulting from the weight of the trucks render it a substantial hazard for motorists navigating wet conditions. His frustration was evident as he said, “It seems we have to wait for another major accident before they [authorities] start to take us seriously, as we were told to launch a petition – even despite this, still nothing.”
Residents and local council members have repeatedly attempted to engage relevant authorities such as the Johannesburg Roads Authority (JRA), the local ward councillor, and MMC for Transport Kenny Kunene. These efforts, however, have not yielded any concrete solutions. The placement and accuracy of road signage, especially the 5-ton weight limit sign, have also come under fire from residents.
Raquel Fortune, a ward committee member, expressed her frustration at the lack of response from authorities, asserting that “authorities are not taking their cries seriously, and there is absolutely no support from Caleb Finn, the ward councillor.” Despite their persistent efforts, no meaningful resolution appears to be in sight.
Residents have proffered several suggestions to address the issue, including enforcing weight restrictions, rectifying road signage, imposing speed limits, undertaking road surface repairs, and installing speed cameras and roadblocks. They have also urged authorities to liaise with truck companies to identify alternative routes, as Gordon Road is simply not equipped to handle the current traffic pressures.
In response to the residents’ grievances, the JRA maintained that they could not endorse reducing the speed limit from 60 km/h to 40 km/h, as the road is classified as a Class 2 major road. They also contended that a mass limit reduction would adversely impact the road’s functionality. Regarding the petition, the JRA noted that the relevant departments typically review and assess traffic calming measures.
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Photo: Supplied by Citizen