18 Feb 2016 Chappies is reopened to cyclists
The Department of Transport and Public Works will permit cyclists and pedestrians to start using the south side of Chapman’s Peak Drive again from Friday 19 February 2016. Restrictions were imposed on cyclists and pedestrians after massive fires across the Cape Peninsula in March 2015. The fires destroyed the vegetation above the road and increased the risk of rock and stone falls to an unacceptable level. “Safety is the Department’s highest priority”, stated a release submitted by the Department of Transport and Public Works.
Almost a year later, the vegetation has recovered sufficiently to have stabilised the slope. Entilini Operations, the company that holds the management concession, has installed fine mesh fences to stop small rocks and stones from falling onto the road.
“Although the safety hazard has abated sufficiently for the road to be opened to cyclists and pedestrians, Chapman’s Peak Drive will always be prone to rock falls. Standard road closure procedures will be applied whenever there is a safety hazard, including vehicle crashes and extreme weather conditions,” the Department stated.
“Chappies” is one of the most popular cycling routes in Cape Town and cyclists have been frustrated to have had to turn back at the lookout point. Tis increased cycling on Constantia Nek, Ou Kaapse Weg, False Bay Main Road and Boyes Drive as riders used other routes around the Peninsula.
Robert Vogel, CEO of Pedal Power Association, says the additional safety measures are greatly appreciated. “We are very pleased that Chapman’s Peak Drive is once again open to cyclists as this is the premier training route for the upcoming Cape Town Cycle Tour. Cyclists want to train on the actual race route as much as possible,” he said.
Road safety relies on mutual respect. Motorists must pass cyclists with a berth of at least 1 metre. Cyclists must ride in single file. Being considerate is an essential part of sharing the road and enhancing the safety of all road users.
Photograph supplied by Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town. Please note this photograph was taken during the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour, when full road closure is in place