Significant improvements in Joburg traffic lights

SOLAR SECURITY: Cameras have been put up at the Xavier Reef entrance, where cable thieves damaged traffic lights in order to steal cable. The traffic lights at the intersection have not been repaired as promised by the JRA. Photo by Zesuliwe Hadebe.

I am happy to announce that the city’s intervention to address traffic light downtime is starting to show positive results.

This improvement follows the implementation of the city’s ‘No Joints Policy’ earlier this year. The ‘No Joints Policy’ served to progressively reduce the high incidence of signal downtime at the most critical high volume intersections in the city. The policy did way with the joining of old cables whenever an electrical fault was reported at a downed traffic light. Instead, these damaged cables would be replaced with new cables.

During the 2016/17 financial year, which ended in June, 89 intersections were re-cabled and are now joint free. There has also been an 18 per cent reduction in the average number of daily traffic light faults between November 2016 and June 2017. There has also been a 60 per cent improvement in the average time taken to repair faults, excluding faults caused by power outages. This has resulted in a 55 per cent reduction in the average traffic light downtime per day. Power outages remain a major contributor to traffic signal downtime, constituting 50 per cent of the daily faults reported. Increased interaction between JRA, City Power, and Eskom is being prioritised to address this issue. Similarly to the JRA, City Power and Eskom are also affected by problems of ageing infrastructure and cable theft, which result in power outages.

In March 2017, the city allocated an additional R6-million to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) through the mid-year adjustment process to enable the accelerated implementation of the ‘No Joint Policy’. This allocation was also used to improve the JRA’s traffic light fault detection systems, to improve signal timings to reduce congestion and for security surveillance of critical intersections that are prone to theft of infrastructure such as cables. Additional funding was also provided for hiring personnel, and the JRA started a process of recruiting additional traffic light repair technicians.

In the new financial year, R45-m has been allocated for the replacement of damaged cables and R30-m has been allocated for installation of uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units at key intersections. With the additional funding for UPS units, the JRA will be able to install UPS units at 230 high traffic volume intersections per annum.

I am encouraged by the JRA’s progress in tackling faulty traffic signals across the city. We are gradually turning the tide on traffic congestion within the city. As the new administration, we will continue to do all we can to tackle the city’s infrastructure challenges so we can create an enabling environment for strong economic growth and opportunities for all.

Transport MMC Clr Nonhlanhla Makhuba

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  AUTHOR
Lucky Thusi
News Editor

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