Good news is that the dust problem on the streets adjacent to the market square will soon be a thing of the past. A final proposal on the type of road surface, traffic flow and parking bays has been submitted by the SCT to the municipality. This will now be discussed by means of a public participation process, first with the affected property owners, and then with the general public. This is all part of the Stanford Revitalisation Plan proposed by SCT and adopted by the municipality as part of its Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
It has always been the intention to surface these sections of Longmarket and Shortmarket Streets, but budget restraints have always been the issue. Mayoral funding (external income not raised by means of rates and taxes) has now become available for this to hopefully start in 2020.
As the two sections are not proclaimed roads but part of one erf (which includes the village green) and has a Heritage 3A status, the roads do not need to adhere to strict municipal road specifications. The proposal is therefore to narrow the roads, pave the surface with an aggregate brownish paver and provide enough parking to alleviate the constrained parking requirements for businesses in the village centre.
The proposal is for Longmarket Street to allow two-way traffic and provide parallel parking on the village green side. It is further proposed that Shortmarket be a one-way from Queen Victoria to Morton Streets, with diagonal parking on the village green side. This will allow motorists who cannot find parking in the main road to turn into Shortmarket Street, where ample parking will be available.
The proposal will require Heritage Western Cape approval, and the Stanford Heritage Committee has agreed to assist the municipality to obtain this approval as quickly as possible once the final engineer’s drawings are available.
Part of this approval process will also be the proposed relocation of the post boxes to a ‘to-be-determined’ place behind the municipal offices; thus opening the vista from Queen Victoria Street to the village green – as first proposed by then Stanford resident, the internationally acclaimed architect Michael Sutton in 1996. The wheel may grind slowly, but it does!