Retirement home’s parking woes

Vehicles parked in the bays and verge outside Riverside Manor retirement village.

Residents of Riverside Manor retirement village in Pinelands are imploring the City of Cape Town to take action against people ignoring traffic laws by parking all day in public bays which carry a two-hour time restriction.

While the parking spaces on Howard Drive are designated public parking and do not belong to the retirement village, the fact that they are constantly occupied means visitors to the retirement village have nowhere to park their own vehicles.

Even more concerning, according to Riverside Manor residents’ committee vice-chairperson, Denis Addison, is that because some motorists are even parking onto the home’s access driveway, doctors and caregivers are unable to leave their vehicles at the entrance to the building.

Most of those responsible are believed to work at a nearby business park.

“You see the same cars here all day, every day,” Mr Addison said.

“The residents don’t mind people parking here obviously, because it is designated public parking. What we do mind are people parking here all day. We often have visitors and there is nowhere for them to park.”

Mr Addison then pointed to a heavily faded parking sign on the verge, on which several vehicles were also parked.

“You can still see that it says parking is limited to 120 minutes between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30am. But that is ignored. The authorities should come and ticket these people who park here all day.

“We are 44 residents at Riverside Manor. For once I would like to see the seniors being given a break.

“When doctors come here, they are forced to park in the driveway, but even then there are people parking there. What happens if there is an emergency?”

Home manager, Babalwa Mandita, who took up her post last July, said she had complained to the traffic department about the parking on several occasions.

“It is a huge problem for us. In fact I would say it gets worse every day. I wish law enforcement could be more visible here,” Ms Mandita said. “The other day we had four cars parked in our driveway. It is completely unacceptable, especially if doctors are visiting the residents.”

Mr Addison added if resources were a problem, he would be “more than willing” to work with the traffic department in a montoring capacity.

Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith said the traffic services department had been unaware of this complaint until now.

“Now that the matter has been brought to our attention, we will carry out routine patrols in the area to look into it.

“Traffic officers went out yesterday, September 5, and observed the three bays with the 120-minute limited parking and found that the vehicles that parked in them did not exceed the designated time. Traffic officers will continue to monitor the situation and take action against any transgressions,” Mr Smith said.

“Because the metro is so vast, the City’s traffic enforcement is largely complaints-driven and we rely on residents to help direct our enforcement efforts. Residents are therefore encouraged to report any complaints to the City on 021 596 1999.”