Cycling in the City: Interview with Rouen Smit
Cycling in the City is a special Transport Month 2013 feature interviewing cyclists about their experiences as a cyclist in Cape Town. We start off with the co-founder of Future Cape Town, Rouen Smit
Q: In which areas do you cycle and why?
A: I mostly bicycle from my city apartment to my workplace in De Waterkant. It's not a long route, but I guess that's why I live in the city – to be able to just bicycle to most places.
Q: Which three things, can government do to help your cycling experience?
1 -In addition to the green bicycle lanes on Bree Street (which the City still need to finish painting), they should also add simple barricades to keep vehicles and taxis out of the lanes.
2 – Clear signs should be be put up and better painting on the roads at the intersection of Buitengracht Street and Waterkant Street (aka Fan Walk, where the bridge is) is needed to prohibit vehicles from 'stopping in the box' (i.e. where the pedestrians and bicyclists need to cross Buitengracht St.)
3- Fix the bicycle lane running from Bree Street down Shortmarket Street, and allow bicyclists through Green Market Square, because at the moment that bicycle lane is useless.
Q: What role can citizens play in promoting cycling and inspiring others to cycle?
A: Keep on bicycling and make yourself visible to vehicle drivers as well as pedestrians so that they get used to bicyclists, especially since bicycle users are slowly increasing in Cape Town.
Q: Which cool or innovative idea, (with no budget constraints) would you like to see in Cape Town to support cycling and cyclists?
A: It may sound like a big, unrealistic idea for Cape Town, but I can guarantee a bicycle-share system, especially around Cape Town Station where many commuters reach the CBD area, will work. When I used to take the train in from the Southern Suburbs, I wished I could just rent a bicycle to get from the Station to my workplace. I believe there are many such commuters.
Q: Why do you love cycling?
A: I see, feel and smell the city differently to how I would if I were to drive. And I save hundreds of Rands a month.