Over the past four decades, Sandton experienced significant land use growth, particularly in office and retail development. Sandton has become one of the fastest growing urban areas in South Africa and it is a challenge to support ongoing development growth in a context of increasing travel demand and a limited transportation network. The development of the transport system serving Sandton developed largely in response to the land use growth and is mainly rooted on private car based transport. As Sandton is embedded within a completely built-up residential environment the transport network serving the node cannot be expanded easily and virtually no options are available for further road widening or new roads into the node.
The roads in Sandton are wide and a disproportionate number of them serves a higher order mobility function. Pedestrian infrastructure and facilities are limited and not thoroughly planned and public transport has little impact on the travel choice of commuters. Due to the limited availability of residential development within or close to Sandton, the greater majority of trips are medium and long distance and therefore erodes the potential for non-motorised transport.
During the development of the Sandton Integrated Transport Master Plan (SITMP) it became clear that the current car based transport network development approach, mainly fuelled by new developments adding to the road network with little investment in sustainable transport modes cannot be maintained and that significant intervention is required.
Arup recommended to the City of Johannesburg and the Sandton business owners that the continued car dependency has become unsustainable and the solution to keep Sandton accessible lies in more intense and optimal use of available transport infrastructure, promoting alternative means of transport to the car and reallocate the use of street space to accommodate all users. The majority of the interventions recommended in the SITMP are a complete departure from typical transport planning recommendations and include the establishment of the right land use mix, balance and density to sustain public transport.