Drive along the north side of the University after the sun goes down and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You’ll be able to see where you are going. No, the streetlights on Mount Pleasant Drive haven’t made a come back but there, on the road itself, are markers to light your way.
The markers are cat’s eyes, small but ingenious devices placed along roads to guide drivers when visibility is poor. They work by reflecting back the headlights of the cars and enable drivers to stay on the road and in their lane by following the shining line of reflectors in front of them. They are widely used on roads in developed countries.
Hot on the heels of our piece in Issue 6 on a joint effort to make 2nd Street Extension safer, we bring news of another development. Again in the Mount Pleasant ward of Harare, the cat’s eyes have been installed thanks to a public-private partnership, this time between the Council and road works company Auto Solutions, which has made a significant contribution towards the ward’s safety.
The company first approached the Mount Pleasant District Office late last year to mark the roads in the area in order to test new equipment they had purchased from South Africa. When they were marking Mount Pleasant Drive, they realised it would be better to complement the usual white and yellow paint with cat’s eye road studs. It’s proving to work a treat.
City of Harare (CoH) has since been approached by different stakeholders requesting more cat’s eyes on some of the busy roads in the area. Due to financial constraints CoH cannot install the safety features but after meeting with Auto Solutions more cat’s eyes are to be put on The Chase, a road cutting through the heart of the ward. In return, Auto Solutions will erect advertising material on the road acknowledging their work. The project will commence as soon as the CoH Department of Road Works signs it off.
CoH corporate communication manager Lesley Gwindi says, “The City is grateful for the stakeholder participation in service delivery by Auto Solutions. The collaboration with the company is in line with council’s desire for improved stakeholder involvement in the affairs of the city.”
Gwindi encourages other stakeholders including the business community to work with the city council in developing their immediate surroundings. “For Harare to achieve World Class City Status by 2025, all stakeholders must fully participate,” he said.
Photo credit: Alex del Turro