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Old September 28th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #1861
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Nice pics...
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Old September 28th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #1862
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Some reflections on my late night bus ride. I decided to take the Gautrain to Park. Here I paid R4.50 to jump on the Rea Vaya bus, which took me on a loop through Braamfontein, past Constitution Hill, through Hillbrow and Joubert Park, Noord Street and finally down Commissioner (I got off at the gym at the Southern Life Centre). From here I walked to FNB Campus, and jumped on a Gautrain bus back to park. It was nice to experience the city on foot after sunset - especially with most people still on their way back after a day's work (so the city was super busy - as supposed to the desolation that sets in after 7pm).

Commissioner street was quite littered after the shoppers/commuters left. As soon as you cross over Rissik its actually quite clean. Noord street is quite an experience from the BRT bus! And those narrow little alleys in Hillbrow means that you sit in the bus, with a shopfront selling cellphones less than a meter away. You would be able to buy stuff from these shops while sitting in the bus at the Hillbrow Bathhouse.
Thanks for the update. Just a few questions about progress if you wouldn't mind answering:

1. How "lit up" is the inner city at night? Do all street lights work and are there any dark areas?

2. You mention litter - did you see any street cleaners cleaning at the end of the day?

3 Walkability - what is the state of the pavements, are they level and completely tarred/bricked, or broken up, uneven and not fixed after maintenance? The latter is what is usually the case in the northern suburbs. Also do the pavements allow free movement or do stalls/ hawkers crowd out most of the foot traffic?

4. Are there any visible enforcement officials/police officers on foot among the streets?

5. General comments on Rea Vaya - have paperless tickets been introduced yet? Punctuality? Cleanliness? Professionalism?

I'm just trying to gauge how things are back home compared to my stay in the CT CBD so far. Thanks!
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Old September 28th, 2012, 04:21 PM   #1863
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Thanks for the update. Just a few questions about progress if you wouldn't mind answering:

1. How "lit up" is the inner city at night? Do all street lights work and are there any dark areas?

2. You mention litter - did you see any street cleaners cleaning at the end of the day?

3 Walkability - what is the state of the pavements, are they level and completely tarred/bricked, or broken up, uneven and not fixed after maintenance? The latter is what is usually the case in the northern suburbs. Also do the pavements allow free movement or do stalls/ hawkers crowd out most of the foot traffic?

4. Are there any visible enforcement officials/police officers on foot among the streets?

5. General comments on Rea Vaya - have paperless tickets been introduced yet? Punctuality? Cleanliness? Professionalism?

I'm just trying to gauge how things are back home compared to my stay in the CT CBD so far. Thanks!
1. The inner city lights up like a Christmas tree in some areas, due to the neon advertising. I did not walk through any dark patches, and all streetlights seemed to be working.

2. Litter. You see cleaners in most precincts not only at the end of the day, but throughout the day. Shame, I even spotted a guy at Noord street! Ghandi square, braamies, lower fox street - they are everywhere.

3. Walkability. My biggest gripe with COJ is stolen manhole covers. This issue must be addressed. No hawkers keeping me from moving. There was the occasional dead body. Oh and the horrible hell-fires and the shooting. So in COJ we talk about runnability. Thats why we have night-runs through the city. Heck, I even saw female white joggers coming down from Constitution Hill towards Park! Pavements differ from disctrict to district. Area around park station needs attention. Braamfontein is spotless. Ghandi Square is great. Towards Bree street and the taxi rank it gets worse.

4. Visible law enforcement everywhere - two guys even started chatting to me. The one officer lives in Orange Grove, his name is Sphiwe and he had a long day and said that the people are not that naughty anymore. He did warn me about looking up my bus schedule while standing in the street. Oh, and taking photos.

5. Rea Vaya. They use paper. It was on time. System a bit confusing. Busses packed. Spotless. The stations I stopped at (3 in total) were spotless, with cleaners milling about.

Verdict? Its not CT. If you combine Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban CBD and you multiply by two, Joburg still has more space. It is HUGE. Hundreds of thousands of people live here. 800 000 to 1 000 000 come through the CBD on a daily basis. Traffic is hectic. Like in, HECTIC. Rissik street was a disaster last night.

Again, compared against what town looked like in 2001? You can't. Not even close. It looks like Las Vegas compared to 2001.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #1864
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Some random pics taken this week.

I am sure everyone knows this building. It is right by Nelson Mandela Bridge on Jorrisen and Juta, and has been covered in ad wrap for ages. The French institute moved into the lower levels of this 6 floor building, the top three floors found a tenant and they are busy with the renovation.


The park at the Civic


Jumped into the Rea Vaya bus at this point. A really cheap way to see the city and take pictures!


New little cafe across from Liberty in Ameshoff street. This is part of a renovated apartment block on the corner of Ameshoff and Jorrisen, right by the Eland.


Looking towards Braamies from the bridge




WAM, and afternoon traffic
Nice work, Jakes.
I've been meaning to visit WAM and JAG for the longest time now.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #1865
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakes1 View Post
1. The inner city lights up like a Christmas tree in some areas, due to the neon advertising. I did not walk through any dark patches, and all streetlights seemed to be working.

2. Litter. You see cleaners in most precincts not only at the end of the day, but throughout the day. Shame, I even spotted a guy at Noord street! Ghandi square, braamies, lower fox street - they are everywhere.

3. Walkability. My biggest gripe with COJ is stolen manhole covers. This issue must be addressed. No hawkers keeping me from moving. There was the occasional dead body. Oh and the horrible hell-fires and the shooting. So in COJ we talk about runnability. Thats why we have night-runs through the city. Heck, I even saw female white joggers coming down from Constitution Hill towards Park! Pavements differ from disctrict to district. Area around park station needs attention. Braamfontein is spotless. Ghandi Square is great. Towards Bree street and the taxi rank it gets worse.

4. Visible law enforcement everywhere - two guys even started chatting to me. The one officer lives in Orange Grove, his name is Sphiwe and he had a long day and said that the people are not that naughty anymore. He did warn me about looking up my bus schedule while standing in the street. Oh, and taking photos.

5. Rea Vaya. They use paper. It was on time. System a bit confusing. Busses packed. Spotless. The stations I stopped at (3 in total) were spotless, with cleaners milling about.

Verdict? Its not CT. If you combine Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban CBD and you multiply by two, Joburg still has more space. It is HUGE. Hundreds of thousands of people live here. 800 000 to 1 000 000 come through the CBD on a daily basis. Traffic is hectic. Like in, HECTIC. Rissik street was a disaster last night.

Again, compared against what town looked like in 2001? You can't. Not even close. It looks like Las Vegas compared to 2001.
Thanks. You like to base your comparison on what things were like in 2001. I think it's safe to say that it's a pretty low base. How much further in your opinion will the city have to go to be compared to a "first world African" city?
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Old September 28th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #1866
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For some odd reason I knew the question around the dreaded sidewalks of doom would pop up. Look, one thing frustrates me in Joburg. Clearly someone like digging trenches and filling them in with sand only. No-one knows why. And those bloody manhole covers. However, in the city center most sidewalks remain walkable because here people actually walk.

Some more pics

Simmonds Street - taken from the Gautrain bus


Park station area from Rea Vaya bus station


The sidewalks are as old as the cars


Guildhall pub


My last station, where I got off


Braamies


Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein
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Old September 28th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #1867
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Quote:
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Thanks. You like to base your comparison on what things were like in 2001. I think it's safe to say that it's a pretty low base. How much further in your opinion will the city have to go to be compared to a "first world African" city?
You really turned into a piece of toxic slime, you know? Yes, the city went to heck. Yes, 1996, 2001, all of that is a very low base. But come on. Surely you can't discount countless investments. Oh wait, you can.

You and Waltjie like to note that Braamfontein is a tourist attraction (with reference to the neighbourgoods market area). Yet go there during the week (and weekends) and you find locals. We show you a picture of a great street, and you come back with comments about how things are bad in other places. Dude, if you don't want to have a rational discussion, why hang out here? It is clear that you need some kind of bizarre affirmation.

I am being lambasted for being a happy hippie. Yet when Waltjie post a pic and sings praises to the glory days of Joburg (the good old oranje blanje blou days) - he conveniently forgets that when that pic was taken the same grimy scenes presented themselves. Joburg didn't suddenly turn into a slum. It happened over the course of two decades. By the early 1980s many areas were turning bad, as landlords stopped spending ANY money on maintenance (due to political uncertainty). Massive apartmentblocks - leave one of those for 5 years with limited maintenance and you have a problem. And this is what happened. No-one spent money on their property. Because everyone expected ZERO returns on an investment like that. Things started sliding. So by 1993 the city was in deep trouble, with most of the core infrastructure already 20 years old. Add to this a decade of focus on other areas.

I am glad I could give you some attention.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #1868
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More pics.

Rennie house: Ameshoff Street


Speeding bus flash photography Noord Street


Hillbrow Bath House Station


One block away from Joubert Park - here you can see my frustration with environmental upgrades and the constant digging that negatively impact on the sidewalks
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Old September 28th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #1869
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De Korte in Braamfontein


Trash of the day ready for collection in Commissioner Street


Upper Braamies


Carlton Drive-by. Hard to think this tower was empty a couple of years ago


Catching the bus


Waiting for the bus
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Old September 28th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #1870
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Bree Street Taxi Rank


Walking towards the Parktonian


Buying from the bus - Hillbrow


The Alexander


Run blond person, run!


Dr Doolittle had to go shopping. Traduna was also empty for decades, and launched as the Stratosphere apartments mid-2000s. It failed. It is now an office block again - right across from Civic. Fountains, gardens, working lifts - wait, my expectations are too low.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #1871
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Final pictures, and then I am off to the Taste of Joburg

The BRT station at Park


A recent CityProp renovation in Commissioner Street, close to Rissik


Walking to the city - from Park Station


An older (and poor) nightshot taken from Braamfontein


Afterwork exercise Commissioner Street


Entrance to Art Museum


Rea Vaya Commissioner at night


Block away from Gautrain Station
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Old September 28th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #1872
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You really turned into a piece of toxic slime, you know? Yes, the city went to heck. Yes, 1996, 2001, all of that is a very low base. But come on. Surely you can't discount countless investments. Oh wait, you can.

You and Waltjie like to note that Braamfontein is a tourist attraction (with reference to the neighbourgoods market area). Yet go there during the week (and weekends) and you find locals. We show you a picture of a great street, and you come back with comments about how things are bad in other places. Dude, if you don't want to have a rational discussion, why hang out here? It is clear that you need some kind of bizarre affirmation.

I am being lambasted for being a happy hippie. Yet when Waltjie post a pic and sings praises to the glory days of Joburg (the good old oranje blanje blou days) - he conveniently forgets that when that pic was taken the same grimy scenes presented themselves. Joburg didn't suddenly turn into a slum. It happened over the course of two decades. By the early 1980s many areas were turning bad, as landlords stopped spending ANY money on maintenance (due to political uncertainty). Massive apartmentblocks - leave one of those for 5 years with limited maintenance and you have a problem. And this is what happened. No-one spent money on their property. Because everyone expected ZERO returns on an investment like that. Things started sliding. So by 1993 the city was in deep trouble, with most of the core infrastructure already 20 years old. Add to this a decade of focus on other areas.

I am glad I could give you some attention.
Thanks for the photos! The first up-to-date we've had in many months. No need to get snappy. I was asking legitimate questions after spending a lot of time walking around the CT CBD.

The first thing I'm doing when I get back to Joburg in the new year is a full Rea Vaya bus tour of the inner city - I took a ride from Ellis Park to Soweto as one of the first ever passengers, unbelievable isn't it? I undertook to do it again in a year or two and note the progress, so I guess now is the time.

On this trip I will hopefully make an unbiased assessment of the state of the city, as I can't help but feel you very selectively post what you want to post to convey your opinion. I just can't understand how the absolute filth I walked through in the Berea, Hillbrow, Ellis Park, Yeoville and surrounds happened to have escaped your wrath.

Then again you could definitely argue that what I post and say conveys my own biased opinion - fair enough. Agree to disagree for the moment. I sincerely hope and pray that even 40% of the inner city looks like what you posted above, I guess time will tell.

Goeie aand and have a lovely weekend Jakey jake
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Old September 28th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #1873
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I never said the entire city is a haven of development. So parts look like a dump. Does this mean we have to ignore all progress?
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Old September 28th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #1874
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I never said the entire city is a haven of development. So parts look like a dump. Does this mean we have to ignore all progress?
No but does it mean we have to ignore all dumps? What's the proportion of dumps to havens?
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Old September 28th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #1875
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I give up. Why stay interested if you are so committed to ignoring any progress. Good luck.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1876
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Jakes, just to let you know I really enjoy reading and looking at your posts about your trips around the CBD.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #1877
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Jakes, you're a star. keep it up mate, you've got many appreciating the contributions.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #1878
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Jakes you rule man.. BIG UP..
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Old September 29th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #1879
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Aai, when will this pityful place come to its right again?...We can just hope, hey? Come on, the pityful developments we see today, are just that, pityful. Damn, when will the beast re-awake?
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Old September 29th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #1880
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jakes1, you are a sincere guy, unfortunately some are not.
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