PRESS RELEASE – For release Tuesday 15th April 2014
Local NGO advocates for signage at all train stations for safety and economic development
Watch the video here: YouTube PARTNER Woodstock Map
The Partnering, Networking and Research Organisation (PARTNER) unveiled a community map at the Woodstock Station today for the thousands of people using the Woodstock train station daily. This is a bid to encourage Metrorail and government to do what most cities around the world do—mark locations of interest on a map for those arriving at train stations. PARTNER intends to demonstrate that maps assist commuters and promote safety, tourism and economic development. Maps can be put up affordably at any train station in the city or country.
“When arriving at the Woodstock station it seems as if one is in the middle of nowhere, it is difficult to work out where the main road is and how to find alternative forms of transport such as a commuter taxi, Golden Arrow or MyCiti bus,” said Janine Tilley from PARTNER who regularly uses the Woodstock station. “Sometimes the train from the City breaks down at the Woodstock station at night and because there is no signage it can be challenging for people who are unfamiliar with the area to find another way home.”
Woodstock has experienced urban upgrading yet through this gentrification tourist attractions such as The Woodstock Exchange and the Old Biscuit Mill are not accessible for the average commuter. Carnita Hendricks from PARTNER said “With this new sign showing where places such as the Biscuit Mill are located, both tourists and locals can easily find their way”. The map also lists the nearest Police Station, the St Annes Women and Children’s Shelter, the nearest clinic as well as the nearest ATM and pharmacy. The map features a quick response (QR) code that allows those with smart phones to scan the code and generate a Google map on their phones. The sign is mounted high, is fairly indestructible and easily upgraded at a low cost. The map itself cost only R8000 to produce. PARTNER worked with the Woodstock Improvement District; Indigo Properties; the bicycle shop The Gear Change and Signarama on the map.
With this map, PARTNER as an advocacy organisation demonstrates the following:
- What we have done can be done affordably at any train station in the city or country.
- There is no reason NOT to have signage at all train stations. It pays for itself by promoting business and tourism and contributes to upgrading the quality of Cape Town.
- Good signage says to our locals we care about your business, please support us.
- It says to the daily commuter: we care about your safety.
“Why is there is no signage at our train stations when it can be done so affordably by a little NGO like ourselves?” asked Carnita Hendricks at the Launch of the map. “We are only three people – Carnita Hendricks, Janine Tilley and Richard Griggs. Virtually out of pocket we have shown that we can do something very simple to promote safety, tourism and economic development. There is no reason why we cannot have good signage at all our stations as one sees at virtually any train station around the world.”
PARTNER is a registered Cape-Town based NGO which helps to foster partnerships through interactive events and original research. PARTNER was founded owing to the experience of finding that government; civil society and business were not always successful in partnering to take programmes that work forward, and yet nearly all challenges require appropriate partnering practices.
PARTNER intends to show that many of our challenges can be resolved when we partner with others since this liberates resources and lowers costs.