On traffic in Cayman

As traffic in Cayman gets more congested each day I just wanted to thank the Cayman government for imposing a 30 per cent import duty on motorbikes making it a viable alternative to congestion.

How is it that I pay 27 per cent to import a car and 3 per cent more to commute on something that uses less gas, produces fewer emissions and doesn’t require a dedicated parking space?

I also wanted to thank the automobile drivers who go out of their way to make life difficult for scooters during the congested daily commute.

Applause to the Camaro driver last night who was very capable at manoeuvring his oversized Camaro V8 so as to not allow me three inches of room to get past while traffic was at complete gridlock.

When I did get past, you really proved your competent driving skills at being able to inch your rumbling V8 one inch away from my bike, well done…must make you proud to have not broken my leg.

How can drivers be upset that motorcyclists move alongside traffic when congested?

I didn’t purchase a motorbike to sit in a traffic queue!

If traffic has stopped completely I see nothing wrong with safely moving along-side traffic at a very slow safe speed (three to five mph) most civilized countries encourage this.

Congratulations Macho Camaro man for showing us how close you can get to a motorbike, my only consolation is that you probably consumed five gallons of petrol while idling on Shedden Road.

Maybe it’s time the Cayman government started imposing import restrictions on engine displacement and come up with a 10-year plan that would have a 1,000cc engine size restriction, one car per residence (like in Bermuda) and generally favour scooter transport.

If the plan was announced and phased in over a 10 year period with a goal of a 1,000cc engine size restriction then all the stupid Hummers and blazing fast sports cars will have ended their useful life anyway or have crashed into the light poles on the bypass.

You can’t tell me it’s not feasible.

Bermuda is a perfect example of how it can be done. Why is the government constructing more four lane roads? To accommodate more Hummers and imported cars? I have to ask these Hummer people where do you go 4x4ing? In the mountains when you go skiing? Or through the rivers and mud when you go hunting?

Oh sorry you use them on the actual road because the roads in Cayman are worse than a dirt forestry road in South America… OK but what about the necessity of owning a Porsche, Ferrari or a race version Subaru capable of 155mph? Oh that’s right…. we have 1.5 miles of pothole free paved road on the Esterley Tibbetts bypass where everyone feels its race day and then smacks into the light poles each Friday night.

Maybe it’s time for the government to get serious about traffic and buy a proper full size transit bus with actual schedules, stops and regulated fares and maybe a professional driver who pulls off into a safety area before he picks up more passengers.

Maybe it’s time for the urban planning dept to determine it’s a bad idea to have a commercial parking entrance facing an intersection.

Maybe it’s time for the police to start enforcing traffic rules and lead by example and wear their own seatbelts and use their signal lights.

Maybe it’s time the local drivers figure out that an amber coloured light means stop.

Maybe it’s time to encourage electric vehicles, scooters and alternative transport methods with lowered import concessions.

Please don’t be concerned about a motorcycle safely passing you in congested traffic while your neighbour has their baby sitting in the drivers lap and the officer turns in front of you without using a signal light or wearing his own seatbelt.

Gordon Van Vliet

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