Editorial for December 23: West Bay Road a hazard to all

We are once again using this forum to plea – no beg – the powers that be to do something about the safety, or lack thereof, for pedestrians on West Bay Road.

Overtaking and speeding are constant problems on all roadways in the Cayman Islands, especially on Grand Cayman.

But West Bay Road presents its own unique problems.

Just this past weekend, 26-year-old Michael Edgington was killed while trying to cross West Bay Road when a van hit him.

That accident is just one of many in which pedestrians have died attempting to cross the busy roadway where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour – too fast in our estimation for such a busy thoroughfare.

The speed limit on that road should be immediately lowered. Just as we have school speed zones, we should have tourist and bar speed zones and they should be enforced.

Crosswalks on the road would also be a big help. There aren’t any now and tourists as well as residents put their lives into the hands of good and bad drivers when walking across the road, whether they are bar hopping, shopping, or just trying to get to hotel accommodations.

Far too often drivers – and we are definitely including taxis, buses and the occasional police cruiser – use the turn lane to overtake other vehicles. It’s dangerous enough in the day time, but becomes even more dangerous at night when headlights from oncoming cars can blind drivers in the turn lane to the point they don’t see passing pedestrians.

They also take an additional risk of hitting head on someone properly using the lane to turn.

While we don’t profess to be road engineers, it does seem logical that some kind of barriers in the turn lane that allowed turning only could be erected. It would put a stop to using the lane to pass.

Those families who have needlessly lost a loved one who was trying to walk across West Bay Road will have a loved one missing at Christmas celebrations on Saturday.

It’s time action was taken to make West Bay Road safer for pedestrians and drivers.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. While cross walks and reduced speed limits will not make drivers use good sense when driving, they will at least start the process towards slowing down traffic on West Bay Road. With the by pass in place there is really no excuse for not dropping the speed limit to 30 or 25. There are so many businesses and access roads entering and exiting West Bay Road that those who are in a rush should just use the by pass and we should all start slowing down on West Bay Road.

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  2. Well said Cay Compass!

    It is truly astonishing that nothing has been done about this dangerous stretch of road. Can any one tell us why?

    How many people have to die before the powers that be agree to doing something about it?

    There should also be spot fines for cell phone use and texting as this is as dangerous as drink driving. Make it illegal.

    People who would never dream of drinking and driving, think nothing of taking their eyes away from the road for several seconds at a time to text, Hi, or, See you in 5 minutes, to one of their friends.

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