Official: Crosswalks, reduced speed limit for West Bay Road

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    West Bay Road will soon have a pair of pedestrian crosswalks and a reduced speed limit, a top Cayman Islands official said Wednesday.  

    The lowered speed limit is part of a comprehensive overhaul of the Traffic Law, which National Roads Authority Managing Director Brian Tomlinson said is nearly ready for legislators. 

    The next convening of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly is scheduled for mid-November. 

    Mr. Tomlinson made his remarks during a question-and-answer session following a presentation Wednesday by the National Energy Policy Committee at the Chamber of Commerce Headquarters in Governors Square.  

    One of the purviews of the committee is to study pedestrianism to increase energy efficiency. 

    The topic sparked Billy Adam to observe Grand Cayman’s dearth of crosswalks, especially considering its status as a tourist destination. 

    “West Bay Road: the heart of our tourism industry. How many crosswalks do we have on the West Bay Road stretch from graveyard to graveyard? One set,” he said. “This is the type of obvious – I’m trying to say it not aggressively – common sense thing that when I look and I see people in tourism that are responsible for it, I wonder if they’re sitting on their brain.” 

    Mr. Tomlinson, who like Adam was in attendance as a spectator, said, “There is money that was approved in this year’s budget, and the plans are done, and the materials are being ordered right now for a new crosswalk at The Strand, and we’ve been working with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, and they have pledged another $50,000 to install one at the Westin. So that’s a start.” 

    He continued, “In addition to that, I have sat in a meeting recently with [Minister Julianna O’Connor-Connolly] on the final revisions to the Traffic Law. It will be coming out shortly, and that includes a reduction in the speed limit on West Bay Road, which is necessary in order to install these crosswalks.” 

    The revised Traffic Law is also expected to contain provisions allowing 100 per cent electric-powered vehicles to be used on Cayman roads. 

    Mr. Tomlinson’s announcement came on the same day a stretch of West Bay Road – from Tiki Beach Bar to Governors Square – was closed due to sea water and debris covering the road in the vicinity of Public Beach. The water and debris were caused by high waves due to Hurricane Rina. 

    West Bay Road has also been the subject of a high-profile deal between the government and the Dart Group, involving the permanent closure of a section of West Bay Road and corresponding extension of the Esterly Tibbetts Highway. 

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    Police closed a section of West Bay Road due to sea water and debris on the road Wednesday. – Photo: Patrick Brendel
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    6 COMMENTS

    1. YES!!! Please consider the lighting – it’s so dangerous when people cross the road and stop in the middle, you can’t see them until the last minute….

      100% support this!!!

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    2. The 100% electric powered vehicles mentioned in the article appear superficially to be a great green alternative to gas fueled vehicles.

      However we must remember that essentially all Cayman’s electricity is generated by burning oil. When you consider the cost (both in dollars and in terms of environmental impact) of generating the electricity to run such vehicles, I am not convinced they make much sense here.

      I feel the time will be right for electric powered cars in Cayman only when we generate a substantial proportion of our electricity using alternative methods such as solar, wind or nuclear power.

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    3. Before we get to excited about this common sense idea of crosswalks, who, I wonder who will enforce the necessary traffic laws regarding right of way vehicles or walkers and other related laws? Perhaps since gun laws don’t seem to be enforced there are a few extra officers around.

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    4. Very good news regarding the changes to West Bay Road – long needed.

      As for electric vehicles – I am the strong opponent, I’ve already posted once all calculations proving that electric vehicle in Cayman will effectively use twice the amount of diesel (at CUC) conventional car would use. So unless we have solar/wind power – no way. Owner should by solar panel just to charge the vehicle, that it would be good for Cayman.

      Enforcement is a difficult thing here – I personally don’t see police doing any kind of preventative activities, like ticketing people for offences which can potentially lead to bad things happening. This could make roads more secure and at the same time generate revenue for the budget.

      I am talking about all those small offences which in 99% cases doesn’t lead to disaster, but you never know. Like:
      – using indicators on roundabouts
      – using headlights (or any light) during heavy showers
      – parking on yellow lines in such a way that it blocks other driver’s view
      – etc…

      Safety is not only about speeding and DUI.

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