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.