Road protesters’ petition goes to Gov in November

Road petition rally photo 300x250

A loose coalition of community groups gathered on West Bay Public Beach on Saturday for one last push before sending their now-3,000 signature petition against the removal of West Bay Road to Governor Duncan Taylor.  

An agreement reached earlier this year between the Cayman Islands government and the Dart Corporation calls for the closing of about a half-mile section of West Bay Road between Yacht Club Drive and the RBS Coutts building. The deal also calls for the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway into West Bay from its current ending point at Raleigh 
Quay Road.  

Officials broke ground on the project earlier in the year, but Captain Bryan Ebanks, one of the demonstrators at Saturday’s rally/procession along West Bay Road said that was “just for show.”  

“This is the public’s land, Crown land,” Captain Bryan said. “The governor has the last say in how it is used.” Another demonstrator with the West Bay Action Committee, Ezmie Smith, said Saturday the coalition would probably wait until the end of November before delivering its petition against the road’s removal to Governor Taylor.  

“We hope we can get 4,000 signatures,” Ms Smith said.  

Premier McKeeva Bush has previously said the road’s removal and the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, which the Dart group will pay for, is going ahead no matter what protest groups argued.  

On Saturday, members of the coalition said they supported the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway into West Bay, but they said the main road along the beach should stay open. 

Road petition rally photo 2

A sign along West Bay Road gives protester’s views on the government’s proposal to close it. – Photo: Brent Fuller

Road petition rally photo v

James Sterling Ebanks signs the West Bay Road petition while Ezmie Smith looks on. – Photo: Brent Fuller

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  1. Premier McKeeva Bush has previously said the road’s removal and the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, which the Dart group will pay for, is going ahead no matter what protest groups argued.

    Now imagine Independence.

  2. Members of the coalition said they supported the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway into West Bay, but they said the main road along the beach should stay open

    While I understand the peoples gripe about the closing of a part of West Bay Road, if they agree with the Esterley Tibbetts highway extension, are they willing to pay for it themselves? I though this deal with Dart was to trade certain things in return for him paying for other things Cayman needed such the Road extension and the new dump. Do people really expect him to put his money up and pay for these things without getting something in return? Would it better for the Government not to deal with Dart do without what he’s offering to do? Is Cayman in a position to deal with the current Dump issues and pay for the new road itself or are these things considered as not really needed at this point by the people.

  3. If governor Duncan Taylor is weak on this issue as well and lets the premier have his way again, then I hope the Action Committee is prepared to take this matter all the way to the UK. Its time to stand up and fight for Cayman and not be bullied by greedy politicians better described as money hungry sharks.
    All the way to the UK.

  4. I hear you Tiger, but I’m sure once this gets ‘All the Way to the UK’ they will use this as reason to justify direct taxation of the Cayman people. Don’t expect much help from them unless you’re putting money in their pockets.

  5. Maybe I missed it but where was the reason the ‘protesters’ where making a fuss for? Is there a reason they need the road to stay? do they not want an extended public beach more public ground, why not? Is there any reason for this protest other than change is bad and scary and Dart has too much money so we don’t like him and will opose all he does seems like a great idea to me, extended public beach, a free new road…what are the downsides to this development??

  6. I am wary of government in alliance with Dart. And I do have fears of a giant monopoly causing the small local businesses to fail. I notice that by closing the West Bay road for the new one, will divert the traffic to Camana Bay and the new Dart Hotel… to his convenience. The hotels along the current road will be a little isolated.

    However, I don’t see anything wrong with the Dart deal, because we will be getting a larger beach, accessible to the public, and in swap for the road, government is getting land in Barkers. West Bay will have two entrances instead of one, which will free-up traffic. The deal looks like a win-win situation for Dart and the government, and it appear to be transparent to me. So I really don’t know what the protesters are protesting about – it seems like the advantages outwiegh the disadvantages.

  7. People are outraged at the economy and job situation and an opportunity presents itself to change a largely unused portion of 7 mile beach and build a facility which will contribute jobs for the people and money to the government and people are against it.

    No doubt obstructionists and we all know who they are will rally against this opportunity and try to use it for political gain.

  8. I was just in Cayman and driving down West Bay road along side the ocean is still nice. Don’t make a mistake and close this road. We don’t care about seeing Camana Bay. We will go there when we want to. We want to see the ocean. This is what we come to Cayman for….not to see Camana Bay. We do enjoy Camana Bay to shop and eat…but we spend big dollars to see and be on the ocean.

  9. WOW, WHAT IDIOTS. Did they not see the mess that road was in last week from a little storm that did not even come our way.

    Dart will keep the land prestine for all to enjoy and the highway will not have to be closed during bad weather.

  10. So Caymer and others against this…you are saying scrap the extra public space, job creation through the new hotel, land given in Barkers to the government and leave the untidy Marriot as it is because Dart are getting further consessions? Maybe wait years for another deal to be done, take the chance that the next developer will be as good as Dart and really put great expense and effort into making the development top class….really? so scrap the deal then what???

  11. I am a Caymanian born and raised in West Bay to 2 Caymanian parents. There are five generations in my family which stems down from 94years of age to 19months, who are alive. I speak for myself and I’m sure for many other Caymanians who do not have access to comment here. This road has been covered in sand many times, remember Hurricane Ivan? Harbour Drive, George Town has been battered by waves for as long as I can remember, will they close Harbour Drive for Dart too, to supposedly create more jobs? But who are these jobs for and how long will these jobs last especially for you guys in construction? Anyone who supports Mckeeve and Dart with this surely now works for Dart and/or has been given US20 and alcohol to NOT want to stand up. This is the only area left on 7 Mile Beach where you can actually see the beach if you are driving/riding or walking by except for the West Bay Beach near Alfrescos. If you do not drive near Alfrescos you will not see the beach if McKeeva with his GREEN EYES close the public beach next to Calico Jacks. Mckeeva has nothing to lose if he died right now and Dart has everything to gain. This ocean is like medicine, it’s therapy. When I drive by on my way to and from work it’s very soothing and relaxing, SOMETHING MONEY CANNOT REPLACE. I don’t take the Esterley Tibbets highway, I don’t want to look at concrete buildings and asphalt. The Powers that be should be ashamed to get on TV to justify closing the road because of a little bit of sand and want to give away the only area of 7Mile Beach which is left in view. Shame on YOU. Like the comment posted by SAY(obviously a tourist) He did not come here to go to CAMANA Bay,he paid good money like all the other tourists who visit here, to be able to see the beach without actually having to go on the beach. Mckeeva, stop being a bully and listen to someone else other than yourself and dart before even all the stayover visitors decide to go somewhere else….not that you could care any less.

  12. I am a Caymanian born and raised in West Bay, Grand Cayman to 2 Caymanian parents. My family goes back to 5 living generations from 94years down to 19months. This road is scenic, medicinal and therapeautic. I guess you politicians don’t spend enough time to think about it because all you can see is green (). However there are some of us who enjoy driving up/down alongside the beach, you know in the mornings especially when the sky and the water are the same color. That’s therapy!!!! McKeeva stop being a bully and listen to someone other than yourself for one time in your 20 odd years in Parliament. Not every idea but yours deserves to be thrown in the trash.