The National Roads Authority of the Cayman Islands will start work on a new crosswalk across West Bay Road, in front of The Strand shopping centre in Grand Cayman.
In mid-March, National Roads Authority Managing Director Brian Tomlinson said central government budget issues had placed the crosswalk project in jeopardy.
“Is there funding for the crosswalks? I don’t know. They made appropriations, but do they have the cash? I don’t know,” Mr. Tomlinson said.
However, on Monday the authority’s Transportation Planner Marion Pandohie said it turned out there was funding available to install the crosswalk during this budget year, which ends Saturday, 30 June.
“West Bay Road carries a high volume of traffic and running through a largely a tourist area, there is unfortunately a high potential for traffic accidents. Creating the crosswalk is the first step in attempting to make this stretch of road safer for drivers and pedestrians alike,” Ms Pandohie said.
Mr. Tomlinson originally announced that crosswalks at The Strand and at the Westin were imminent. “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 said.
The Strand crosswalk stems from a 2010 review on ways to improve pedestrian safety on West Bay Road. Other upcoming improvements include the pending completion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, additional crosswalks on West Bay Road, and intersection improvements at Lawrence Boulevard, according to a news release.
Other proposals include reducing the speed limit on West Bay Road from 40mph to 30mph, providing flashing yellow lights to be activated by pedestrians and the improvement of overhead lighting.
Ms Pandohie said The Strand crosswalk would have flashing lights, but would not be accompanied by speed humps or other traffic-calming measures.
The 2010 advisory panel, comprising the authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Ministry of District Administration, convened after American tourist Jane O’Neill was critically injured by a car while crossing West Bay Road on foot by The Strand in April 2010. Ms O’Neill died in September 2010 after being in a coma for months.
In December 2010, accountant Michael Edgington died after being struck by a car while crossing West Bay Road on foot in the vicinity of Lawrence Boulevard.