Editorial for 15 February: Slow down on West Bay Road

Opinions on whether a stretch of West Bay Road should or
should not be closed are debated daily.

Either you agree with the shut down or you don’t.

But there will be a silver lining to what some would call
this cloud hanging over Grand Cayman.

Once the stretch of road from Governor’s Way to Raleigh Quay
Drive beside the Old Marriott hotel is closed – possibly in the next week –
there is legislation to have the speed limit on West Bay Road reduced from
40mph to 30mph.

The Caymanian Compass has been opining for years that the
speed limit on West Bay Road needs to be reduced to protect people who try to
cross the road at all times of the day and night.

There have been pedestrian deaths along that stretch of road
and more often than not, it’s tourists that are being killed; not really good
for Cayman’s reputation.

The latest victim is 66-year-old Dan Marce who died
Wednesday from injuries he sustained while attempting to cross West Bay Road
last Friday night.

Just as we have school speed zones, we should have tourist
and bar speed zones and they should be enforced.

Additional crosswalks on the road would also be a big help.
There is only one now. Without additional crosswalks 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.

Once the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension to West Bay is
completed, it is expected that additional activated crosswalks will be
installed along the West Bay Road. We certainly hope so and urge all drivers on
that stretch of road to slow down, no matter how fast the signs say you can go.

 

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