I visited the public beach yesterday for the first time since the West Bay Road was diverted for a stay longer than a few minutes.
As in the past, I assumed it was a work-in-progress building site. However, yesterday it dawned on me this was it and how it has become the best public example in Cayman of broken promises and poor politics.
The construction crews have disappeared, leaving behind a mess that sadly shows the true cost of free actions by developers who achieved their goals after making promises to politicians. The real proof will be next weekend when traditionally Caymanians go camping for Easter by the beach. I will be surprised if I see anyone this year camping in the only official camp site on the Cayman Islands as described in the ”ForCayman Investment Alliance“ advertising campaign that led up to the closing of the West Bay Road section that is now bypassed.
Even the hedge that protected the sand from being blown across the road has been ripped up, leaving the privacy of the beach cabanas, once used for changing, exposed to the car park and all driving by.
As the construction crews have not been seen for several months, I guess this is it. The images of landscaped areas with trails and camp site pods are now nowhere to be seen, nor is the pedestrian and bike path so famously quoted in the FCIA’s “Facts and Myths” advert.
MYTH: Will people lose access to the public beach?
FACTS: The bike and pedestrian paths will provide continuous, safe and uninterrupted access to the beach along the 2,500 feet of property affected by the road closure.
REAL FACT: This path does not even exist at the current public beach site which is open to the public today, and is not shown on the current sketch of the new beach hotel shown on the current FCIA website, so I guess that is where the expression “urban myths” come from.
Another quote on the FCIA website dated April 17, 2013, read: “Meanwhile, playground equipment has arrived on site and is now being installed. The playground will be open for children to enjoy once the surrounding grass lawn is sufficiently established to withstand foot traffic, estimated to be in late May.”
Almost a year later and there is still a fence around the playground; there no amphitheater, splash park, rest rooms, campsite or dog park that is shown on their map. In fact, it looks like some third-rate contractors finished up and left a mess behind.
Sadly, the landscaping skills which makes Camana Bay so delightful and provided confidence in the developer to do a good job at the public beach was also just another urban myth. So, Cayman, beware of developers and their promises, and the only way to get them is to make them provide what they promise first.