A number of speed limits on local roads, most notably through the heart of Cayman’s main tourism district, will change as of early next month, Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts announced Friday.
Mr. Tibbetts said the reduction of speed along West Bay Road between “the KFC [at Bay Town Plaza] and north of Public Beach [the RBS Coutts building]” would take the speed limit from its current 40 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour.
Also, he said, additional pedestrian crosswalks would be installed, apart from the two that exist near the Strand shopping center and Royal Palms.
Minister Tibbetts’s announcement came less than two weeks after the April 6 accident that left a teenage tourist in critical condition on West Bay Road. The teenage boy – a pedestrian who was crossing the road – was hit by a minivan around 9 p.m. that Monday and eventually had to be airlifted off the islands to the U.S. for further medical treatment.
Mr. Tibbetts said the National Roads Authority had just placed an order for and received the equipment to install an additional crosswalk near the Marriott Hotel when the April 6 accident occurred.
“I want to … wish God’s blessings on the young man that was injured in the accident,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “We wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Plans to change speed limits on a number of local roads were placed before Cabinet in late February or early March 2014. Proposals to lower the speed limits and install crosswalks on West Bay Road along the Seven Mile Beach corridor date back to the first People’s Progressive Movement administration of 2005-2009.
In addition to changing the speed limit and installing more crosswalks, Mr. Tibbetts said other improvements would be coming shortly for West Bay Road.
“[The safety measures will] prevent the middle lane from being used to overtake,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “Those [who] are in a hurry can use the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.”
Speed limit changes proposed as part of a National Roads Authority review in late 2013, included setting the speed limit on Frank Sound Road at 30 miles per hour between Bodden Town Road and Botanic Road. That route is now set at 50 miles per hour.
On North Sound Road, the speed limit of 25 miles per hour is set to increase to 30 between the Butterfield roundabout and Shedden Road.
Mr. Tibbetts said the public should see new speed limit signs going up around the district where changes have been made in the coming weeks.
George Town works
Road widening on Godfrey Nixon Way and repairs to Shamrock Road in the Red Bay area of George Town are already under way, Mr. Tibbetts said.
Once work is completed on Godfrey Nixon Way, the Smith Road widening project will begin, Mr. Tibbetts said. Smith Road will be widened to accommodate one lane going in each direction and a turning lane in the center of the road.
In addition, two side roads that currently dead-end, Melrose Lane and Humber Lane, will be extended to connect in the middle of what is now empty land just south of the Government Administration Building. The new road would allow drivers using the government’s open air parking lot behind the Immigration Department to exit directly onto Smith Road, rather than turning onto Elgin Ave.