Minister: Speed limit changes to take effect in May

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.


  1. I do like the 30 miles limit on West Bay Road. I would as well like to see an increment for the bypass to 50 miles. Everybody is really going faster than 40 anyways!I do not believe that such move would endanger anybody.

  2. Edelgard, I am afraid it would and I am one of those person.

    As someone who often has to cross Esterley Tibbetts highway from BeachSuites to Snug Harbour, I don’t feel very enthusiastic about the change. I know that for Cayman Islands publicity tourist knocked down on the street is worse then resident knocked down on the street, but it doesn’t help my family much.

    Even after Dart finished building highway extension, traffic on our road increased significantly. And it’s very fast moving traffic, faster then West Bay road. There are times during the day (like 5:30 pm) when you have to wait minutes and minutes until you can safely cross it. After reduction of speed limit on West Bay road I expect situation to get even worse. If speed limit at Esterley Tibbetts highway gets increased it will be even more worse.

    You also can’t even expect drivers to stop and let you pass – speed is too high and with two lanes in one direction stopping like is dangerous in itself.

    I heard that Beach Suites is planning to build bridge over Esterley Tibbetts, but it will probably not happen until we leave the Island. And thus far Beach Suites (or whoever owns their land) were very good only in making pedestrians life worse, as they did with blocking Snug Harbour to Britannia Golf course pass and lately putting up fence blocking pass to Elizabeth square through Lauren’s kitchen (this one of just stupid – I don’t understand spending money to block something which is anyway accessible to the public specifically to make people’s life worse).

  3. In addition to lowering speed limits, why has this government or any previously, not seriously considered installing Speed Cameras at strategic locations.