The Butterfield roundabout, next to the A. L. Thompson hardware store, is officially the busiest intersection in the Cayman Islands, according to a comprehensive national traffic survey carried out for the National Roads Authority.
Researchers counted a total of 23,605 vehicles passing through the George Town roundabout in a single day.
They counted traffic at morning, lunch and evening rush hours over a total of seven hours at 41 different intersections to collect data on traffic flows across the island, including the volume and type of vehicles and peak congestion times at each location. More than half of the intersections surveyed showed peak traffic volumes during morning rush hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Data from the surveys will help guide future traffic management and road development policy.
A summary of the report’s findings points to potential congestion issues at more than half of the intersections surveyed, noting, “high traffic volumes and potential road capacity problems that will need further assessment.”
After the Butterfield roundabout, the next busiest intersections were on the same stretch of road; the four-way traffic light intersection outside the Compass Centre, with 20,560 vehicles recorded in the same time period, and the CNB roundabout, with 18,847 vehicles recorded.
The intersection of Harbour Drive and North Church Street, near to the Royal Watler cruise terminal, predictably, showed the busiest pedestrian traffic, with 3,117 people counted during the survey period.
Automated traffic recording equipment was also used to record traffic 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, at different points throughout the island.
Of the 143 locations surveyed, the highest traffic volume – 36,600 vehicles per day – was recorded passing along Shamrock Road, to the west of Selkirk Drive, close to Hurley’s supermarket.
The data, which also included analysis of vehicle types and speeds at the selected locations, was collected in February and March of this year by Mexican engineering firm Servicios Mexicanos de Ingeniería Civil which won the $140,000 contract following an open tender process.
According to the National Roads Authority, it is the first time such a comprehensive traffic survey has been carried out since 1999. In the interim period there have been significant expansions to the road network, including the East-West Arterial Highway and the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, prompting the NRA to commission the new survey.
NRA Managing Director Paul Parchment said the data would assist the authority with future planning, including roadway and intersection planning and analysis.
“Data from the count programme will allow the NRA to make informed decisions about roadway planning and design, and help inform policymakers on decisions concerning funding levels for road maintenance and new road construction,” he said in a statement.