With two major highway expansions in process, Transport Minister Joey Hew said government is doing all it can to ease traffic congestion in Grand Cayman.

But the new minister cautioned: “We can only build so many roads. At some point we are going to run out of space.”

He said government will need to look at improving public transportation and potentially promote ride-sharing if the population and traffic congestion continue to grow.

Traffic jams on roads around George Town are regular occurrences on weekday mornings and evenings, particularly during school term. A journey from Savannah to George Town, typically a 10-minute drive, can take as long as an hour in the mornings.

Mr. Hew, speaking after the unveiling of a new road safety campaign last week, said the expansion of the Linford Pierson Highway and the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to four lanes would help reduce some of the impact. He also said the National Roads Authority is investigating reconfiguring some busy intersections, including the Hurley’s roundabout, in an effort to ease congestion.

He said the new highways also have the potential for expansion as Cayman grows.

“Ultimately, we are building all these roads with the ability to go to three lanes, but at the end of the day we are going to have to focus on implementing a proper public transport system and encouraging people to use greener, smaller vehicles, as well as car sharing and getting out there and getting healthy and riding our bikes to work sometimes.

“We are going to have to do something about public transport, and through duty structures and other incentives, start encouraging smaller vehicles and environmentally friendly vehicles in order to reduce the size and speed and amount of vehicles on our roads.”

There were 36,134 registered vehicles on Cayman’s roads in 2015, the highest ever recorded. No data has been released for 2016. Figures available on the Economics and Statistics Office website go back to 1999, when there were 22,828 licensed vehicles on the road.

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  1. My suggestion is to have a chat with the Dart Foundation about partnership trading off, and build something like Metrorail. Eventually it will have to come because now no matter how many three lanes, four lanes we build it is still taking two hours to get to George Town from Eastern districts on any week day.
    Ever drove down to West Bay road and see what is happening down there. When we were going through the tunnel I had to say to my sister, where is this, have we left the island. The scenery and roads are so beautiful well being laid out, I could just drive up and down it all day. I am one Caymanian who is so very proud of what the Dart foundation is doing has done to the donkey roads we had before. They are genius’s when it comes to road building and construction. So my advice would be to Mr. Hew, link up with them and don’t stop the progress.

  2. I don’t want to appear anti-growth but how many new hotels do we need to provide full employment for the only people that matter? Caymanians.

    Perhaps I am just too old and grumpy but I can remember when there were no traffic lights in Grand Cayman and hardly any traffic. Of course those were also the days when Cable and Wireless charged you $2.40 KYD per minute to call the USA and blocked Internet companies like Skype.

    If you go into a hotel or restaurant in France or Italy you will almost always be helped by a citizen of that country.

    I love our local restaurants, they are world class, but why are local faces so rare working there?

    • Norman I do agree with you but it is for us to see that these things are done.
      I for one love new clean roads with nice environment, nice well kept buildings. If you drive along the Highway straight to west Bay it is a beauty to behold. You can see condos and private residents taking pride in prettying up their yards. This was not done before. Love every inch of what is being done. Want to see and enjoy country living then come east.

    • I have re-read my comment and want to make it clear that I DON’T mean that Caymanians are the only people that matter in general. Everyone is entitled to fair and decent treatment.

      What I meant was that JOBS for Caymanian people must come before importing more workers.

  3. The. Traffic problem on roads today . That should have been thouht about long before today , I seen that problem from the early 90’s that traffic was going to be a big problem . But what Government has done over the years is added to it , by doubled the population and importation of cars to the Islands , which looks like today that everyone on Islands drive a car .
    Mr Hew importing smaller cars wouldn’t solve the traffic problem.. I think that Government should start thinking outside of the box of revenue and population to fix the traffic problem .

  4. I am probably of the the same vintage as Mr Linton, and I clearly remember in the early seventies Government was presented with a master road plan which involved the publication of major road corridors throughout Grand Cayman with the specific aim of allowing for major traffic growth in the decades ahead. Even if our politicians were concerned about cost of road bulding, the rationale behind the plan was to preserve the land situated within the corridors so future arterial roads could be built with minimal land cost. So what happened? – nothing!. Just like the dump, successive highly paid goverment bureaucrats just left it to the next lot, resulting in large tracts of these “corridors”being developed. This has resulted in stalemate now, where the cost of additional roads is prohibitive. Once again we all suffer from the passive reactive syndrome rather than the more energetic proactive approach involving a little initiative and a lot more activity.

  5. Our problem is development was allowed to happen only on one end of the island. Only ants could have made enough road lanes to get the prize. Why not stop development at that end of the island until infrastructure is paid by developers like the way they want on the Eastern side.
    When will we stop believing that a 100 million dollar school is what we need to educate children for the future? When will they stop adding businesses that are choking other businesses out of existence? When will the environmentalists stop trying to take people’s land? Why don’t we have better vision for the future? Some years ago if they was a barber shop in a neighborhood there was only that bearbershop. Or one store,one garage,one bus company per district, etc,etc. Why are there 300 rest. ,60 beauty parlors ,500 taxis, 200 busses, but only 3 large stores, 2 shipping companies, and small amounts of products and services that we desperately need? Why do we buy from the most expensive country in the world ? When all around us there are countries who can sell food and fresh fruits at pennies on the dollar. For instance , every country in Latin America you can buy a beautifully ripe banana for .04 cents. When are we going to stop ripping people off in this country??????