The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service announced on Friday that it is tightening the number of approvals it gives to public procession and road closure requests, specifically with respect to main arterial roads, including the George Town waterfront.
“As a general rule the RCIPS will no longer authorize the closure of these arterial roads during peak hours on weekdays, which are 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m., for events,” police stated. “Exceptions to this rule will be rare, especially with respect to road closure requests in the town centre of George Town.”
The RCIPS announcement was made after the Cayman Islands National Museum held “Looky Ya!” – an event to honor the territory’s elderly – on Harbour Drive on Wednesday. The event was scheduled from 3-6 p.m., but the waterfront was closed hours before then. Cayman Compass reporters heard multiple complaints about the traffic disruption and the lack of notification for the road closure.
In the future, the RCIPS asked that all public procession and road closure applications be submitted one week before anticipated events, instead of the three-day deadline required under legislation. The RCIPS explained that this will assist with evaluating and approving the request in time to issue timely notifications about approved road closures. Those applications meeting the three-day minimum deadline set by legislation will still be considered, police added.
“The RCIPS commits to notifying the public of approved road closures for events in advance,” the RCIPS stated. “Notices regarding road closures for events will be posted on our website at www.rcips.ky/news/breaking-traffic and sent to the local media as soon as practicable based on the timing of the request.”
The RCIPS noted that it is responsible for publicizing road closures related to public events only. Road closures due to roadwork or other repairs or improvements will continue to be publicized by the entity responsible for the roadwork, the department said.
“The RCIPS appreciates the value that public events bring, and will continue to facilitate these events whenever possible in order to foster a spirit of community and awareness of the many deserving causes on island,” police said. “However, the RCIPS must also consider the inconvenience and delays to the general public road closures can cause, as well as the public safety hazards that congestion can also create on roadways.”
Applications to hold a public procession and request road closures can be found at www.rcips.ky/public-procession-application-form. Questions about the above can be directed to the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit at 649-6254.