Letter: Managing downtown traffic flows

I congratulate Lee Maragh on his thoughtful discussion on the Hon. Osbourne Bodden’s suggestions for reducing congestion (“Seek solutions to traffic congestion,” Oct. 18). This is a debate which all Caymanians and the working population should be contributing to.

In principle, I do not oppose the building of the new cruise terminal, but having worked in George Town for nearly 40 years, I can say that the influx of a large number more cruise passengers to George Town would make the problem of getting to and leaving from work there a complete nightmare.

I have two suggestions, one immediate, the other more long term:

The first is that no cruise ship passengers should be landed before 9 a.m. and disembarked after 4 p.m. (Cayman time unless we adopt Daylight Saving Time). To state the obvious, this will enable people who work in George Town to get to and from work without having to negotiate around cruise passengers who think we drive on the “wrong” side of the road.

The second is that we anticipate some of the increasing passenger receipts to build multi-story car parks on roads leading off the south end of West Bay Road, the east end of Shedden Road and the west end of South Church Street or Walkers Road or wherever property is still affordable. These would be free for parking between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., but to discourage use for overnight parking that would cost the same as long-term parking at the airport. There would be free buses between the parks circulating George Town Central from the car parks at frequent or less intervals, depending on demand.

There is time to implement these and the acceptable suggestions of the Hon. Osbourne and Mr. Maragh and, hopefully, many others. But if this potential problem is not addressed as a priority, it could well result in more and more businesses moving to Camana Bay and our historic capital becoming a ghost town for anything more than restaurants, jewelry stores and T-shirt shops.

In my view, that is unacceptable.

Ian Boxall