West Bay Road was the most dangerous street for pedestrians and cyclists in the Cayman Islands over a 12‑month period, according to data provided by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
Fourteen of 87 pedestrian and cyclist collisions with motor vehicles reported between 20 July 2018 and 13 July 2019 took place on West Bay Road.
Of those 14 accidents, nine resulted in injuries, including five injured cyclists and four injured pedestrians.
Overall, 44 cyclists and 17 pedestrians were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles on Cayman Islands roads over the 12‑month period.
At least three of the accidents were fatal, including the death of Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Kirzner, 21, who was fatally struck on North Church Street on 15 April after 4am on his way to work.
There were three cyclists injured, including Kirzner, on North Church Street during the 12‑month period.
In Cayman Brac, 55 year-old pedestrian Mitchell Marvin Ryan was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Watering Place Road in the early hours of 22 March.
One other accident in Cayman Brac resulted in non-fatal injuries to a cyclist on Gerrard Smith Avenue on 26 July 2018. The cyclist was transported to Health City in critical condition following the collision.
Cyclist Geoff Cornwall died in September 2018 after the triathlete struck the back of a vehicle parked in a cycle lane on Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Three other accidents on Esterley Tibbetts were reported in the data. All three occurred in the morning hours and resulted in injuries to cyclists.
Following West Bay Road, the next most dangerous street for pedestrians and cyclists was Eastern Avenue, with four accidents resulting in injuries to pedestrians and one resulting in injuries to a cyclist. Another accident involving a cyclist at the junction of Eastern Avenue and Shedden Road did not result in an injury.
Four other pedestrian and cyclist accidents occurred on Shedden Road, for a total of five on that roadway. Three resulted in injuries to a cyclist.
Two of three cyclist accidents on Linford Pierson Highway during the time frame resulted in injuries. Two cyclists were also injured on Elgin Avenue and two on North West Point Road.
No pedestrian or cyclist accidents were reported for North Side, East End or Little Cayman.
The concept of developing ‘complete streets’ to create safer conditions for pedestrian traffic has been touted by city planners in recent months. Such roadways would integrate bike lanes, sidewalks and safe crosswalks – features that are currently missing on most of Cayman’s streets.
During a public meeting in July, George Town manager Colin Lumsden said, “Streets are not made for cars. They are connector valves for everybody. They are for people who walk and ride.”
Minister of Planning and Infrastructure Joey Hew has also been an advocate for ‘complete streets’.
At another public meeting in July, the minister said, “On the issue of traffic, as we all know, there is no one fix. We have to look at this in a very holistic manner. We cannot continue to simply build roads, so we have to look at things like public transport.”
Hew said all new street designs will include bicycle and pedestrian access.