50% of GT’s major junctions pose problems

| 30/09/2016 | 52 Comments

(CNS): The mounting traffic congestion in George Town is presenting some significant challenges for road experts and a newly completed report of Cayman’s road use has found that over half of the junctions surveyed have capacity problems that need to be more closely assessed. In the first traffic survey for many years and the most comprehensive exercise to date measuring road use here, the report found that over 23,600 cars used the roundabout by AL Thompson’s store in just one day, making it the busiest junction on the island.

The surveyors, who were contracted by the National Roads Authority, counted cars in the morning and evening rush hours and over lunchtime and found that many other George Town intersections were at bursting point. Data was collected at 41 different junctions about the volume and type of vehicles using them at peak times. The report shows detailed information about traffic loads and pedestrian loads on busy cruise ship days, all of which will be used to inform policy.

NRA Manageing Director Paul Parchment said the count would greatly assist the authority with various aspects of network level planning, especially for 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 policy makers on decisions concerning funding levels for road maintenance and new road construction,” he said. “The count data from this exercise is also most significant in the testing and validation of a new computerised traffic model, which the NRA is keen on developing shortly for the island of Grand Cayman.”

He explained that annual traffic volume studies would continue to be a necessary tool for the NRA in the day-to-day operations, and said there were plans for smaller, less comprehensive traffic volume studies performed periodically, with larger studies every 4 to 5 years.

The traffic counts were conducted in February and March this year and cost around CI$140,000. The project included automated traffic recorder counts at 153 selected roadway sites, as well as turning movement analyses at the 41 major road intersections on Grand Cayman.

See the final report nad location maps on the NRA website

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Comments (52)

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  1. Mr J Ebanks says:

    Cayman has the worst standard of driving I’ve seen in any non third world country.
    It probably doesn’t help that we all get our driving licences just by slipping $50 to the dvdl but my oh my is bad. No-one indicates. Everyone seems to drive right up your arse. People overtaking in rush hour just to get 1 car ahead. This country breeds utter dickheads. Until we start punishing our own for driving like idiots how can we expect everyone else to drive safely.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ATENTION CAYMANIANS: Roundabouts are NOT 4 way stops. They are meant to keep the ‘flow’ going in traffic. PAY ATTENTION!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blimey, I’ve been on the road in the U.K. from 1970 and here from 1979, and just recently I’ve witnessed driving behaviour like I’ve never seen before in my life. The latest was a driver who upon approaching a roundabout couldn’t determine which lane provided him with the better advantage for post-exit overtaking, so decided (reasonably enough) to straddle both approaching lanes. Perhaps you, the reader, have witnessed similar examples of drivers displaying such utter contempt for road safety? My fantasy? I can turn my vehicle into a police car instantly!

  4. Anonymous says:

    No, we will NOT see LESS cars sliding off …, but with luck we’ll see fewer!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I previouslyposted -“the capacity of a road is governed by it’s junctions”, THE basic rule in traffic engineering. Simply widening or dualling achieves nothing if junction capacity is inadequate.
    Get the main junctions right and only then see if road capacity is inadequate, followed by other traffic ‘improvements’ eg restricting junctions and turning movements

  6. Debron Scott says:

    Do roundabouts really reduce accidents at intersections? I prefer intersections where merging is simpler or unnecessary.

  7. Rick says:

    The only way to have a significant change in traffic congestion is to fix public transportation and offer a mass transit system. The government lacks vision, so this will never happen. Certainly not with the current lot in office.

    I drive to work and everywhere else, simply because there is no viable alternative. When I go to NY I take public transport, although I have several private vehicles at my disposal. I drive in Houston, because it too does not have convenient public transport – unless you are downtown you have to walk much too far if you take the bus.

    However, Houston has land space to spare. Cayman does not. We seem to be trying to turn the entire country into roads!

    • Anonymous says:

      But with effective public transport what are all the foreign nationals speeding around in vans with reckless abandon going to do to support themselves in our country?

    • Smoothy says:

      Rick i have been saying the same thing for years, they keep counting movement of cars and not movement of people. so they will be forever having to expand roads. Do they know how many persons travel from the Prospect to Georgetown or say AL Thompson on any given day? The need to start looking at movement of people. I don’t think they notice that over 75% of the cars only has one person in them most of the time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The biggest problem is the lack of police enforcement which has led to a wild wild west type of driving style on island. You need to adapt and drive like your in the way of half the people on the road.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I could have advised NRA for free on the many issues facing drivers in Grand Cayman. not necessarily in this order:

    1. Poorly designed and maintained roads (dangerous road shoulders, etc.) and poor signage;
    2. Poor drivers, especially those who “just arrived on the boat” – not not ruling out other, longer term “guests” and many locals! An ineffective driver training and testing regime is evident!;
    3. Poor public transport – What we have is not even a system! For years I’ve encouraged the PTB to examine Bermuda’s system, without success
    4. Some round-abouts too close to each other!
    5. Too many “small traffic circles in the road” – These are pointless! How can these (such as those on North Sound Road) be effective when they are smaller than the vehicles which use them??!! Most people just drive over them!
    5. Three- or four-way junctions work better. Note Hospital and West Bay 4-ways. But many drivers (see #2 above) do not know the “first-come, first move” principle of these junctions;
    6. Bottle-necks created by two lanes merging into one. Columbus could have figured out this makes no sense!

    Yes, there is a high number of vehicles per capita but volume alone is not the real problem, if many of the above issues were addressed!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The combo of bald thread-bare tires, and thousands of non-street worthy vehicles laying down oil and soot emissions – turns traffic circles into ice rinks at first drops of rain. Someone crashes into the Armco at the Ritz roundabout every couple weeks.

    • Anonymous says:

      wow 6:02 post shows that it is the dumb people like him that are causing most of the problems.
      1 Why are you driving on the shoulder? What signs do you still need to read?
      2 Those “just arrived on the boat” (should have been off!) just havn’t got your bad driving habits yet
      4 Which roundabouts are too close?
      5 “Most people just drive over them!” That’s breaking the law.
      The other 5! Dont see how you can say these work better

      The biggest issue is too many muppets breaking the law and with no respect for other road users. The English can even teach schoolchildren to navigate a roundabout.

      • Annie says:

        Maybe all you selfish drivers who think they are more important then others can stop blocking Walker’s Rd by Prep every day. Maybe you should just give the wheel to your entitled, road savvy toddlers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just hold on until after the fire sale. Dart will buy it all and fix it for you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who wrote the report, Captain Obvious?

  12. Anonymous says:

    get cars OFF the ROADS by fixing public transport! $$$ from a proper public transport system could at least contribute to the NRA projects. we can’t keep expanding the road systems. generations are multiplying here. the better part of the island operates in a very easy to navigate road system that could be better served by a proper bus route. while i’m here, let me add that the buses could run EARLIER. i see poor workers walking on the road at 5AM for god knows how many miles and LATER so we reduce the need to take an astronomically rated taxi and reduce drunk driving. IT’S SO SIMPLE.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I think Cayman probably has the largest number of government studies per capita than any other nation on earth. Our national motto should be “Just study it!”

  14. satirony says:

    Virtually no one uses their indicators anymore, so traffic entering roundabouts has to stop until they’re quite sure whether the approaching car is turning off or not. The habitual use of indicators wouldn’t solve the traffic problem, but it would speed things up and generally lower blood-pressure levels.

    (Will the Police act before there’s no car left in Cayman with a front license plate? This slavish ‘fashion statement’ represents a huge untapped source of funds for the RCIP. What do you actually have to do on the roads these days to get stopped, apart from drinking and driving? And I’ve noticed, the more expensive the car, more likely the driver is to be on the phone, and the cheaper the car, the more likely it is to sport blue or green lights. Now banks of high-powered white LED lights have started to come in, which at night are nearly blinding. When are the Police going to wake up and take notice?

  15. Capt Obvious says:

    No shit Sherlock.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think de centralizing George Town would also help. Moving some businesses to the eastern Districts,there by reducing traffic in central GT.

    • Anonymous says:

      cayman had that chance years ago with the gov admin building….guess what they did……zzzzzzz

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bermuda has excellent public transportation.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s less about the junctions and more to with the fact that there’s far too many cars on this island. And way too many huge 4×4’s and SUV’s. Who needs a Hummer here other than people making up for shortcomings elsewhere!? There’s no need for them unless you’re in the construction industry or similar. If money were no object, I’d overhaul the public transport system making the buses bigger and the service more regular and accessible to all. I would also impose a 2ltr limit on cars with a license being granted for those who need bigger vehicles for work purposes. Just a pie in the sky idea for a Friday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Far too many cars, no decent public transport or alternatives to cars and then of course the people driving 20mph in a 40 zone with nowhere to pass….

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t stand that! And the people who cut you off the do 20 mph under the speed limit… It’s ridiculous honestly. I know for a fact your BMW can do more than 25 mph…

    • Anonymous says:

      Not “pie in the sky” entirely. Far too many cars? Yes. Why? Your spot on point about the need for a proper public transportation system. Presently there isn’t one. How to gauge whether or not this is the case? On Grand Cayman, do you need a car? I would say (realistically) “Yes”. The reason for the explosion in the number of cars on our roads? The population increase has not been “Mom, Dad and 21/2 kids” it’s been predominantly single adult workers, each in need of a reliable means of transportation to and from work, which (let’s be honest) does not presently exist. Sportsfans, I come from a major U.K. city that had a public transportation city that obviated the need to own a car, whatever its size. For goodness sake, would it be such a stretch to have a similar system here? And speaking of personal car ownership, let’s not go utilitarian (U.S.”communist”) with extremist talk of restricting car sizes and engine capacities. That’s plain bonkers.

  19. Anonymous says:

    there should be a plan to eliminate all 4-way junctions with roundabouts…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, what about the “special situation” roundabouts that are treated like 4 way stop signs – like dump road roundabout in industrial park – the unlicensed errand class can’t be expected to figure this stuff out!

      • Anonymous says:

        and it doesn’t help when the cops turn a blind eye to dangerous driving on roundabouts everyday……….

    • Barney Oldfield says:

      There should be a plan to eliminate all roundabouts…..

  20. Anonymous says:

    why are nra expandinjg linford pierson????
    i think they are being given work to just keep busy….
    can anyone explain the redbay roundabout expansion…or whatever they did?????

    • Anonymous says:

      With the expansion of the Linford Pierson and TIbbetts Highways, won’ t it still be a bottleneck congestion?

    • Anonymous says:

      They fixed the camber on the roundabout so we should see less cars sliding off it the next time it rains.

    • Anonymous says:

      The six month red bay roundabout project put in a much needed bicycle lane……only problem is that it is in the centre of the roundabout for no way to get onto it or off it. 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t help that they decided to put cross walks at the entry to every side road in town. As you exit the Harbour front to any street (Boilers Road etc) you are forced to slam on breaks to watch tourists walk as slow as possible across the road in front of you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t understand why anyone would think it is a good idea to put a crosswalk so close to a junction, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Crosswalks in any civilized country are put in visible lanes and not 90 degree corners. Luckily, I memorize that they are at the junction so I don’t run down innocent pedestrians. Hopefully, other Georgetown residents are as careful as I ha ha ha…

  22. Anonymous says:

    In addition to the congestion. There needs to be a better form of public transportation to limit cars on the road. The answer to this problem is not building more roads but getting more cars off the roads.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s true … but guess wah…you first . Its not going to happen . But agreed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Suggestion: a shuttle that runs up & down WB road and makes stops at the prime stops. Then most tourists would not need to rent a car just to move up & down WB road. There can be another service that goes to WB and BT etc for locals and continue this into the late night. Locals would not need to d&d and have safe, inexpensive transportation and tourists would not need to rent a car. Also,a water shuttle from Gt to WB stopping at some prime places might be nice.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Something needs to be done about the turn into the new Technology center by the Butterfield Roundabout. Cars turning in across two lanes of traffic is incredibly dangerous…

    • Sunshine 345 says:

      12:28pm This is not the Butterfield roundabout. The Butterfield roundabout is the one by AL Thompson, I believe you are confusing this with the Cayman National roundabout and I agree. This two lanes is dangerous!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, another danger zone is the roundabout by A L Thompson. Drivers in both lanes speeding accross the front of your car going towards Camana Bay. I sure hope someone can figure out what to do there. REAL SCARY?

      • Anonymous says:

        I go through there multiple times a day and I agree. Scariest roundabout ever. Plus you got the people turning in from Welly’s…

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