Bottleneck at Hurley’s Roundabout to be fixed

| 17/09/2017 | 87 Comments

(CNS): As government’s significant road improvement programme moves east, it will include a major, but as yet undecided, redesign of the Hurley’s Roundabout, possibly adding a third lane to it, and a reconstruction of the traffic flow along Shamrock Road. Speaking at a community meeting in his own constituency of Red Bay Saturday night, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that Selkirk Drive, just east of Hurley’s Supermarket, will be totally rebuilt next year, with consideration going into lessening the dangers of emerging from that road onto Shamrock.

Tristan Hydes, the deputy chief officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure who was also at the meeting, said that the National Roads Authority is currently working on the Linford Pierson Highway and Crewe Road, and then will work towards the Lion’s Centre and on towards Hurley’s Supermarket, but the traffic will still bottleneck at the Hurley’s Roundabout.

The NRA has long-term plans to buy its own traffic modelling software, but right now, as the authority looks to improve the next stretch of road heading east, it is in the process of hiring consultants to study the traffic flow in that area and make recommendations about traffic management.

As part of its efforts to upgrade the roads in that area, the authority is set to undertake minor works along Selkirk Drive as a stopgap measure, but starting in the middle of next year, it will begin a complete reconstruction of the road, which will include new curbs, drainage, guttering and sidewalks, the premier told the 30 or so Red Bay constituents at the meeting, held at the Cayman Island Sailing Club.

Some of the other roads in the area will also be improved upon, but whereas heavily used roads like Selkirk will be paved with asphalt, lesser used roads will be covered with chip and spray — an economic consideration as it’s much cheaper.

“This is not a perfect world and we are trying to deal with as many roads as possible with our budget,” Premier McLaughlin explained.

Attendees expressed deep concern about the present situation, where drivers exit Selkirk onto Shamrock into 3-lane traffic, with many vehicles changing lanes at that point, as Shamrock forks with the East-West Arterial Road. This is especially dangerous during rush hour, it was said. In addition, those drivers are looking right, focused on the traffic travelling east, and often don’t notice bicycles travelling west on the wrong side of the road crossing the junction.

Public buses along that stretch were said to be a problem as they “come flying across three lanes and then slam on their brakes”. The bus stop just past Hurley’s was thought to be in the wrong place as the buses that stop there block the view of traffic exiting Selkirk, and if they are driving low cars, their view is also partially blocked by the yellow wall of the church on the corner of Selkirk and Shamrock, making it even more hazardous.

This needs to be fixed, the premier was told, “otherwise someone is going to get killed”.

Some people said they use the dirt road behind the church to get to Bimini Drive and then to the roundabout and wondered if that route could become part of the road plan. However, McLaughlin explained that this was “not that simple” since, although the dirt road belongs to the government, it leads to private property and the route to the roundabout goes through the supermarket car park. Nevertheless, the NRA was looking at that side road to see if it could be used.

Other considerations raised included a safe way to cross Shamrock to get to the sea, as there is no cross-walk in this area, and it was noted that people take their life in their hands to cross in the Hurley’s area in order to get to the bus stop on the opposite side. Hydes said an overpass crossing was possible but expensive, as it had to be high enough for all vehicles to pass under.

It was also pointed out that it doesn’t matter how many additional lanes you build on the roads if all the vehicles in all the lanes have to stop for the school buses (which they do under current law); some school buses even stop right by King’s Sports Centre, stopping the traffic on the roundabout there. It was suggested that the buses turn off the roads to let children off and also that children are only allowed to get off for that side of the road so that traffic is not stopped in both directions.

Check back to CNS for more on the meeting.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (87)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I know someone who presented a plan to the NRA for this same roundabout which has a circular overpass. It’s a logical design and I know it would work!! Please consider it!!




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  2. Tim Astley says:

    Try an experiment – block off South Sound Road exit to Hurley’s roundabout and divert traffic down Old Crewe Rd between the hours of 4pm and 7pm for a couple of weeks and see what happens!




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Road improvement???! More like track improvement!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh…miss the old road with just 2 lanes and Durty Reids you could stop at for some wings and a Red Stripe , scenic drive along east end of South Sound . Cayman has lost so much due to the unavoidable growth and development , the sad thing is its all been done with zero foresight and planning ahead for everybody & the future generations and residents ,as this story on the roads illustrates. The Camana Bay tunnel & overpass, with now the 2nd gigantic overpass concrete walls going up along West Bay Rd , honestly ,what can they be thinking & how is this any form of improvement ? While the road development in that area will obviously improve traffic , the entire area is now just nothing short of an eye-sore. I’ll include Camana Bay in that description as looking like nothing else than a shopping mall development in the west side of Broward County FL , or any other choice of large inland city industrialized area.




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    • Putang Inamo says:

      Oh oh…good ‘ole Durty Reids baby…last picture seen was the aftermath of Ivan but the image is still fresh for us old putangs who were there from the Phillipines in 2002-2004.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    A public transport system is all we need. Not the joke that we have now, but modern buses that are owned by a company, not tinted and with rims. A system where you can have an electronic card and pay to top-up etc. And a proper schedule. There goes half your traffic, I’d prefer to sit on a bus and do some reading or something than sit in traffic driving, if it is a safe comfortable bus.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know why the median of the bypass improvement is soooo wide and why there is a light pole about every 10 feet? I know that CUC needs to make money somehow and easiest by getting it from Government but come on!!! I hope pilots will not get confused thinking this is a new landing strip that way it will be lit up.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The real focus of attention should be what the Darts are doing on the West Bay road opposite Royal Palms.
      Dangerous now and only there to allow construction above….destruction of a way of life by pretending to be a crosswalk. What an insult to the intelligence of the public and planning board.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh no, I assure you, there was no need to ‘sneak’ this by the planning board. So no insult there.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Traffic is ridiculous these days. I hope what they come up with works.
    Then again, it probably won’t help much just waste my hard earn money I pay in indirect taxes.
    Spend money, redo, spend money, redo —- no proper management within these departments.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Blah blah blah!
    In another 7 years those same highways or additional lanes will be just as congested as they are now unless we start to have the uncomfortable conversation on controlling number of imported cars per year.

    Yes many will frown upon this but it is illogical to think we will have over pass over overpass decade after decade, grow the population and not expect the dog gone roads we are building to become overloaded again!. C’mon government – for once think and stop patch patching the whole place plugging gaps with road here and there.
    As usual, backward thinking with little foresight to do the right thing.




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  9. Sharkey says:

    If you all want to know how real road work is done when you do it the right way and knows how to . Where I live there’s enough cars to cover Cayman twice . The traffic was so bad it would take 15 to 20 min go about 5 miles some days . They put in two lanes each way , now I can do that distance 10 min . And the lanes were put in without disrupting the traffic until the black top was done .




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  10. Anonymous says:

    I want to know what happened to the original plans for the road from Bimini Drive that actually went around Hurleys by the skate park to the roundabout. What happened to our prescriptive rights and the acquisition of property under the roads law?




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    • Sharkey says:

      Anonymous 10:55pm you are ever so right , it almost looks like someone made the decision with that road to leave a land owner with all of his property for development and profits .
      It will be interesting to know who is the owner of the property in that area.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need another bloody lane what we need is another highway or an extension to ETH bypassing the airport and Hurleys. even if that means crossing water and/or wetland. It takes almost an hour just to get from town to Hurleys most nights. Many still are not even half way home at that point. Stop adding to the problem by feeding it more lanes and start alleviating it by building a new highway. Please?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Flexi Time?




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      • Anonymous says:

        If only, but my employer does not allow it. If all employers gave flexible hours that in itself would likely alleviate the roads. If it isn’t bad enough already look how much worse it is when the kids are in school.

        A simple two lane highway extension of the ETH from West to East, bypassing the airport and Hurleys would likely fix all of this for good.




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    • Lloyd Christmas says:

      You can build a new road, but people may not use it. Red Bay, heading east, can be bypassed on a nice stretch of dual carriageway, which brings you to the Chrissie Tomlinson roundabout…but nope, you get plenty of traffic that chooses to blast through Red Bay still, as you see them again at the roundabout. Pure stupidity.




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  12. Stop sign says:

    Another waste of money….traffic worst in the morning as far back at lantern point so what difference will the new plans make? We have more educated persons with dumb ideas that is causing grief every work week! Common sense does make things easier and much cheaper like blocking the crew road in the mornings.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Lower the speed limit to 20 mph. Enforce it and traffic is gone.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Hurley’s bottle neck current solution, do not allow right turn from SSound road on to Old Crewe Road 7am to 9am and the reverse from 430pm to 700pm. This would stop the drivers racing to try ‘jump’ the traffic however it simply causes a larger back up as these drivers then try cut/force in at the traffic circles. Simple solution at minimal cost.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree one million percent that is where the problem is stop traffic from entering off south sound road problem solved..Send them through old crew road to kings round about and traffic will be smooth sailing…




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    • Anonymous says:

      they put up a sign on SS road saying that for the morning commute and you know what it did? Absolutely nothing because no one paid attention to it. Good theory, but sadly no followthrough




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      • Right ya so says:

        I live at the top of SS road so under your solution because I can’t turn onto Old Crewe Road I would have to come out of my house, go back up to Hurley’s roundabout, turn left at Scotia and then sit in traffic in front of the Lion’s Center for 25 minutes so that I can use Crewe Road. I use Old Crewe Road, don’t queue jump and drive down Crewe Road cos I absolutely hate the push and shove mentality on Linford!




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  15. Anonymous says:

    They don’t know how to do it right first time! Nowhere within the entire public service can the public get proper service(s) the first time. In most cases, they never ever get it right but at the very least, things have to be repeated! What’s happened to Franz Manderson’s initiatives to improve the standards of the PS?? In any case, even if there were to be a culture shift within the PS, they can’t begin to dislodge the present entrenched culture of ineptness and apathy!

    Most senior staff throughout the PS are incapable of doing their job to the levels expected in a high cost-of-living society like ours. Of course if senior levels are incompetent, how can they hire capable people? They wouldn’t recognize capability, they would reject it – some would feel threatened!

    As a wise old lady told me many years ago, “Cayman will be run by morons”. Hmmm?




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  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s called the “read-my-mind” school of driving. Relatively recently, extensively practiced on Grand Cayman roads. What amazes me more about that increasing demographic of poor drivers are the road test inspectors who test/pass them and let them get a license.

    I know someone who discussed an accident, which had happened on a roundabout, with a driving inspector and the inspector did not know who has the right of way on a roundabout! How the heck can he test someone?

    No amount of expensive new roads will correct moron drivers!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know which inspector you are referring to but I was recently given my license by one that knew very well who has the right of way.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Lol is it the one inspector who crashed the ‘1997~8 Toyota Supra’ racing whilst on the job? Actually on the same road they want to makeover now?




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  17. Anonymous says:

    And can someone move the plethora of signs at the intersection of Frank Sound? Why are so many signs there blocking the view of drivers? This area used to be much safer with wide open views until recent years, Why is Planning / NRA /Police MLA’s allowing this?




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  18. Phil says:

    The government need have few public people to enter other ideas to save millions of dollar hiring overseas overpaid consultants which often their reports collect dust!




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  19. Sarcastic t#&t says:

    Easy solution, how about teaching every driver the highway code. Especially the part that mentions using the turning lights (indicators). This would help all drivers know what the other drivers intentions were, and actually in turn help alleviate traffic.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    About 3 months out to yet another tourism high-season and we still haven’t built a safe and uniform sidewalk on the east side of West Bay Road in the heart of the Hotel/Tourism Zone. Where is that on the priority list?




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  21. Lo-Cal says:

    Why don’t we make some of these roads one way traffic? LPH should be both lanes going to town one way and Crewe Rd out of town both lanes one way. The side roads Ella Mae, Birchwood, Windfern, Alamo and Canal Ln can be two way for traffic that needs to turn. Max cost $500,000.00




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with making some of our roads one-way…that would help traffic flow. But this is a very interesting topic. Let’s see what they do in the end




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Traffic lights at ALT, Elgin Avenue, Kings, Hurleys and Prospect roundabouts, change the dual carriageway between Kings and Prospect roundabout to 5 lanes, 2 each way and a turning lane.

    Roundabouts do not work in rush hour. It can take 20 minutes to travel the 500 meters from Shedden Road to enter the roundabout at Elgin avenue heading east, while there is no wait whatsoever for the cars entering from Elgin Avenue mostly from the Governm…

    Never mind.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you are not a driver. A turning lane ? You must be delusional. The current roundabouts are not great but they work. Its just the Red Bay and Selkirk road that needs an alternate solution.




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    • Anonymous says:

      In the UK high traffic areas, especially around motorways, have temporary traffic lights during peak hours. It’s a regular roundabout during quiet times and turns to traffic light system during rush hour.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing wrong with roundabouts. Its the drivers need improving not the roads




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      • Anonymous says:

        you’re never going to change the drivers. We should replace all roundabouts with traffic lights. This island has gone crazy with roundabouts!!




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  23. Anonymous says:

    ETH northbound should be “leftlane must exit” just prior to the Fosters “suicide corner” so that traffic returning into the left northbound lane from that exit can do so without risking their lives (and kids lives) with the blind high-speed sweeper to the south. It’s super dangerous – and about to become much more complicated by the MLA-owned Rubis service station going in. Does someone need to die before the NRA hires an engineer? Recurring accident sites, bike lanes that suddenly end in full-speed roundabouts…random unforgiving vehicle-launching curbing at corner exits with no runoff room…the list of “obvious” engineering errors is long. Who signs off on this stuff? Are they still employed?




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  24. GreenWheels says:

    Create cycle lanes and promote safe commuter cycling on island.
    Improve public transportation routes, schedules, and stops.

    Allow people to have reliable and safe alternatives to driving their car everywhere and we will see a decrease in traffic. Adding more lanes does not solve the traffic problem in the long run especially if the amount of cars imported is not being regulated and other forms of transportation are not being explored.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Safe, tree-shaded cycle lanes should be a no-brainer. These boulevards should be everywhere! No excuse.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Improve public transport ROUTES? How about improving public transport PERIOD?!! Public transport is so awful it is only an option for those working on or below minimum wage that have no other option. With so few major roads and population centers, how difficult would it be to have a proper bus system???

      Talk about a no brainer.

      Lower the cost of living, reduce traffic, improve safety and help the environment all in one shot. Government barely has to lift a finger. Just put it out to tender and let some company make out like a bandit in return for providing a safe, reliable and reasonably priced service.




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  25. Anonymous says:

    I think they should just use the lanes we currently have but have them switch based on the time of day. So in the morning you would have 3 lanes going into town and 1 going east and then the other way around in the afternoon. While the work is being done on the bypass just make it one way based on the time of day.

    I would suggest the left lane coming up to Hurley’s be forced to go South Sound, then the other two lanes could still go correctly around the roundabout.




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  26. Anonymous says:

    If they put a set of lights at Selkirk, then there would not be problems with the “race track” as some one put it. The people from Selkirk could then turn left and right safely and it would slow down traffic in the area coming from both directions.

    The government owns the land that is the dirt road behind the church, not sure what the Premier is referring to when he says it goes on to private land as many know the history of that development and know that the Hurleys roundabout was made for them to get out of that development and we have been waiting for that dirt road to be gazetted which has been promised by government for years and they come up with lots of excuses why they haven’t done it as yet.

    Why is it that they seem to overlook the simplest of solutions and always look to the more complicated and costly ones to fix a problem.

    We can’t even get the speed bumps back on Selkirk Drive to stop those little jerks on their illegal bikes racing up and down or have the lines by the Red Bay Esso to Lighthouse school painted with arrows for the turning lanes.

    Let’s just keep talking about it and get nothing done.




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  27. Anonymous says:

    Really??! We need to hold our Governments accountable for wasting public funds. The area Premier McLaughlin speaks about was “re-designed” and repaved less than ten years ago – with all the stupid design elements we observe! Now it’s to be completely re-designed again!!??

    Why can’t any Government entity do their job right the first time?? Then political leaders just spend (waste) more of our $$$$ to correct failures and no one is held accountable for screwing up and wasting public funds in the first place. Enough!!




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  28. Sharkey says:

    The NRA has a long term plan to buy the software , but is going hire a consultants to study the traffic . Which one is the cheapest and best investment ? The software or the consultant ?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Consultants are cheaper one-off but doing it yourself (software + staff engineer) cheaper in the long run. However when doing budgets cheaper-now often preferred as its what you can afford. (At least my budget works out that way in real life.)




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      • Anonymous says:

        A 2007 consultant’s report recommended that the NRA buy traffic monitoring software but apparently this was ignored.




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  29. Unison says:

    I’ve never seen bad road planning: To get into Rubis gas station along Shamrock Road, YOU HAVE TO CROSS A MERGING LANE coming out of Hurleys. Its a dangerous setup waiting for a serious accident to occur in front a gas station! Who would think of putting a merging lane at the entrance of a gas station?! 😐




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    • Anonymous says:

      The key word you may want to look at is, ‘think’. Not everyone thinks in the same way. There are whole cultures that ‘think’ in a way that you don’t understand. And they don’t understand how you/we think.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You mean who would think of approving a gas station entrance through an existing merging lane?




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  30. Anonymous says:

    I have witnessed a school bus actually stopping on the roundabout, using his lights to stop other traffic.




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  31. Anonymous says:

    Government, it is time to think about building highways.




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    • Observer says:

      We already have highways, they just have roundabouts in the middle for no reason whatsoever.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I have it on good (police) authority that the plethora of roundabouts is a traffic calming measure. Hilarious, clog up all the traffic to “calm” it instead of allowing a free flow. Illogical if you ask me.




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  32. Anonymous says:

    Highway to East End please




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  33. Anonymous says:

    Shamrock is a race track. We got almost killed there when a Flowers Watertank Truck was speeding like mad on the inner lane towards town and had to slam on the breaks because someone had stopped to make a turn onto Sellkirk Drive and in order to avoid hitting that car, he had to swerve over into our lane, almost wiping us out.

    There should be a barrier in place along Shamrock Road that prevents one to be able to make a right turn when driving west. Let them go to the roundabout and come back up.

    Also, I really don’t understand why in this day and age we still don’t have automated speed traps installed all over the Islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Photo radar has been highly effective in many countries. Its a simple system. It’s an avoidable tax in that you dont pay it by simply obeying the speed limit.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re lucky you weren’t supplied Flowers for your grave!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why make such a post? It is not possible to turn onto Selkirk Dr if you are heading west into town on Shamrock Road as you approach Selkirk Dr; there is a concrete median so the barrier that you are suggesting already exists. Amazingly, more people agree with you than disagree. Highlights why the comments on here have no be taken with a heavy dose of salts.




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  34. Anonymous says:

    Stop traffic going down Old Crewe road and joining South Sound, it cuts off the free flow from West to East. Or add traffic lights to the South Sound traffic, limiting the access. The main reason roundabouts don’t work is if the traffic flow is unbalanced, by having too much traffic joining from SS it cuts off the main two lanes heading east. Or if you want to go old school put someone out there between 4pm and 7pm to direct traffic. One policeman at 3 hours a day 365 days of the year would cost less than $30k, all they need to do is restrict the SS flow, I’m going to bet that a traffic survey, extra lanes etc etc is going to cost north of $500k, or about 16 years worth of low tech fixing!




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  35. Anonymous says:

    Segregated cycle lanes please. I would cycle more if I felt it was safer and if more people did, that would be less traffic.




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  36. Yes says:

    Interesting comments. I have the following comments. The bus stop by hurleys is too far to cause a view obstruction at the junction of selkirk drive. The problem you have is people existing the new rubis gas station by hurleys is too close to selkirk drive and are surprising drivers when the exist selkirk.
    2nd make the road behind the gas station a public road and then make the dirt track from selkirk a one way only. Gov make private road public all the time. Come on guys.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The church wall needs to be set back like the other property owners to the west. Drivers exiting Selkirk drive have to pull too far out to see if it is clear. Also the speed limit for area should be lower. 40 mph is crazy and most drivers are doing 60.
      Come on police show your presence




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      • Anonymous says:

        The Church needs to be knocked down, it should never have been allowed to built there in the first place.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed on the church wall, but lowering the speed limit from 40mph is just crazy. It is a main road and should remain at 40mph. Lowering the speed limit will not make the road any more safe. the road just needs to be designed properly from now with the future in mind. The number of cars on the road will once again increase significantly in 10-15 years.




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  37. Anonymous says:

    build a flyover at hurleys, the outside lane goes over the top and lands the other side. no stopping for the majority of traffic. local traffic goes in the inside lane.

    very common in the uk




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  38. Sharkey says:

    I am not an engineer , but from what I am reading it sound like there’s a traffic congestion problem in the roundabout and no one knows how to fix it . And Mr McLaughlin is talking in the article like he is the engineer and master mind . In the whole article there is nothing said about an engineer. The NRA don’t even have a traffic modeling software yet , and possibly not even a real engineer.

    I see now why Government waste so much money on projects, and when they are finished you’re right back to square one , and too much Taxpayers money to play with.




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  39. Anonymous says:

    The east bound speed limit from Hurleys needs to be dropped to either 25 or 30 mph and the police need to be present to enforce it. Vehicles come out of that roundabout like a marble out of a slingshot




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  40. Anonymous says:

    I hope its better than the new Jose Esso crappy junction




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    • Anonymous says:

      Before we go labeling a particular redesign as a crappy junction could we get some actual numbers about number and seriousness of accidents as well as average speed of traffic during peak times. Compare against numbers for the same for a comparable period of time in a prior year.

      Should be easy to get numbers of accidents and percent of accidents with injuries. Average speeds would require some traffic survey data which we might not have a “before” figure to compare to.

      The junction near Jose’s and the junction on Esterley Tibbetts at Lawrence Blvd near Camana Bay have seen major redesigns. If the numbers show those redesigns have worked then it seems a traffic engineer who knew what her/she was doing got it right. Maybe government should consider seeking a redesign for the Grand Harbour through Selkirk area from such a professional. Do it right this time.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I find that the new roundabout there is working adequately at smoothing the traffic flow.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Joses junction is one of the best that the government has put in. Traffic flows smoothly and it is much safer than it used to be. Road users just need to have more patience and slow down and have some road manners.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Lol your ALL joking right??




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        • Anonymous says:

          No. You just don’t know how to drive, apparently.




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          • Anonymous says:

            It’s a massive improvement. I’m surprised anyone would think differently. The only problems I have see is people turning right towards the airport not understanding to give way to the right, but that’s bad driving not bad design.




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    • Right ya so says:

      I don’t think it’s the junction that’s the problem as it seems to be working really well, I think it’s the entrance into Jose’s that’s the problem – it’s almost immediately on the left as you come off Shamrock. If they could move that entrance a bit further up Agnes Way it would be better – there’s going to be a huge pile up there if they don’t




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