Major road works planned

| 25/07/2019 | 142 Comments
Cayman News Service
(L-R) Planning Minister Joey Hew, Premier Alden McLaughlin and MLA Austin Harris

(CNS): The government is planning some major road works in an effort to fix traffic congestion for people living in the Eastern Districts. Speaking at a public meeting in Prospect on Thursday for residents in both Red Bay and Prospect, officials outlined some major plans for widening, upgrading and improving the safety of existing roads, as well as building new ones designed to tackle the mounting traffic woes in those communities and beyond.

Dozens of people turned up to the Seafarers Hall to get an update on the work planned to widen roads in an area where some of the worst bottlenecks on Grand Cayman are occurring. The minister responsible for roads, Joey Hew, said that the Cayman Islands cannot keep building roads because there is very little space left for them, and government had to look at other solutions. However, he revealed a considerable amount of roadworks in the pipeline.

This includes widening the stretch of Crewe Road between Kings Sports Centre roundabout and the Hurley’s roundabout to six lanes, creating a back connector road from the Selkirk Drive area to Grand Harbour, and starting the East-West Arterial Road extension.

Residents were clearly exasperated by the many problems they encounter, not just with traffic congestion but also the increased flooding in their communities, as development in these very low lying areas continues to grow. However, there were many different opinions on how it could all be solved.

Red Bay representatives Premier Alden McLaughlin and Prospect MLA Austin Harris, who has still not joined the PPM officially but remains on the government backbench, were also there to demonstrate their support for the roads projects, which they believe will help their constituents, “who are massively affected”. McLaughlin said that once the work begins, there “will be some pain”, but in the long run it would make things much better.

A catalog of issues were addressed at the meeting, including the trouble so many drivers appear to be having navigating roundabouts, which several people felt were now far too common in Cayman.

But the deputy chief officer in the planning ministry, Tristan Hydes, said that roundabouts are safer than four-way junctions and, when used properly, do help traffic to flow, but he acknowledged that the failure of drivers to use them properly was causing some of the congestion. He said drivers must use their signals properly to keep them moving.

Hydes revealed that the government has almost completed a new ‘rules of the road’ or ‘highway code book’, and the ministry will be releasing that shortly, along with a public education campaign about correctly navigating roundabouts, among other things.

Hydes and Acting NRA Director Ed Howell outlined various plans for the roads in the area over the coming years, including eventually making the Spotts stretch of Shamrock Road slower and safer, once the East-West Arterial Road extension was finished. He said work on Crewe Road and the East-West Arterial was expected to begin late August or early September.

They also spoke about road upgrades, including cycle lanes, pathways and pedestrian crossings, as government has now adopted the concept of complete streets for all users, not just cars.

But Hew spoke about more substantial and radical changes to come to tackle Cayman’s mounting traffic woes, warning that building more and more roads would not solve the problems as the population grows.

Hew said his ministry was looking at restricting imports of older cars, encouraging the importation of greener and electric vehicles, getting people to walk and use bikes more, especially in the cooler months, and improving the public transport system. This might include introducing ‘hop on, hop off’ buses, shuttles and park-and-ride schemes, among other ideas.

He also said that next year his ministry would begin the traffic study that was first announced by the premier in his policy statement in April, which will help inform future plans.

The premier repeated his belief that on the current trajectory of the Cayman Islands population, it would reach 100,000 within the next ten to fifteen years. But Hew said that, as the population grows, transport will become an evermore critical issue.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, development, Local News, Politics

Comments (142)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    why have they put in all those new cross walks in where nobody crosses and next to roundabouts?

    Meanwhile watching Intertrust and Walkers staff trying to get across Sheddon road at lunch playing frogger, while amusing (unless th’er not lawyers), is highly dangerous and desperately needs a cross walk

    • Benevolent Mindflayer says:

      If you build it, they will come. One of the reason not many people cross next to the roundabouts now is that it’s very dangerous.
      And if you’re referring to Walkers, Intertrust and CNB staff trying to get across Elgin Avenue, you’re quite right. A cross walk is needed there, especially since parking for some of them is across the street.

      • Anonymous says:

        we don’t need anymore cross walks that is one thing thats creating the traffic need to come up with a overhead crossing lets get with the times have some ingenuity not just slapping down pedestrian crossings here and there its just going to make traffic congestion worst

        1
        2
  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not encourage some firms to open up satellite offices in Savannah or Bodden Town, keep some of the congestion away from GT.
    Offering strict subsidies to firms to do so, would be cheaper than building all the new roads.

    Some firms are now overflowing in their locations in GT, give them a go east incentive.

    As for flooding, this is only going to get worse with climate change (man made or not), we need the CPA to either stop allowing developers to build in low areas or have the provide uprising of properties and proper runoff channels to stop them flooding nearby low lying houses and roads.

    15
    1
  3. Anonymous says:

    I switched from a car to a 125cc motorcycle recently and I’m getting around 125 miles PER GALLON.

    Not to mention the traffic skipping ability while not taking up a car space on the road or parking!

  4. Anonymous says:

    A dysfunctional government can not come up with ideas that work. A dysfunctional government can not take a workable plan that others came up with and make it work. A dysfunctional government is what Cayman islands have and the main problem to making anything it touches work correctly. You have only to look at the dump and garbage pick up to see that this government is in way over their heads already. Plan for it. Watch it fail. Life goes on.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You can be sure of one thing. If CIG is doing it it will be way over cost, not up to spec, and take twice as long as say DART could do it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If any of the readers have travelled to the Florida Keys surely a solution would be say a road starting at Safehaven and going all away across North Sound and reconnnecting somewhere near the top of Hirst Road in Savannah (maybe top of North Sounds estates), or further east.

    6
    2
  7. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea, if CIG was smart, yeah it took me a while to type that and not laugh. If they were smart they would build all new roads/bypasses/highways/arterials with a median wide enough to put in a monorail system. If Disney can do it why can’t we. Clean, speedy, timely, 24 hours if need be.

    17
    13
    • Anonymous says:

      Clever remark totally ignoring the fact that most road reservations are not wide enough for this.

      14
      • Anonymous says:

        You can use the medians

        1
        5
      • Anonymous says:

        As I said “build all new roads/bypasses/highways/arterials with a median wide enough to put in a monorail system”. Damn bro learn to read.

        1
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Their point was that the actual road corridor isn’t wide enough in most cases to do so. Government would need to purchase a lot of private land to expand the corridor, which is prohibitively expensive as the Linford Pearson debacle has shown. Damn bro, learn to think.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can’t even manage parking meters or implement a bus system.

      15
    • Anonymous says:

      Good except people will need to cross over a side of fast moving traffic to get off at their final destinations

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sorry, but your contract will not be renewed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    One new road could fix 80% of the traffic issues by the Hurley’s Round-a-bout but CIG doens’t have the balls to put a road close to rich neighborhoods unless they were needed.

    Solution? Simply this.

    Drop the new road by Country and make the left lane to it a turn only so asshats won’t block the entrance because they are going straight, make it go behind Hurleys, cut right under Patrick’s Island straight across through Prospect Part to join up with the East West Arterial on the other side of the Prospect Primary School and then have the East West continue straight and curve upwards and then go OVER Frank Sound Rd like highways in the US do but make it where cars can exit and enter from there if need be and have the EWA go straight across to end between Gun Bay and Colliers Beach. Create a second option to get home if you live eastward. EWA if you live North side and or Gun Bay area or take Shamrock Rd to skirt through Bodden Town all the way around the coast to Gun Bay.

    Alden was right, CIG just can’t keep building roads but this is what happens when you have F**K ALL planning. Just build useless roads to put money in you’re buddy’s pockets. Anyone with sense look at a map of Cayman and tell me that wouldn’t work wonders.

    14
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      It is possible that a stop light could help at the Hurley’s roundabout like they have in England to alleviate congestion. One for Souh Sound and one coming from Kings gym alternating. That might work. I just don’t see that more roads will be the answer and Joey is correct here, we are running out of room for them.

      1
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        That may work but you forget us Caymanians and people from the islands don’t even know how to use an indicator. You must remember that.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Express lanes (“If you’re going to Savannah and further east, get off here and take the express way”) , over passes and turning lanes for left turns needed!
    For example.. sitting at the light by Eucalyptus Bldg/Cotton Club and I’m trying to get to Thomas Russell way… there should be a free turning lane going left at all junctions.

    Sigh. You would swear these people don’t travel and see how other places operate and function.

    22
    • three stooges says:

      The three blind mice. Why do we need 100,000 people. Caymanians are already out numbered and can not get a job in their own country. The Cayman Islands can’t continue to issue work permits to everyone who wants to come here.. We do not need more people, traffic, Garbage etc. What do you say to that Larry, curley, Hew.

      34
      10
      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, In attempting to grow the population of a small island such as grand cayman to 100k, job losses for caymanians will be the least of our worries.

        6
        1
  10. Anonymous says:

    No need to fret gentlemen. Once Ironwood and the Mandarin are complete, half the population will be working out east anyway. Right?

    28
    3
  11. Anonymous says:

    If we need to have “a public education campaign about correctly navigating roundabouts” which have been around for decades then we are surely lost! There cant be many people left driving here that past a driving test before there was a roundabout.

    19
  12. Anonymous says:

    They said years ago that they wanted to build the population but did NOTHING to prepare for it.
    How thick in the head must you be?

    29
  13. Johnny Rotten says:

    Hewy the clown at it again. Those “major roadworks in the pipeline” you refer to, one might think you are implying tunnels, subways, or even a hyperloop? Sarcasm aside, you’d better make sure that your plan is well thought out, not just a bandaid fix or it will be a POS coming down that pipeline.

    As many others have posted on here multiple times, rather than concentrate on laying more Barber Green, get a first class, island wide public transport system implemented, something that will last 20+ years. You do have a chance to graduate from the circus if you get this right!

    31
    1
  14. Anonymous says:

    Bottleneck problems are easy to solve. I switched to Red Stripe, and the beer from a bottle with no neck is very refreshing.

    23
    2
  15. Anonymous says:

    Fix the damn dump, clowns!

    30
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      I hope all this helps the traffic- after reading all the comments the only thing I have to add is for Austin to be any more PPM than he is he and the Premier would have to be conjoined twins. Let me also add if that is what he wants it is up to him but please do not take us all for fools. Man up and say it like it is.

      16
      2
  16. Anonymous says:

    It won’t help morning traffic, but for those going to the eastern districts at rush hour, use traffic stop signals to delay traffic from the South Sound road from joining the roundabout by Hurley’s. Please … just try it and see what happens.

    17
    8
    • Anonymous says:

      One would imagine that traffic would shift back to Linford Pearson and Crewe Road, pushing back to bottleneck earlier at the traffic light by the cricket field and jamming up North Sound Road… The root problem is the convergence of all east-bound traffic at the Hurley’s roundabout, the rest is just which route you take to get there…

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you talking to a group of kindergartens?

      3
      3
    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. I wrote to NRA suggesting this (never had a reply though). It would give traffic a chance to get out from the road coming from Kings Sports. Also – make Old Crewe Road tidal, so traffic can’t go down there from Kings roundabout between 4.30 and 6.30pm – to stop traffic pushing in and causing a big backup from South Sound. SS would then flow better as well as the Kings to Hurleys bit. Well, I thought it was worth a try – they could use those lights workmen use to save spending on the permanent sort to see if it had any effect.

  17. Anonymous says:

    For aspiring student drivers, there haven’t been road code books or online resources available for close to a year. This government can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    22
  18. For crying in my soup~ says:

    How can Joey not look at the nightmare in industrial park at his small round about through the new Red Gate road? Red Gate has only made the cluster F in industrial Park worse! What happened to the road that was to be built from the airport past the GT Yacht club along North Sound connecting to the bypass by the old Hyatt???? The traffic through that area is where most tourist have to pass coming or leaving the Island. What a sad statement.

    34
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      IT ALL BOTTLE NECKS AT HURLEYS

      HOW ARE THEY GOING TO AVOID THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      27
      2
      • Anonymous says:

        In Europe they put traffic lights on the roundabouts which are set to allow longer green lights depending on which way the main bulk of traffic will be flowing. At the Hurley’s roundabout this would also fix the fact that traffic coming from South Sound in the evening would no longer have right of way over the traffic coming from old Crew Road so the bottleneck wouldn’t exist anymore.. But this would depend on it being set up properly, which based on anything done by GOV in the past…

        13
        1
    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he is not able to garner votes up there in the boondocks! Anyway let me get to the subject of traffic. I am no expert but I believe to make any meaningful difference in the traffic flow in Cayman overall the following should first be done.

      1. Put in a proper bus service
      2. Ban the import of vehicles by anyone who does not operate a licensed dealership on the island.
      3. Ban the importation of those wore out Japanese imports, whether licensed dealership or not
      4. Restrict more than one vehicle per family. Adult single children still living with parents can take the bus.

      4. Stop giving building permits for any developments for George Town, South Sound and along the seven mile strip- that should also include government buildings

      This new plan will only create the bottle neck somewhere else if all roads still lead to George Town as it is now.

      10
      8
  19. Anonymous says:

    Most of the companies on island could offer flexible schedules or work from home options (some or all of the time). Imagine how much happier and more productive people would be if they weren’t sitting in traffic twice a day for an hour or more.

    Couple the above with a larger, more structured public transit system and traffic problems would be greatly reduced.

    34
    1
  20. Anonymous says:

    no amount of money can fix the abysmal driving habits on this island

    45
    1
    • Bishop Nicholas Sykes says:

      Well the start of fixing it is at the beginning – the drivers’ licence is a mark of obligation, not an entitlement. Every licence and renewal should require a written statement from the driver that he or she undertakes to adhere to the road code. Other things can follow this beginning.

      5
      3
    • 16oz Scam Pint says:

      Not true. If enough money were used to hire a professional police service that would actually enforce the traffic laws, the inconsiderate, idiotic driving habits would change. The fact that the cretins get away with what is happening on Grand Cayman’s roads these days emboldens others to drive like idiots, too. This problem is fixable if the police would do their jobs.

      12
      • Member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists says:

        You presuppose a) that Police driving is better then the general public, and b) that the average police officer actually knows the regulations.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Should be building a canal system instead of more roads.

    12
    3
  22. Anonymous says:

    Why not have a 24-hour bus service that runs steadily on time throughout the island? I think if they had a steady bus service where a bus stops at designated bus-stops every 20-30 minutes, more people would go for that.

    -Driftwood

    59
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      Why 24hrs? So the burglars, vandals, jacked-up crackheads, and nare-do-wells can all get around?

      8
      23
    • Anonymous says:

      Also, why not develop an app to tell you the location of the next bus on your route instead of wasting millions on ID cards?

      43
      1
      • Low Budget says:

        Great idea especially when gps trackers are cheap. Put one in every public bus. Oh wait it might reveal the crazy driving habits of some bus drivers.

        41
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Or, we could pay someone to sit in their running air conditioned government car at the Frank Sound junction everyday just to make sure the buses actually follow their assigned routes.

          Meanwhile, my golf cart locks up if I take it too close to the greens!

          17
          1
      • Anonymous says:

        It doesn’t even need to be developed. I believe Jersey (Channel Islands) has a bus tracking app set up already. We could mirror that.

        18
      • Anonymous says:

        They would all be sitting by the Flow building at the top of Eastern Avenue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Needs to be a 25 hour bus service if we are to get to work on time!

      16
      1
  23. Anonymous says:

    Will the NRA properly consider flooding from the roads BEFORE they build??

    25
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      No because when it’s all paved and there’s no roads to build anymore they need to redo them all for job security.

  24. Anonymous says:

    100,000 people on this rock? Yikes!

    36
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Premier, 100 k population in 10 years. What after that 120 k, then 150 k. What’s the point, ask any Caymanian and they will say life was better in the nineties when the population was half of what it is now, so why more and more population when it only drives up the cost of living, crime, road conjustion/accidents, u name it Etc, etc, etc.

      44
      1
  25. Anonymous says:

    What I cannot understand is what do green vehicles have to do with the number of cars on the roads – two separate issues conflated right there. I like the idea of one previous commenter, why not build overpasses at bottlenecks?

    31
    4
  26. Anonymous says:

    West Bay road can now be renamed Washboard road. Constant cutting, digging and patching by telecoms and water companies is ridiculous! Can these companies not plan beyond a week? As bad as it is, I hope Gov does not spend one more penny repaving that road.

    41
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      “Construction on steroids” said a Cayman visitor on Tripadvisor

      28
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        Forget about more roads and expanding them. Put in place a proper bus transportation system like in Bermuda. Putting more cars on the road and building more roads is NOT/NOT sustainable on this dinky island.

        25
        6
  27. Anonymous says:

    Election must be just around the corner…

    41
    1
  28. Anonymous says:

    the bottom line is, they are are actively looking at helping. And that’s what matters.

    7
    36
  29. Anonymous says:

    Road improvements are great and needed, however effective public transportation is part of the key to growing the infrastrcture. If I can get on a comfortable and cost effective form of transportation that can take me to work in 10 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes in traffic, I would use it.

    However with all of the eco radicals here obstructing just about anything that isn’t made of Tofu and feel-good emotions, this takes off the table just about anything you can think of. Such as a rail system like in Miami, or simpler systems like monorails, bridges, real buses. they will even oppose road expansions.

    16
    13
  30. Anonymous says:

    Utter idiocy!,
    What urgently needed is public transport service and overpasses at bottlenecks. “highway code book”….lol…simplify, not code road rules. No one has time or mental capacity to decipher any codes. People are overloaded with too much information, the main cause of ADD.
    CIG clowns have too much free time on their hands to come up with more nonsense and trying to re-invent a bicycle.

    31
    3
  31. Derrick Hunter says:

    Heard no mention of fixing the bottle neck problem at the end of Linford Pierson Highway.

    42
    1
  32. Anonymous says:

    The 3 stooges!

    27
    2
  33. Anonymous says:

    Suggestion: Can a Water Taxi system be introduced – use Spotts for users to park their cars and board the Water taxi to be taken to G.T. or other drop off points along SMB; taxi buses operating in GT can take the persons around

    20
    7
  34. Anonymous says:

    build a flyover for the hurleys roundabout please.

    32
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Not until they add more lanes they would eventually arrive to a conclusion that only an overpass would work. But first they have to appoint a commission

      29
      2
  35. Pentlouse says:

    Just relocate to the new Dart Tower, no more travel worries.

    9
    3
  36. Anonymous says:

    the roads are not the problem…its the amount of people traveling to the same place at the same time. solve that and you will solve the problem.

    28
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      It is not the number of traveling people, it the absence of bus system and overpasses at bottlenecks

      11
      3
    • Anonymous says:

      Try telling your boss the office should open at 9. I’m blue in the face already.

      13
      • Anonymous says:

        7am-4pm works great for me. Pretty much traffic free

        • Anonymous says:

          The dumb thing is that employers don’t seem to get the other obvious advantages of being flexible. Happier, more productive staff and if times are staggered without too much effort their businesses could operate longer hours. 9-5 could become 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, 10-6, 11-7. It’s a win-win. But still they won’t change.

          • Anonymous says:

            Consider where those making the decisions are coming from and then do the math. There is only one way that changes. That is the dilemma Cayman faces.

            2
            1
  37. Anonymous says:

    more roads = more traffic. end of story.

    15
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Following on from that logic, does this mean if we close some roads so there are less roads there will be less traffic?

      10
      3
  38. Anonymous says:

    for how many years will the mla’s keep saying ‘we can;t keep building more roads’???
    and then offer no solutions except building more roads???

    34
  39. Anonymous says:

    ha…what a joke…judging by the on-going shambles between galleria and governors square…..things are going to get a lot worse for the folks in red bay.

    14
    1
  40. Anonymous says:

    easy solution for cig.
    sell goab and relocate to bodden town. traffic problem solved and the eastern districts will get a much needed boost. win-win

    20
    2
  41. Anonymous says:

    these measures will have the same effect as the linford pierson extension…..as in asbolutly nothing!.

    17
    • Anonymous says:

      They would eventually arrive to such a conclusion. Meantime they have to keep their employees occupied between coffee and smoke breaks

      11
      1
  42. Anonymous says:

    8am- 5 pm traffic coming and going East suggestions that won’t cost millions

    Morning rush hour, no north access to the roundabout from Red Bay road until 9am.

    Hurley’s roundabout between the hours of 4:30 – 6 pm traffic from the East headed West to use the South Sound lane or turn on Old Crewe Road to continue west.

    Remove the small roundabout on Bobby Thompson and Install stop lights

    6
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      I like your second idea a lot. But we also have to block the north end of Old Crewe Road off. They already plan to install a stop light at the South Sound Road entrance to the Hurley’s roundabout. If you have such a light without blocking off Old Crewe Road, it will take even longer to go the very short distance between where the traffic piles up and where I live, which is just before the roundabout. It’s already unacceptably slow and the main cause is the two cars from Old Crewe Road that slip in for every one that goes by. The road layout allows them to have their car right next to the road, angled straight into it ready to get ahead of you; you have to cut them off deliberately. They shouldn’t be there at all. If you live on South Sound Road, you should be driving home on South Sound Road. If you don’t, you should be on what will be the newly widened Crewe Road, with traffic from South Sound Road will be controlled by stop light, allowing a free flow of vehicles east-west and the prompt arrival home of South Sound residents. At least, until someone coming east-west who gets off at 4 needs to go from home to Hurley’s.

      4
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        Unless you live on OCR or are picking up a child at the school you shouldn’t be allowed to use OCR as a short cut. The cops should be there every day at 4PM like they are at Prospect school every morning during the school year. And if everyone using SSR at night would STOP letting people out from OCR those idiots would stop using it as a short cut.

        10
  43. Anonymous says:

    from the ppm….the folks who stopped ride sharing apps coming to cayman…all because they wanted to protect the taxi cartel…..zzzzzzzzzz

    yep, thats what you are up against in in cayman in 2019.

    27
    1
  44. Anonymous says:

    Just in time for the run up to elections, real professional politicians.

    16
    1
  45. Anonymous says:

    these measure will have zero impact on traffic gridlock.
    it is all just window dressing before the next election….plus keeps the NRA and pwd busy.

    ppm’s real legacy will be their do-nothing, total failure in tackling caymans traffic crisis is a meaningful way

    12
    2
  46. Anonymous says:

    joey: we can’t keep building more roads. we will build more roads.
    zzzzzzzzzzz
    welcome to wonderland

    22
    1
  47. Anonymous says:

    Please regulate the buses. They all have numbers yet seem to go on whatever route they fancy that day!! Makes it very hard to rely on the bus in order to get to work on time.

    47
  48. Anonymous says:

    Where’s the West Bay Rd median you promised us Joey? Near The Captain’s Bakery wasn’t it? Why was that spot chosen again? Do enlighten us.

    31
    2

You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sponsored content