Crossing expected to make West Bay Road safer

| 25/06/2012

walk.JPG(CNS): A crosswalk to be established close to the Strand Shopping Centre on the West Bay Road is the first of several new crossing places along the key artery to make things safer for both pedestrians and drivers. Government officials said Monday that the National Roads Authority (NRA) will start work on the new crosswalk shortly, which was identified in a 2010 review on ways to improve pedestrian safety on West Bay Road. "West Bay Road carries a high volume of traffic and running through a largely a tourist area, there is unfortunately a high potential for traffic accidents,"said NRA Transportation Planner Marion Pandohie. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

"Creating the crosswalk is the first step in attempting to make this stretch of road safer for drivers and pedestrians alike," she added.

Once the Esterley Tibbetts Highway is completed the NRA will be installing several more crosswalks on the road which runs parallel to Seven Mile Beach. The NRA is also set to undertake intersection improvements at Lawrence Boulevard which will also improve the pedestrian landscape of the West Bay Road.

The crosswalk is one of several long- and short-term measures identified to improve road safety in the busy tourist area. Other proposals included reducing the speed limit from 40 to 30 mph; providing flashing yellow lights to be activated by pedestrians and enabling them to safely cross the road, and the improvement of overhead lighting for better pedestrian visibility.

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Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And put some of those speed bumps -sleeping policemen- there too

  2. Anonymous says:

    I once had the idea of putting a raised mono-rail running from GT to WB, with various stops.

    Bonus of cheap transport from bars at night, and should knock a few of the crazy bus drivers off the WB Road,

    Good for tourists and they might even be able to catch a glimpse of SMB from there.

    COuld be used for a faster commute aswell, knocking more cars from that route, and from the number of cars on that the WB raod as well as the bypass, there would be plenty of travellers

    Government seems to have money to burn, so why not

    Just remember lots of insurance for the hurricanes

  3. Peter Milburn says:

    Cheapest and easiest way to make the west bay road safer is drop the speed limit to 25 MPH and ENFORCE it.Something also needs to be done with that centre lane to stop SOME not ALL of those idiotic bus drivers from flying down just so they can do a quick turnaround for more fares.Higher fines for speeding will help Govts budget woes!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    When the cross walk islands were installed last time some idiot arranged the fence on the centre island such that the pedestrian was forced to face away from the oncomming traffic in the lane they were about to cross. As the majority of people using these cross ways will be from the USA they are not used to checking for traffic from the left when they are in a central part (island) of the crosswalk, the island  should be constructed so that the pedestrian faces oncomming traffic so they can see vehicles approaching…..Common sense.

  5. Anonymous says:

    plus they should stop the speeding muppetts from west bay in their20 yr old blacked out civics…….

  6. Anonymous says:

    That road is a nightmare to drive. The  bus diver wih a sticker on back window "I am not lucky, I am blessed" once barely escaped hitting me head on and leaving my children motherless. He did not want to slow down for a second and used a middle lane to pass a vehicle that stopped in from of him. But I was pulling into that lane from a side road and that vehicle stopped to allow me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shortly means they may start by 2015?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think it would make the road more dangerous if you ask me. Its better how it is now, because people run across the road. If you put a pedestrian crossing, they will walk across the road and that could be fatal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not sure the name of it, but maybe an overhead crossing might be an idea cause it's more safer and less traffic.

  10. Kadafe says:

    What they do in the states is they have speed detectors with cameras and license plate readers. So speeders automatically get a ticket in the mail attached to their picture in the mail. Making the traffic system more efficent and relying less on rcips traffic dept to catch speeders so they can concentrate on the other things. It works.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since a significant number of vehicles on the road have no front number plate and the rear one is obscured with a tinted plastic covering, this scheme will be less than 100% effective.  I cannot understand why these drivers are not stopped, ticketed for no front plate and obscured rear plate, the rear platecovering removed & confiscated and the vehicle searched for firearms,drugs and any other contraband. 

  11. Anonnymous says:

    I am happy to see that something is being done to make West Bay Road a little safer for pedestrians.  Driving habits on this stretch are just atrocious  (the mini buses are included in those driving in a dangerous manner) and until the speed limit is lowered and drivers are made to account for their actions, there probably won't be much change.

    I have another appeal to the NRA – there is a painted cross-walk (which is largely ignored by motorists) in front of the John Gray Memorial Church Hall.  The paint is so faded on this now that it is barely visible.  There have been calls to NRAto put in a raised cross walk in this location due to the fact that small children attend after school at this Church Hall every week day when school is in and that there are other regular activites including children and young adults and the elderly of the community.  I believe the excuse that was given was that the road is a "main" road and they cannot put in a raised crosswalk -more so than Elgin Avenue, I wonder? The traffic comes racing from the north toward the 4-way stop as if they are trying to take flight and because there is a slight bend in the road, by the time they can see someone in the crosswalk they wouldn't be able to stop.  This is a real hazard. I hope someone from NRA reads this and decides to pay some attention.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    "..which was identified in a 2010 review on ways to improve pedestrian safety on West Bay Road."

     

    The NRA has been advocating for these crosswalks since at least 2007, so 2010 might just be when the UDP "review-ed" the NRA's work and recommendations on putting crosswalks on WB road, but the UDP did not come up with this on their own.

    • Anonymous says:

      I haven't been down there for awhile, but as a tourist driver some of that road is very dark and when people walk out into the road it is very hard to see them. How about some lights??? I am thinking it is heading up by the Ritz where it gets pretty dark, but correct me if I am wrong.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why not subway crossings? They work well in other places around the world. (And please don't blame our watertable.)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have been waiting for these types of measures for a long time and support this with one caveat.  This is one already backed-up junction, especially to the north as many stop to let people out (and some then still attempt to go flying past with many near misses and at leastone fatal accident in the past).  The markings for the crossing are already on the road just south of the junction – have a think about it.  Once this is in place, you are going to see the same thing from the south, a backed-up junction at peak times (12-2pm / after 5pm) due to queues waiting to merge right into the turning lane after the crossing.  Result?  Frustration, careless driving, and you can guarantee those lacking in IQ will be out in force trying to find anyway possible to get ahead of the car infront.  The crossing is without a doubt needed (and many more on the entire stretch of road as planned), but please re-design that entire junction as part of the package.  Roundabout?  Full stops with traffic lights for cars and pedestrians that seem to work very well in the UK and would probably be the safest?  Anything will do to improve the entire set-up for all concerned – it is one of the busiest and most dangerous junctions on West Bay Road.  Perhaps this is in the planning, if so apologies to everyone at the NRA, and thank you for starting to get these measures in place. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps while the NRA are in the area they can inspect the road surface between West Bay Road and Esterley Tibbetts and finally do something about that as a priority item.  Most travelled and worst surface in the country. 

    • NRA says:

      Nope, the WORST road is right on SMB, the ENTRANCE TO FOSTER'S FOOD FAIR.  

      Of course, the one used by ALL our tourists!!!!  But since there are no residential VOTERS on the road that services THE STRAND SHOPPING CENTER it remains a stretch of potholes only.

      Think we will see Ju Ju on her big paving machine for a road that actually NEEDS attention?

  16. Here is an idea to email to the NRA says:

    Here is a question…..has ANYONE seen a  POSTED SPEED LIMIT SIGN from the 4-way stop in West Bay to The Wharf?  Nope!  They so NOT exist…..how about posting the darn speed limit to 25 MPH thus encouraging the use of the by-passes inland?

    The way people SPEED on SMB is shameful….cross walks will not solve this, only RCIP speed traps for two solid months hading out tickets to ANYONE going above 30MPH.  Ticket the speeders and FORCE people to slow down = too simple for our Governement to understand?  

    This needs to be RE-LEARNED AS A "SLOW ZONE" PEOPLE!!!

    The future of our tourism depends on it.  Come on, send letters and letters and letters to the NRA Board, the RCIP,. and make a SIMPLE CHANGE to slow down traffic for a very short five miles….(on SMB)

    This should take about three days of meetings and a week to implement- I challenge the NRA, the RCIP, and the CI Government to actually do this.  

    Not rockey science folks, it is a tourist road with by-passes right behind it.  Just post to slow the speeders down and enforce a residential speed limit!?!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes there's one just after the fire station oposite cemetery beach, says 40 on it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    good idea…but when?…no timeframe given….. sounds like another soon come story to me……

  18. Loopy Lou says:

    Given I once saw a taxi move across the middle lane into the oncoming traffic lane to overtake at Wendy's I doubt anything will make Cayman roads safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      I saw once passengers of a mini bus screaming in a terror as it was heading head on into my vehicle from a middle lane. "Cayman kind" is an insult to reality. Those drivers are all Caymanian.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Few more "on demand" crosswalks must be installed on this road. Just like across the Government building on Elgin Avenue.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wow, finallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy something will be done!

  21. Anonymous says:

    And dont forget one between Westin and Sunshine Suites!  Also please reduce the speed limit to 25MPH as the poster already mentioned and may I suggest speed bumps be placed every 50 feet or so in the middle lane.  This will help ensure it is used for turning vehicles as it was intended, NOT a passing lane as it is being used for now!  I am sure this will help reduce the potential for pedestians being struck down.  I drive tours and everyday I see someone stop to let people cross te road or I stop myself only to have someone overtake and almost mow them down.  Yellow lines will not help…….speed bumps will since we no longer have a traffic dept. to maintain patrols.  This is a very dangerous road to cross and has the most heavy pedestrian traffic on the island with most of them being tourists and the speed limit is 40 MPH…..CRAZY and  INSANE.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Can we have some bicycle lanes painted please.

  23. OH MY GOODNESS! says:

    Wow! It took the Geniuses 10+ years after the suicide cages were removed  from the road  back in 2000 after people protested about the ludicrousness of that idea. 

  24. Anonymous also says:

    DUH!!!  no kidding no one ever thought of that.  Did mac finally give permission?

  25. Anonymous says:

    About freaking time!

  26. Anonymous says:

    er didn't we have these before?

    and people still got wiped out

    • Anonymous1 says:

      We did have them before. 2 or 3 of them actually.  I remember one was exactly across from what was then the bowling alley before it became JMichaels.

      I cant remember exactly why or who decided to remove them.  One step forward and one step back and one step forward……..

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, we did have them before and the taxi drivers complained because they couldn't speed down the middle lane and pass everybody…… Not sure if that's why they were removed though.

  27. CHECHE says:

    This is good news, WB Rd really doesn't have enough pedestrian crossings for the amount of traffic (motor vehicle and foot) in the area,

    Crosswalks aren't forcefields to protect people from becoming car decals though, so hopefully drivers will comply with the new additions.

  28. Deefence says:

    Waiting for the inevitable story of the drunk driver mowing down someone on the crossing.

    • Anonymous says:

      If properly done as they were in the first place  cross walk will have a pedestrian island in the center (turning) lane so that the pedestrian only has to negotiate one lane at a time and has a safe place in the center of the road to stage the crossing of the second lane from. However these pedestrian islands proved unpopular to those impatient drivers who like to use the center (turning) lane as a passing lane so they were removed. Remains to be seen whether they will be replaced or the designers will continue to accomodate these reckless drivers.

    • jsftbhaedrg says:

      Exactly what will happen, guaranteed.

      I can only assume that the NRA will install traffic lights with this said crossing?

    • Uncle Floyd says:

      But the excuse will be, "Yes I maimed or killed an innocent by my selfish decision to put drinking before others, but I am really really sorry so can I have a light sentence".

  29. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news.  Hopefully the other proposals will be implemented ASAP.   Would also like to see two bright yellow lines painted down the entire WB road to further slow down those psyhco drivers who continue to endanger lives with their unncessary passing in this high pedestrian area.  Furthermore, I bet the police could single handedly fund their own operating budget by issuing speeding tickets on WB road during the early morning hours and when its time to get the cruiseshippers back to the port.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yellow lines do not hand out speeding tickets, nor do they send people to court to loose their licenses.  As you suggest, we need the people we already pay to show up and perform.  

       

  30. Anonymous says:

    Please don't forget by public beach and Calico beach please

  31. Anonymous says:

    About time this was done. The speed limit on WBR also needs to be dropped to 25mph south of Tiki Beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Were these bozos to pass the revisions to Traffic Law, it would already be so!