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Concern over traffic safety in neighbourhood

| 25/04/2016 | 2 Comments

To which department, and to who, can I address urgent pleas for installation of traffic-calming measures? I live in Snug Harbour, and my house backs onto Palm Heights Drive which drivers use at great speed – my gardeners who come once a month refuse to even use that road to get to me! Drivers fly down this road and it is a danger to other road users and to the children in the area.

Once you have made it safely off this road, you need to get onto the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, which is a frightening endeavour. Traffic hurtles around that corner at great speeds. Just this morning, one very nearly missed knocking over two pedestrians – the driver made no effort to slow down and may have missed them by just centimetres. I have never in all my life witnessed such aggression towards other drivers as I am now seeing in Cayman.

I would appreciate any advice that you can provide, including whether I need to gather a petition for these changes.


Auntie’s answer: Having addressed the issue of drunken bicyclists, along with general ignorance of the rules of the road,  in a previous column (Drinking and riding a bicycle), let me just say that lack of traffic safety is one of my pet peeves. So, your question hit close to home.

I took it to Denis Thibeault, assistant director, transportation & planning unit, of the National Roads Authority (NRA), an organisation whose reason for existence basically is to administer the roads and ensure that traffic flows efficiently and safely.

He suggested you look to the NRA website for help. There is actually an entire section devoted to traffic calming which probably contains more information than you would need, but it does address the issues that concern you.

More specific to your question, though, is Mr Thibeault’s suggestion that you fill out the Community Action Request form “to garner support for the installation of traffic calming devices on this local street”. A link to the form can be found right on the page dealing with traffic calming.

The form also includes a petition where you can include the names of others who would like to see safety measures put in place. One thing to note: The form asks you to “provide the names of at least 75% of residents and/or property owners who are requesting that this neighbourhood be included in the traffic-calming programme.”

As for your concern about entering the Esterley Tibbetts Highway (ETH), that is a different story and must be taken up with the RCIPS. The fact that the road is considered a “primary arterial roadway with a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour” changes everything.

“Traffic-calming devices are never installed on roadways such as arterial and collector roadways,” Mr Thibeault explained. He added that you should address your concerns regarding enforcement of speed limits onto the ETH to the community liaison officer of the RCIPS or the RCIPS directly.

I hope that you are able to navigate through the system and get the necessary safety measures in place. I applaud your efforts.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Regrettably, Cayman lacks the necessary funding for 1st world traffic & speed mitigation measures. I just came from a 3 week visit to a country that does and while the measures there would feel draconian by normal standards , they do function well to control drivers behaviour behind the wheel. 3 weeks of driving in cities, freeways and country roads exposed the measures to include the following: License plate readers , un-manned speed traps & cameras on freeways and arterial roads, as well as suburban low speed zones. Red light cameras at intersections with speed monitoring.Heavy penalties in fines with loss of license points. One can lose their license with as little as 3 infractions in a calendar year.
    CCTV monitoring of pedestrian crossings and cycle paths. Given all the above, driver behaviour and courtesy on the road was 100% and I did not see any poor road safety adherence in 3 weeks. Meanwhile back here in Cayman on day 1 of returning, I saw more poor driving in 1 day than I did in 3 weeks in the subject country. So Cayman does have a serious road user safety problem. But it is unreasonable to think a small non tax paying Caribbean country can have measures like I have listed above. I think the best Cayman can expect is more visible police presence on the roads and improvement in driver skills and awareness. That is going to take a long time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a wide spread problem in neighbourhoods…another example is Sunrise Landing in particular Water Street. Cars, motorcycles speed constantly and this is not a thru-road. Police need to step up their presence and fellow neighbours we need to do something before someone’s child is injured.

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