Where are the sidewalks?

| 30/11/2018

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusI’m visiting Cayman and enjoying my time here, but I am struck by the lack of sidewalks in many places. The island is flat as can be, so pedestrians would not have any hills to contend with. It’s fine if you are walking in the Seven Mile Beach area but it seems if you venture too far away from that part of town, you are bound to find yourself hugging the side of the road as you try to avoid cars. As someone who likes to walk, I find this situation unfortunate at best and dangerous at worst. Why don’t you have more sidewalks in Cayman?

Auntie’s answer: I must start by saying that you are preaching to the choir here. I have long lamented the fact that Cayman seems to cater more to cars than people. When I am feeling most cynical I do muse that the philosophy here seems to be “Why walk if you can drive?” And the layout of the streets tends to support that feeling.

However, things are definitely improving. If you head over to the George Town waterfront, you will see a sidewalk (or pavement in British English) down a good part of it where none existed a few years ago. There is also a very modest 1,500-foot-long boardwalk on South Sound Road about to be completed literally any day now. Parts of Crewe Road have been widened to create a sidewalk plus a turning lane, though I can’t say if and when the whole road will get the same treatment. I also realise that is not exactly a tourist area, but it does show the government is thinking more about pedestrians in general.

Another positive sign is that bicycle lanes are being added to new and existing roads in many places; the reconstructed (but not quite finished) section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from the Butterfield roundabout to Camana Bay is one example.

But we clearly still have a long way to go in Cayman to make it a pedestrian-friendly place, which is a real shame. Decades ago when there were fewer cars and fewer people, this would not have been an issue. At this point, though, all we can do is keep trying to catch up, so that visitors like you can take pleasure in going out for a walk without running out of pavement.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An idea (1980s or earlier) was that as individual properties were developed they would have to put in their own sidewalks. The idea was that eventually all of the sidewalks would join up and presto a sidewalk system without CIG expenditure. We just haven’t developed fast enough. 🙂 And left too many residential, etc., loopholes for the system to work.

  2. Chris Johnson says:

    Being the person that built the sidewalk by the fish market I am shocked that other patrons along North Church Street are too cheap to follow suit. Even worse is the flat sidewalk by the pedestrian walkway nearby. This is very dangerous and should never been approved by the CPA.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This visitor should visit Bermuda to appreciate that it is not as bad as over there. Bermuda has no room for sidewalks and their roads have no “shoulder”, + blind corners of stone walls.

    1,556 visit ER due to road accidents In 2017. http://bernews.com/2017/12/bhb-traffic-accident-statistics-2017/

    No End In Sight To Road Traffic Accidents On Bermuda’s Roads http://www.bermudareal.com/no-end-in-sight-to-road-traffic-accidents-on-bermudas-roads/

    That is why I left Bermuda, the sole reason, it was almost impossible at times to cross a road.

    Cayman roads do have room for sidewalks. And situation for pedestrians is bad but not as bad as in Bermuda.

    • Anonymous says:

      They only do 20 mph there though & only one car per house allowed, so there’s not as many cars as here (Some families have more than 4 cars here and for example, tenants in a condo all can buy a car if they can afford to instead of sharing one).
      Our population is growing whilst theirs is shrinking – only group growing is the elderly.
      Don’t compare us to Bermuds

      • Anonymous says:

        Guernsey also comes to mind. Not just Bermuda. Those high rock walls, total blind spots everywhere. Cayman is very walking friendly in comparison.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Another positive sign is that bicycle lanes are being added to new and existing roads in many places; the reconstructed (but not quite finished) section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from the Butterfield roundabout to Camana Bay is one example.” Nice new asphalt ,No footbridges, No Crossings, Remind me again auntie How many Pedestrian Crossings are there on Grand Cayman for how many population ? Fire the guy who did the Risk Assessments.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a pedestrian underpass. Get off your ass and go see for yourself.