Cayman’s roads continue to undergo many changes as the Government grapples with improving traffic conditions for the Islands’ commuters. The need to find new ways to alleviate rush-hour congestion is already a contentious issue amongst residents, and that debate continues to grow in fervour. It is widely believed that the pace of residential development in Grand Cayman is outstripping the highway infrastructure necessary to support it.
Nevertheless, as of August 2023, the NRA is close to completing a two to six lane increase of the Linford Pierson Highway, with a connecting road from Outpost Street. In addition, works on the Crewe Road realignment and widening (westbound from Grand Harbour) are imminent, including the King’s Sports Centre roundabout enhancement linking to Edgewater Way, so residents can avoid Grand Harbour altogether. The latter is slated to begin in late 2023. These upgrades look to significantly improve traffic at this bottleneck, and the forthcoming results of a study into possible traffic solutions for the now infamous Grand Harbour roundabout may also increase hope for quicker journeys to work and school. The NRA will also be working on the following projects in 2024:
• Godfrey Nixon Way extension and beautification, in keeping with a ‘neighbourhood’ theme with a landscaped median connecting Eastern Avenue to the main George Town area.
• Airport Connector Road linking the roundabout by Cayman International School with Sparky’s Drive in Industrial Park. Phase 1 is due to be completed by the end of 2023, with Phase 2 starting early 2024.
• East-West Arterial widening along a 0.6-mile-long stretch of the highway from Poindexter Road to Hirst Road, including the Poindexter Road roundabout, is estimated to be completed by late 2023.
• East-West Arterial Road expansion extending from Woodland Drive, Savannah to Lookout Gardens, Bodden Town. Work is on hold pending an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other factors.
You can find out more about these and other projects by visiting www.caymanroads.com.
There is debate as to whether these changes will have a lasting effect on reducing traffic congestion or if widening the roads is simply a temporary solution. Regardless, the number of vehicles on Cayman’s roads are growing rapidly. Figures from Customs and Border Control (CBC) show that in the last five years (ending in 2022), the average number of imported cars was 4,790 vehicles per year. Statistics obtained from the DVDL also show there were 58,248 actively licensed vehicles on the road by the end of 2022, an increase of more than 3,500 from the previous year, and a total of 63,878 driver’s licences were issued or still valid, an increase of 2,500 from 2021.
Owning a car still has advantages including little traffic (outside of rush hour), free parking in most locations and virtually no traffic wardens! Depending on the size of your family and in which district of the Island you live and work, you may need multiple cars, unless you are prepared to be entirely beholden to the person that has the car.
It is unsurprising that owning and driving your own car is the most convenient, comfortable and speedy mode of transport in the Cayman Islands. Temperature, precarious driving, the lack of sidewalks and inadequate bike paths rule out walking or cycling for most people. The local bus network is intermittent and does not cover all areas. In addition, waiting in the hot sunshine to then sit on a crowded minibus with little or no air conditioning is not everyone’s idea of an ideal daily commute.
Taxis and Taxi Apps
After years of complaints that different taxis charged different rates for the same journey, the Cayman Island's Government have created a digital taxifare calculator, CI:GO, which can be downloaded from the App store. It is free and is available on iOS and in the Google Play Store.
Island Ride is an app that you can download and then you can book a car to come and pick you up anytime from 5pm-11pm. Since everything is booked and paid for through the app there is no need for cash. The service is available anywhere within Georgie Town, Seven Mile Beach and the West Bay area. For more information or to download the app see www.islandride.ky.
For other taxi companies you can call Ace (345) 949 3676, Blue Iguana Taxi (345) 916 3306 or Crown (345) 916 0111.
Benefits of Owning a Car
Nonetheless, the most convenient, comfortable and speedy mode of transport on-Island is owning your own car. Temperature, relentless summer rains, precarious driving and the lack of sidewalks rule out the options of walking or cycling, while the local bus network is intermittent and does not cover all areas. In addition, waiting in the hot sunshine to then sit on a crowded minibus with little, or no air conditioning, is not everyone’s idea of the ideal daily commute. There are some major bonuses that Cayman car travel retains: little traffic (outside of rush-hour), free parking in 99% of locations and virtually no traffic wardens! If you are a couple or have a family, then the discussion will arise as to whether you need one car or two. In our experience, you will need two cars, unless you are prepared to be entirely beholden to the person that has the car.