November 25, 2020

Road plan is no solution

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A suggestion to use a back road to link the western part of Grand Cayman to Dart Realty’s “Eco Park”, east of Bodden Town, has been rejected as “not a solution at all”.

Rejecting a proposal by Bodden Town MLA and Minister for the Environment Mark Scotland to use a two-lane residential road as a heavy-traffic link, spokesmen for the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free said Anton Bodden Drive was entirely inadequate to handle the industrial demand.

“It’s a fast-growing residential area, and was intended originally to route traffic around Bodden Town,” spokesman Gregg Anderson said.

“It has, however, since become a residential roadway. They have even put in ‘sleeping policemen’,” road-wide speed bumps, he said. “It’s all a single route behind the [Bodden Town Primary] school and comes out at the graveyard. It does not address the noise and the stink. It’s not a solution at all.”

Expanding on earlier comments to iNews Cayman, Minister Scotland this week disputed that garbage trucks would make as many as the feared 400 trips per day to the new waste-management facility, and that they would be routed along Condor Road and Anton Bodden Drive, avoiding Bodden Town’s main road.

Condor Road leaves Shamrock Road at Bodden Town Primary School, intersecting Anton Bodden Drive several hundred yards to the north. The drive makes a long loop, running parallel to the main Bodden Town Road, returning to Shamrock Road at the Bodden Town Police Station.

“I would hazard a guess,“ Mr Anderson said, “that 20 families live along” the two-lane blacktop drive. “It’s the fastest growing area in Bodden Town,” itself the fastest-growing district in Grand Cayman.

“That’s at least 100 people,” he said, and the sole link to such inland residential communities as Belford Estates, Ena Close, Griffiin Manor, Franklin Court, Lustrous Court, Hawksbill Close and developments dotted along Lookout Close and Verniece Bodden Drive.

“The question of the moment, of course, is why Mr Scotland suggested Anton Bodden Drive,” Mr Anderson said, ”and it is probably to put a good face on the bad publicity they have been getting.”

Another spokesman, while conceding that the alternate route “is certainly wider and less populated than the main road, ” said “the heavy traffic, according to Dart and Mr Scotland, will be diverted along a road with a public school at its beginning. Are they not concerned with the safety of the young children?

“The coalition wonders if government has now given the road to Dart, as well? Does Dart now have a free rein to do as it likes with our public roads?” Alain Beiner asked, alluding to the Dart realty-mandated closure of 2,500 feet of West Bay Road for company redevelopment of the old Marriott Courtyard Hotel.

The hotel is one phase of a series of infrastructure investments by the Dart Realty-Government ForCayman Alliance, which has also proposed to close and “remediate” the George Town Landfill, moving it to a purpose-built “Eco Park” on 110 acres near Bodden Town’s Midland Acres.

The 75-member Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free an association of district residents and business owners, formed in late October, responding to the plans.

“In addition to the questions we’ve addressed to Mr. Scotland,” Mr Beiner said, “we’d also like to know if the residents along/near Anton Bodden Drive have been consulted? Will the present speed bumps be removed? Will all traffic except for local traffic (i.e. with a destination in the village of Bodden Town) be diverted along Anton Bodden Drive, and exactly how will drivers be ‘encouraged’ to use this route?”

He also asked if public consultation would address changing Midland Acres agricultural-residential zoning to accommodate the “Eco Park” and if government or Dart would conduct an environmental Impact assessment on the area.

“Who decided on Bodden Town for the site of a relocated dump?” Mr Beiner asked.

“The statements by Dart and by Mr. Scotland in no way allay the concerns and fears of Bodden Town residents,” he said.

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