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Bangkok bicycle lanes: One big waste of money says Thai media


webfact

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Bangkok bicycle lanes: One big waste of money says Thai media

 

3pm1.jpg

Picture: Manager Online 

 

Thai media has said that plans to introduce bicycle lanes across Bangkok are in ruins.

 

People have ignored the lanes - they have even become death traps for bicyclists crazy enough to use them.

 

Manager looked into the issue but came to the conclusion that the multi-million baht plan was a complete disaster.

 

And throwing more money at the scheme would be a waste of time and resources.

 

Manager said that cars and tuk-tuks park in the lanes; vendors and hawkers use them to sell their wares; most of them are dilapidated and unusable.

 

If they are used they are traversed by motorcycles presenting a serious danger to any cyclist foolhardy enough to think they might be safe from harm.

 

3pm.jpg

Picture: Manager Online 

 

They said it was 28 million baht down the pan - and counting.

 

The idea for bicycle lanes was first mooted back in 2008 but the idea gained traction in 2015 with the "Ratanakosin Island Bicycle Improvement Scheme" in the old part of the city.

 

It was well received and well publicized at first, said Manager, leading the project to be expanded to 48 routes over 230 kilometers of the capital.

 

But since then it has gone downhill fast.

 

Bicyclists mostly don't dare to use the lanes or can't because they are blocked.

 

Despite fines of 2,000 baht being available the police don't enforce the law. They even put no parking signs in the bike lanes impeding cyclists progress, they said.

 

And the BMA has failed to work with the police on either enforcement or viable solutions.

 

In conclusion they said there was not a sufficient culture of bicycle riding in the capital and motorists and drivers of motorized vehicles just would not not let it happen.

 

They said that further expansion to 364 kilometers over 54 routes would mean more waste of money and more failure and it may be time to abandon the whole idea.

 

Source: Manager Online

 
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Absolutely dreadful. It is shameful that most of the country's ills have a clear path back to 

 

A, police not doing / unwilling to do their jobs correctly.

 

B, Bureaucratic decisions made on a whim with very few eyes on the bigger picture (ie anything medium to long term).

 

BKK roads are much too hazardous and lawless to be even remotely safe for cyclists.

 

I am lucky that I can cycle in my city here.. But even here the gridlock is getting worse and the routes ever more crowded with cars and trucks driven almost exclusively by unqualified and careless people

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In one part of Sathorn Road there was not enough space for a bike lane on the actual road so they put the markings on the footpath and demolished two modern covered bus shelters with seats.

 

Now the folks waiting for a bus have to stand in the bike lane in the hot sun and in the rain with no cover and no seats and watch to get out of the way of zooming cyclists coming along the footpath.

 

The decision to do this would have been made by a senior official - I guess another example of pay for your promotion, therefore incapable people end up in these jobs.

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They could recoup the cost of those bike lanes in a few months if they were to simply enforce the law and fine the violators.

 

I'm mystified by the lack of enforcement of Thai traffic laws in general.  It's a cash cow.  There are cities in the USA that pretty much fund their entire police force on traffic violators, and others that make huge contributions to their city's general operating funds with the fines. 

 

But, of course, the fines are not paid on the spot after negotiating with the cop, receipts are issued and the cops get paid enough that they think twice before putting their jobs, their future and their freedom at risk by taking back handers.  Not that some don't succumb to temptation...  

 

BTW, I cycle in BKK regularly, and it doesn't look nearly as bad from the bike as it does from a car watching the bikes.  Which is not to say that it isn't crazy dangerous, but I'd bet it's safer than riding a scooter.

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Clearly this whole bike lane project has been mandated by outside forces (i.e. the UN), which envisions a future where urban residents will be riding their mostly rented bikes from their tiny 30-50sq.m stack and pack apartments to work, to the grocery store etc. a utopian future which I want no part of.

 

However, at this point in time there is little wonder why bike lanes are a flop in Bangkok. Biking your way around Bangkok with all the heat, the traffic, the pollution and obstacles on the road is no fun way to get around. By the time you've arrived at your destination you're drenching in sweat, you're tired, you could even be suffering from heat stroke and you're completely stressed. Biking to work in Bangkok is one sure way for a farang to upset his Thai colleagues - particularly those of the female kind. Just imagine some stinky foreigner walking into the office with all the girls holding their noses like "ewww, Alan mennnn maak ley!" (translation: Alan really stinks!)

 

Bike lanes should be built exclusively for the purposes of promoting exercise and therefore be built in and around parks and quiet lanes with little traffic and where they can properly separate bikes and other types of road traffic. That's as far as this sort of project should go.

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zig-zags, bike lanes and pedestrian crossing with lights, all introduced by people who clearly have absolutely no understanding of the issues facing road safety in Thailand.

 

You can't just cherry-pick ideas from other countries and expect them to work - it really shows up how ignorant some people are.

 

Unless Thailand adopts a comprehensive approach to road safety, from road construction up then they will never doany more than scratch the surface and show the rest of the world how incompetent they are.

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Note to self:  Stop referring to bike lanes as a junta triumph. 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

Despite fines of 2,000 baht being available the police don't enforce the law. They even put no parking signs in the bike lanes impeding cyclists progress, they said.

The BiB are not that good at policing anyway and why should they be ?  In Thailand, it is now government for the government.  Civil servants answer to no one. 

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Bike lanes would be great?!

For the on  the wrong side approaching motorbikes (seeing everyday) –

separated with concrete blocks so cars cannot park on it

Mai pen rai

PS

As long there egoistic reckless traffic rules ignoring motorists on the road

There will be chaos and traffic jams.

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Problem easily solved, Put traffic cameras  on those lanes and start sending out tickets. The fines will quickly pay for the cost of the lanes and might even produce a profit.

 Thais are not stupid, they will quickly adapt their behaviour. 

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As a cyclist myself, I think bike lanes would be fantastic for Thailand.

Unfortunately, they are as useful as the pedestrian crossings on Pattaya's beach road.

 

Without education, law enforcement and common sense, there's little chance these things will work.

Throw in a good dose of corruption and ineptitude and there's NO chance things like this will work here in Thailand

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There’s a 2 way bike lane that runs from Pranburi nearly to Sam Roi Yot National park must have cost an absolute fortune. I’ve never seen a bike on it apart from me when we visit each year. Judging by the cow clap on it the local farmers are getting their money’s worth.Thing is the road edges are huge anyway and not so busy roads what a waste of money.

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Very simple solution. Tow away ALL the offending motorbikes, tuk tuks, cars, pick ups and vendors. Keep them locked away for 2 weeks, then make them pay 5,000 Baht to have the property released. that should pay for repairs, and provide a bonus for the cops.

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I would hazard an educated guess that most of the motorbikes/scooters in Bangkok are driven faster there, in a city centre, than anywhere else on planet earth. A few months back I was standing outside the British Embassy at morning rush hour. It was a sight that I could only describe as incomprehensible madness. Having attended real super bike races, this was as close as you could get to a similar noise level and speed from the 125 cc class. But many had pillion riders on the back sitting side saddle with no helmets........!!!
I have cycled all round Pattaya, Jomtien, the dark side, up to Sri Ratcha and down to Bang Saray and agree with other posters that on a bike if you are fit and aware to the dangers you get a better higher view of the traffic madness. But I would think more than twice about cycling in BKK.......even on their useless lanes.

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

They said it was 28 million baht down the pan

I guess this means down the drain. Maybe not all 28 million has been wasted.:wink:

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Ok looked it up. Down the pan is actually a Cockney expression for down the drain.

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