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Apirak proposes new traffic control plans: Plans four projects if he is elected governor
Bangkok Post (3 Aug 2004)

BANGKOK, THAILAND: Bangkok governor hopeful Apirak Kosayodhin of the Democrat party, and a traffic management expert he proposes as deputy governor, yesterday announced four proposed projects for easing traffic congestion in the city.

The work would cost around 1.5 billion baht in the first year.

The four projects are: a bus rapid transit project, as feeders for the skytrain and subway systems; building wide and beautiful walkways and bicycle lanes on all new roads; putting up signs informing motorists about traffic conditions and the amount of parking space on each road; and build special parking lots, with extra space, for a park-and-ride scheme at skytrain stations.

Mr Apirak, who drew No.1 on the ballot paper, and his candidate for deputy governor (engineering) Samart Ratchapollasit, said his plan to fight traffic congestion would help improve the quality of life in the capital.

It was practical and effective, had passed feasibility studies by experts and would be enforced once he was elected the Bangkok governor.

Mr Samart, who is a city traffic planning expert, said the plan would cost only about 1.5 billion baht in the first year.

The Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT), would use three-compartment extended buses, linking with the skytrain and subway projects. Each bus would be able to carry up to 270 passengers per trip and would travel quickly because there would be special bus lanes. There would be bus stops every 500-800 metres.

He said the system would be able to carry up to 10,800 passengers per hour in each direction.

Mr Samart said that as member of the traffic and transport policy and planning office's express bus project scrutiny panel, he was confident the BRT system would cost only about 50 million baht per kilometre, compared to about 800 million baht per kilometre for the electric train system.

Nine routes of the BRT system covering 228km were already approved by the Commission for the Management of Road Traffic, he said. They would be adjusted to link with the skytrain and subway routes.

The project would start up with the 20km Kasetsart-Nawawin route, which would take about a year to complete.

The New-Style Road Project would ensure all new roads in Bangkok have wide and beautiful walkways with trees, a bicycle lane, a road island with small gardens, and special BRT bus lanes.

The Genius Traffic Sign Project would involve installation of signs near major intersections.

These would tell motorists about traffic conditions on the expressways, parking space on roads, along with fuel consumption rates.

The Genius Parking Lot Project would involve construction of parking lots at skytrain stations for park-and-ride. They would have 2.5 times more space than ordinary carparks, but be 30% cheaper.

The parking lots would have space searching systems which could lead vehicles to available space automatically after motorists took smartcards from screening machines.


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