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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.
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.
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.