Area governments say Sukhumvit is root of Pattaya-area transport problems

Friday, 20 June 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 25 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Pattaya-area officials say Sukhumvit Road sits at the heart of the area’s traffic problems and a land transport “master plan” to be delivered next year should focus on solving the highway’s congestion woes.

At a June 9 hearing on the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration’s plan, chaired by DASTA’s deputy director, Damrong Saengkaweelert, government officials representing Pattaya, Banglamung, Najomtien and Nongprue all targeted Sukhumvit as a key to fixing the region’s growing traffic problem.

Damrong Saengkaweelert, deputy director of DASTA, chairs the meeting.Damrong Saengkaweelert, deputy director of DASTA, chairs the meeting.

Consultants from Pisut Technology Co., which was hired to draft the master plan over the next 270 days, said Pattaya suggested the plan should recommend Sukhumvit Road be altered to increase capacity.

In its comments, the city also called for promotion of sidewalks, allocation of parking areas around events and activities, and implementing technology to solve traffic issues.

In separate submissions, Nongprue and Banglamung called for development of reserve roads that would connect to existing Pattaya infrastructure and soak up Sukhumvit’s excess traffic. Najomtien added calls for more pedestrian bridges over Sukhumvit.

Pisut is being paid 15 million baht to draft the plan to integrate transportation in Pattaya and nine surrounding sub-districts. At a March 27 meeting, Pisut consultants said initial plans included connection of high speed trains, development of park-and-ride lots, “development piers,” a unified public-transport system, and even air transport.

Consultants said the their report will take into consideration transportation initiatives already being built or in planning, including high-speed trains, the Buraphawithi-Pattaya highway, Pattaya-Maptaput highway and proposed bypass tunnels under three Sukhumvit Road intersections. The final plan will split proposed projects into five development phases.

Soliciting feedback from regional governments, Pisut said Takientia Sub-district called for improvement of reserve roads, bicycle paths and transport to facilitate eco-tourism.

Pong sub-district said the plan should highlight roads for tourism, as it is home to reservoirs and beautiful landscapes. Pong also wants to see more bicycle paths.

Huay Yai and Koh Sichang suggested development should expand reserve roads to accommodate more traffic.

Khao Maikaew suggested development should include elevation of Highway 3240 to connect with Highway 331 and Sukhumvit Road.

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