The Pattaya City Council Nov. 21 approved the study, design and installation of signals at the roundabout as the final phase of a larger plan to improve North Pattaya traffic.
Roundabouts, by design, inherently should be able to control traffic flow without the needs of lights. But the system depends on drivers’ willingness to yield to others and respect traffic laws. That clearly hasn’t worked in Pattaya.
The Dolphin Roundabout will soon have traffic lights to control the intersection.
In addition, traffic police have undermined the roundabout’s effectiveness by blocking off lanes and diverting traffic, instead of letting cars flow around the circle as designed.
Councilman Sanit Boonmachai claimed police have tried to “fix” the congestion around the traffic circle with their metal fences and barriers. But, in the same breath, he acknowledged things have only gotten worse.
“The barriers cause cars coming from Naklua Road to not be able to head to the beach through the roundabout, instead heading straight to North Road and making a U-turn in front of the Fairtex Hotel to head to Beach Road,” he said. “This is quite a hassle, as there are no signs or symbols indicating the direction to the beach and, at the U-turn point, there is an accumulation of cars heading to the beach causing more traffic and accidents.”
So, rather than have police change tactics, city officials plan to spend more money to install lights where no were originally thought necessary.