I write this to o the people of Pattaya and the persons looking at adding another lane to Beach Road:
I am retired and have lived in Pattaya for four years on Soi 5, on Beach Road. Every morning I walk to Walking Street and back for exercise and enjoyment. After reading about the proposed widening of Beach Road by three meters to accommodate another lane of traffic, I became quite concerned about how this widening would affect the walk way, the trees, and the beach.
The walk way in many areas is only two meters from the street, so any widening would require one meter to be taken from the already narrow path. If they are proposing to keep it the same width, then the extra meter has to come from the beach side, which is already very narrow in some spots. I can’t imagine having food and merchandise stalls set up and enabling people to walk, as it is very crowded now when these events are on the beach. How many people use the beach and the walk way to get from one place to another on Beach Road? At night, there are hundreds of people enjoying the sunset and the cooler weather and walking up and down the path.
My second major concern is the number of trees that would have to be removed to add this extra three meters to beach Road. On my morning walk, I counted 1000 trees and light poles that would have to be removed or moved. Where would they move the trees? The present design gives a certain amount of shade to a person walking or sitting on the walk way, but with the trees removed next to the road, where is that shade now? The trees certainly make this one of the most beautiful areas in Pattaya, certainly more of a tourist attraction than another traffic lane.
My last concern is the beach and encroaching upon an already tenuous situation caused by beach erosion. Taking three meters for a traffic lane is just like taking three meters from the beach. The beach is the tourist attraction in Pattaya, if you don’t believe it count the people on the beach every day. Is another lane of traffic on Beach Road necessary for the enjoyment of the tourists and the people who use the beach?
I offer this as a solution to the traffic problem which plagues Beach Road. Prohibit all parking on Beach Road. Enforce this by hiring two policemen to give out tickets to anyone who parks or double parks or otherwise ties up traffic. Most of the vehicles parked on Beach Road are rental motor bikes, which do nothing but take up valuable road space. I counted only 90 vehicles parked (excluding baht busses, taxis, and busses) on Beach Road and only 30 were parked from Pattaya Klang to Walking Street. Prohibiting parking would give three lanes of traffic and the inside lane could be used by busses, baht buses, and taxis to load and unload passengers. Enforcement is the key to this plan, anyone blocking the two lanes nearest the beach would receive a ticket, with no exceptions. The $150,000,000 baht could be used to restore the beach, renew the walk way by repairing holes and putting in new concrete, removing unused light pillars, and adding some smaller trash cans that would make trash disposal more accessible for the people who use the walk way. I have to commend the people who clean up the beach every morning and remove all the litter from the night before. They do a great job and only those of us that rise early and walk see the litter left from the day before.
Gene Raymond Plueger