Pattaya residents apparently more concerned about aesthetics than traffic congestion say they don’t care if the city replaces the Dolphin Roundabout with traffic lights as long as the statue of the dolphins isn’t moved.
Pattaya Cultural Committee President Mana Yaprakham told a Sept. 5 meeting chaired by Mayor Anan Charoenchasri that it’s become clear Pattaya will have to alter its plans for a Beach-Second-North-Naklua roads intersection because long-time residents have elevated the sculpture to near-deity status.
Apparently, they’re less concerned with studies that show traffic-light intersections cause more traffic congestion than roundabouts.
City hall engineers again insisted that the dolphins would be relocated, not removed. The only way to accommodate residents’ demands would be to widen streets and install three lights, which officials are loathe to do.
Then again, those same officials are convinced there are now too many people in Pattaya for a roundabout, despite the fact roundabouts are specifically designed for high-volume traffic areas.
Traffic circles have been scientifically proven to be more efficient and safer than conventional intersections. They allow more cars to pass through at a time and studies have shown they reduce injury accidents by 75 percent.
Having already broken the Dolphin Roundabout by barricading some of the lanes, making it impossible to circumvent the rotary, Pattaya officials now are considering butchering their replacement plan by installing even more lights than originally planned, just so they don’t have to move a statue.