More complaints, few solutions offered at 10th traffic meeting

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Meeting for the tenth time about Pattaya’s traffic and parking problems, area officials and business leaders made numerous complaints but offered no suggestions how to solve the long-running issues.

The latest meeting aimed at trying to resolve congestion and enforce initiatives, such as designated stopping zones for taxis and buses, drew the attention of the National Council for Peace and Order, which dispatched Col. Popanan Luengpanuwat from the 14th Military Circle in Chonburi to find out why so little progress has been made, despite the many meetings.

The National Council for Peace and Order dispatched Col. Popanan Luengpanuwat from the 14th Military Circle in Chonburi to preside over the latest meeting about Pattaya’s traffic and parking problems.The National Council for Peace and Order dispatched Col. Popanan Luengpanuwat from the 14th Military Circle in Chonburi to preside over the latest meeting about Pattaya’s traffic and parking problems.

Popanan quizzed Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho and Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh why the previously announced plan to change Jomtien Beach Road was canceled before it even began.

Ronakit said that, despite the change being planned and announced more than a month in advance, the idea was dropped because the one-way system could cause more traffic jams and confusion during the just-begun high season. The one-way plan will be revived once high season has ended, he said.

Members of the Pattaya Transport Cooperative, which runs the city’s network of baht buses, then took the floor to vent their grievances about competing taxis from outside Bangkok, illegally modified baht buses and unlicensed taxis.

They said some private operators were modifying pickup trucks to work as “songthaews” while “black license plate” taxis were parking illegally at shopping centers and hotels, scooping up passengers that otherwise might go to the cooperative.

They also complained about non-Pattaya taxis setting up booths to sell services locally.

Police officials and the NCPO’s Popanan suggested that co-op members report incidents when they see them so police can enforce the law and pass information onto the NCPO to draft reforms.