Pattaya promotes car free Saturday

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City and tourism-industry officials are inviting Pattaya residents to leave their cars at home as Pattaya takes part in World Car Free Day Saturday, Sept. 15.

Created by the Europe-based World Car Free Network, the environmental event is observed globally each Sept. 22. Pattaya, with the Green Leaf Foundation, decided to hold its event a week early in an attempt to raise more awareness in advance of the global day.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome announced the event Sept. 10, along with a bicycle trek around the city organized by two area bike clubs.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (center), along with city and tourism-industry officials, are inviting Pattaya residents to leave their cars at home on Saturday. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (center), along with city and tourism-industry officials, are inviting Pattaya residents to leave their cars at home on Saturday.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 and is scheduled to finish at around 6 p.m.  Traffic police officers and volunteers will be posted along the route, blocking off one lane of traffic for the bicycle procession.

Cyclists are requested to begin gathering at Pattaya City Hall at 2 p.m. The route will run from there, down Beach Road, across the Bali Hai Pier flyover past the Sophon Market intersection, up Third Road and back to City Hall. Cyclists will cap the activity by maneuvering to form the World Car Free Day symbol.

Backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region and the Pattaya Cycling Lovers Club, Car Free Day is a chance to reduce gas consumption, air and noise pollution, automobile traffic and accidents, Itthiphol said. Thailand has participated since 2000, with each province encouraging residents to leave their cars at home and enjoy outdoor activities.

“Pattaya alone would not have made this event possible,” Itthiphol said, thanking co-sponsors. “This is amazing because, apart from seeing organizations cooperate, tourists will get to see that Pattaya gives importance to environmental preservation and green tourism. In the future, Pattaya’s beach landscaping will be modified to accommodate bicycle riding.”