Three weeks after Pattaya repainted the often-ignored wheelchair lane on Soi Paniadchang, social media users again posted photos showing the able-bodies parking their cars on the lane on Soi Paniadchang again.
On Aug. 29, Mayor Poramet Ngampichet and his deputies inspected the work to lay down reflective paint to mark the 1.5-meter-wide wheelchair lane on the side of the street linking Big C Extra and the Redemptorist Technological College for Persons with Disabilities.
At the time, Poramet promised that city hall would better patrol the street and keep the wheelchair lane clear of parked cars after years of disputes. To no one’s surprise, no enforcement was done.
A disabled-rights groups this week posted photos to Facebook showing cars parked in several places over the wheelchair lane and demanded Poramet do something about it, as he promised three weeks ago to do. The Facebook users said they called the city’s call center and complained, but nothing was done.
Pattaya spent 10 million baht in 2013 to construct the raised path but, from the outset, neighbors along the route refused to accept the project, claiming it robbed them of parking spaces. So, they simply parked on top in the handicapped lane. The battle flared again in June 2020 and the city repainted the lines to keep the selfish out.
Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkitkarn said Sept. 20 that officers would be sent to talk to business owners and residents along Soi Paniadchang to again educate them about not parking in the wheelchair lane.