Lessons and learn from the city development project at Asoke intersection. As part of working team, today I’m going to share with you the physical gentrification at Asoke intersection.
This intersection serves as an initial pilot test with goal to let pedestrians criss-cross the whole place with ultimate safety and comfort. Now we’re in the 1st phrase, adjusting the road and footpath surface.
What I personally emphasized is the so-called “Raised Crosswalk”. The road surface level is raised to reach the same footpath level. Many other major cities have already implemented this technique. From our research, briefly, we find majors advantages about raised crosswalk.
The two parties (pedestrians x car drivers) can see each other more clearly. It also benefits to the short guys as well as those wheelchair users who are about half tall the ordinary people. This is a win-win situation.
2. Speed Calming
3. Driver Alert
Due to the instant raising of road surface, this raised crosswalk indirectly forces drivers to slow down, otherwise they would feel like bump. So the ramped speed table must never be built too smoothly. It must maintain high level of steepness.
The road problems exist in our society since unmemorable time. We actually have rules and laws that comply the same international standard. Yet the law enforcement never follows to its letters. For example, the speed limit, left-through lane, or basic road manners that almost everyone disregards. Worse, we are having yet another new traffic law that allows even higher speed travel. Majors constructive changes at large must take a lot of time to overcome this long-rotten mainstream. So we propose a minor, incremental changes like this one at Asoke.
When someone present statistics, they often highlight that Thailand’s roads are the deadliest in Southeast Asia, if not the worst in the world. Yet, when it comes to practical solutions to alleviate the problem, one usually forgets all the deadly statistics. It leads to an error in raised crosswalk at Asoke.
From driver’s perspective, it shows no clue of “steepness” that forces the driver to slow down. It’s too smooth, too flat. And flatness is not the concept of raised crosswalk.
We’re not anti-cars or reject its comfort. But history shows that pedestrians are left behind for too long. Now we just want to lift it up, reducing the gap between the two. Ultimately, we just want to have a safer level of crosswalk and footpath. We aim to reduce the (huge)gap between cars and pedestrians. The steepness of raised crosswalk is the last touch point before cars reach pedestrians.
Any change in physicality and behavior take time, as we know. Different places also needs different timeframe and solutions. But if we’re committed to our goal, we can gradually, but consistently, make changes to our beloved Bangkok, and beyond to the whole country.
If you this this article and the notion to make change this city, please touch ‘Love’ and help share to support it. A huge impact mentally to many people who are working so hard behind the scene. Let’s make a change altogether!