9 January 2021
“Accessibility Is Freedom” and “Infrastructure Thailand”, as civilian participants, joined with Bangkok Metropolitan Administrator (BMA) spearheaded by its young and visionary spokesman, Khun Earth (Mr. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang).
We explored by foots throughout the vibrant Asoke Intersection, the heart and busiest part of this area. The agenda was how to design streets so that people of all ages and physical conditions could make a perfectly safe and convenient crossing.
Asoke Intersection has been a place of our movements for many times. So we quite have an insights and practical recommendations to share. Detail what we’ve done plan:
1. Crosswalk (Point A, B, C, D)
– Enlarge the motorbike slot to sufficiently serve the huge amount of users, with red colour and warning text stamped on the road.
– Point D will be shifted slightly to avoid BTS skytrain’s foundation piles, thus easing the ‘seamless crossing’.
2. Crosswalk at Left-Through Road (Point 1, 2, 3)
– Redesign the crosswalk.
– An innovation of ‘Raised Crosswalk’ will be implemented here. The surface of footpath and crosswalk will finally be the same level (higher than road surface).
– This directly forces drivers to slow down. So pedestrians are safer to cross.
3. Upgraded Pedestrian Traffic Signal
– More features, such as audio voice and countdown timer, will be equipped.
– A “delay button’ will be dedicated to especially facilitate all kinds of people with disabilities and elderly (indeed, all people of impaired movements) as they have more time to cross.
4. Add More Street Lamps
– The LED street lights will be added to ensure clear visibility at night.
5. Strict Penalties and Regulations
– This pilot area will have the strictest ‘rule of law’.
– Wrongdoers shall be heavily charged and enforced legally by polices.
– Massively promoting this area to build public awareness.
– This pilot test intends to have a shift in people’s mentality and attitude. We hope it could be scalable nationwide in the future.
Asoke Intersection is undergoing a transformative change. We do what we can, and have to, do. There are still many details out there that we have to study if we want to have a practice, sustainable change. We just want to make a new, and the best, standard for ALL.
To fix the urban form, the people and the government must work together. We always have something to contribute. Collaboration is one of the approaches. I believe we all have the power to alter our city.
BIG THANKS to Bangkok Spokesman and the Bangkok Gov team for the constructive collaborations, Khun ‘Bank’ from Infrastructure Thailand for your swift news and craziness. And most importantly, BIG THANKS to our networks who work relentlessly for our beloved city.
I hope this small example of urban gentrification will serve as a successful role model that can be applicable and scalable to many other places.
Image credit :BMA