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Bike lanes to nowhere

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Bike lanes for cyclists would be a great idea if there was a way of keeping them free of motorists, street vendors and even the police. 

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A random survey carried out recently by the Green World Foundation found cars and many other items blocking bike lanes


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Bike lanes handy for everyone but cyclists

Sirinya Wattanasukchai
 
What is a common link between motorists, street vendors and police plying city roads?

They violate bike lanes, that left-most strip, clearly painted, and bearing the image of a white bicycle.

A random survey carried out recently by the Green World Foundation found 483 cars, vendor carts and a police motorcycle, as well as items

"There's little improvement," said Sira Leepipatnavit, the foundation's campaign officer, referring to the right of cyclists to safe passage on the roads. It was the third in a series of surveys the foundation has carried out; this time it was assisted by a group of volunteers.

The survey found 363 items blocking the lane on a 1.7km section of Lat Ya Road; 23 on Prachathipok Road (distance 1.2km); 36 on Intarapithak Road (distance 800m); 41 on Somdej Phrachao Taksin Road (distance 630m); and 20 around the Wong Wian Yai roundabout.

Sira conducted the first survey on July 23, 2010, in the Wong Wian Yai area in which pamphlets were distributed urging commuters and vendors to keep out of bicycle lanes.

The second survey was conducted on Phra Arthit Road on Sept 24 the same year. There were 51 cars and 13 other items including trash bins and barricades blocking a 600m section of the bike lane there. 

Wong Wian Yai and Phra Arthit Road were chosen for the survey because both have well-marked bike lanes.

Obviously, the survey results suggested little public understanding on the use of this environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. The occupation of bike lanes by other vehicles may be the result of unclear traffic regulations.

The law requires drivers to park not further than 30cm from the footpath. When on roads with designated bike lanes, motorists still stick to the 30cm parking regulation, trespassing on the special lane – a punishable act.

They may be afraid their cars would be hit if they parked next to the special lane, or about 1m from the footpath.

Worse, police hardly bother to take any action against these criminal motorists, sometimes actually parking their own vehicles in the lane.

random – chosen without any particular pattern — สุ่ม
survey – the act of examining and recording the measurements, features, etc. of an area of land การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
handy – useful สะดวก,ง่าย
cyclist – a person who rides a bicycle  นักขี่จักรยาน
link – a connection ความเชื่อมโยงกัน
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
ply – to make a regular journey over a particular area or route เดินสาย วิ่งไปมา
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
image – a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing รูปภาพ
cart – a small vehicle with two or four wheels that you push or pull to transport large or heavy objects on รถเข็นหรือรถลาก
trash – things that you throw away because you no longer want or need them ขยะ
trash bin – a container that you put waste in  ถังขยะ
improvement – when something gets better or when you make it better การทำให้ดีขึ้น
campaign – a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์
right – something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have สิทธิ
passage – a way through something  ทางผ่าน
volunteer – someone who is not paid for the work that they do อาสาสมัคร
section – any of the parts into which something is divided ส่วน, ส่วนที่ตัดออก, ส่วนย่อย
roundabout – a place where two or more roads meet, forming a circle that all traffic must go around in the same direction วงเวียนที่ต้องขับรถรอบ
pamphlet – a very thin book with a paper cover, usually given free to people แผ่นพับ
distribute – to give something out to many different places  แจกจ่าย
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
commuter – a person who regularly travels between work and home คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
conduct – to do something in an organised way; to carry out — ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
barricade – a temporary structure built to prevent someone/something from getting past แผงหรือแนวรั้วกั้น
obviously – clearly เห็นได้ชัด, อย่างชัดแจ้ง
environmental – involving the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them เกี่ยวกับสภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม
mode – a particular way of doing something; a particular type of something แบบ, วิธีการ
transportation – the process of moving people or things from one place to another การขนส่ง
occupation – the act of going into a place and taking control away from the people or government there เข้าครอบครอง
regulations – official rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ
designated – marked, separated, or given a name for a particular purpose ถูกกำหนด
trespass – to go onto someone's land or enter their building without permission บุกรุก,รุกล้ำ
punishable – that can be punished, especially by law ซึ่งมีโทษ
act – an action การกระทำ
criminal – illegal; against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

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