During rush hours, more than half the outbound lanes of Phahon Yothin can be blocked by vehicles waiting for passengers.
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The scene may look orderly, but if you look closely there is very little room for traffic to flow on Phahon Yothin Road in the Chatuchak area. Photos by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill.
Despite promises, Phahon Yothin traffic getting worse
Despite government promises, Bangkok commuters continue to suffer from extraordinarily heavy traffic on outbound Phahon Yothin road, especially near the Mor Chit skytrain station where public buses, mini vans and taxis queueing for passengers block most lanes.
The Mor Chit station is also an interchange with Chatuchak subway station.
Outbound Phahon Yothin road consists of five lanes. It is extremely congested most days and particularly on work days during rush hours, as three of the lanes are usually occupied by private cars, taxis, mini vans and public buses. And it's not getting any better. Quite the contrary.
In December last year, Transport Minister Chatchart Sittipan said the government's subcommittee on handling traffic in the capital city decided to alleviate the traffic situation on Phahon Yothin by having public buses pick up passengers in the second lane, instead of next to a bus stop.
Only personal cars, taxis and mini vans would be permitted to temporarily park in the first lane, he said.
The minister said the panel believed this would save time, because buses would not have to cut through the congestion, and improve the traffic flow.
He said the Chatuchak district office would make sure there were no street vendors along the pavement near the Mor Chit skytrain station and the Chatuchak subway station, so commuters could move more conveniently.
The parking lanes for different vehicles would also be redone to maximize the traffic flow, he added.
However, the situation on Phahon Yothin has yet to improve. Netizens fed up with the constant traffic jams in the capital have been vocal in venting their frustrations on popular Thai social media websites such as Sanook.com and Pantip.com.
One poster said there are five lanes at Mor Chit: the first for mini vans and taxis that park for many minutes; the second for mini vans and taxis that move at a snail's pace; the third for public buses and the fourth used by different vehicles to cut through the inside lanes. The fifth lane is the only normal lane, the complainant said.
As for the solutions, many netizens suggested that people should avoid driving personal cars and they should take public transport instead.
"Taking an airconditioned public bus would cost no more than 23 baht and when the traffic is heavy you can use the skytrain or walk," one poster said.
"If you don't want traffic, park your car at home. Stop blaming others and look at yourself first."
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orderly – arranged or organised in a neat, careful and logical way ซึ่งเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
flow – to move continuously in one direction ไหล
commuter – a person who regularly travels between work and home คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
suffer – to experience something very unpleasant or painful ประสบ
extraordinary – done in addition to the normal activities of an organisation เป็นพิเศษ
outbound – travelling towards a particular point, particularly away from a city ขาออก (opposite of inbound ขาเข้า)
queue – to stand in a line waiting for something เข้าคิว, เข้าแถว
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
interchange – a place where you change from one transport system, road, railway, etc. to another
congestion – a situation in which a place is crowded with people or vehicles แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน
particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
rush hour – a time of the day when large number of people are either going to or coming from work ช่วงเวลาเร่ิงด่วน (อันที่จริงในภาษาไทยที่ดีไม่มีคำว่า ช่วงเวลาเร่งด่วน คำนี้ควรกล่าวว่า ช่วงเวลาที่มีการสัญจรไปมามากกว่าช่วงเวลาอื่น)
occupy – to use a place for period of time ครอง
quite the contrary – opposite; completely different or opposed to something else ในทางตรงกันข้าม
transport – moving people or things from one place to another การขนส่ง
subcommittee – a smaller committee formed from a main committee in order to study a particular subject in more detail คณะอนุกรรมการ
handle – to be able deal with a situation ควบคุมได้, จัดการได้
alleviate – to make something less painful, severe, or serious ทำให้บรรเทา ทำให้น้อยลง
permit – to allow someone to do something อนุญาต, อนุมัติ, ยินยอม
temporarily – for a limited period of time ชั่วคราว
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
improve – to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
pavement – a path with a hard surface beside a road. The American word is sidewalk ทางเดิน, ฟุตบาท
convenient – easy to do, or not causing problems or difficulties สะดวก
maximise – to increase something as much as possible ทำให้มีสูงสุด
netizen – a person who uses the Internet a lot พลเมืองเครือข่ายคอมพิวเตอร์
fed up with – annoyed or bored with something that you feel you have accepted for too long เบื่อ, ผิดหวัง โดยเฉพาะกับสิ่งที่เจอมานาน
constant – continuous; all the time ต่อเนื่อง
vocal – expressing opinions frequently and strongly แสดงความเห็น
vent – to express your feelings of anger very strongly แสดงออก, ปล่อยอารมณ์, ระบายอารมณ์
frustration – an annoyed or discouraged feeling because you cannot do or have what you want ความผิดหวัง, ความไม่พอใจ
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
social media – the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
poster – someone who sends (posts) information to a website
snail’s pace – very slowly
complainant – a person who complains ผู้ร้อง(ทุกข์)
avoid – to try to prevent something from happening หลีกเลี่ยง
blame – to say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening ตำหนิ