The Tourism and Sports Ministry has decided to shift a proposed Formula 1 race to a location other than the old quarters of Rattanakosin in Bangkok. What happened? Not enough money passed one way or another? A political showdown between the Pheu Thai Party-led government and the Democrat-controlled Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)?
As an opponent of noise pollution in Bangkok, I consider the proposed race to be despicable. This city cannot afford to be any louder than it already is.
Our group, Quiet Bangkok, has been trying with moderate success to convince noise makers to turn their volume down. The usual noise level on Bangkok streets, nearly inescapable for most residents, is about 90-100 decibels, enough to cause hearing impairment among traffic policemen, security guards and street vendors. Imagine the 130 decibels created by racing F1 cars. This is as loud as a jet plane taking off 35 metres from you, which can inflict permanent damage on your hearing. It's therefore unthinkable that an explosively noisy race, which will require certain Bangkok streets already plagued by heavy traffic at all hours to be closed for weeks if not months, will be held here.