Chadchart calls for end to park spat

Chadchart calls for end to park spat

Speeding cyclists to blame for crashes

People relax at Benjakitti Park. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
People relax at Benjakitti Park. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

City governor Chadchart Sittipunt has urged all sides involved in a conflict concerning a spate of accidents caused by speeding cyclists in Benchakitti Park in Klong Toey district to find a way to reconcile their differences.

The governor on Sunday said the accidents occur mostly where bike lanes and walkways in the park, on Ratchadaphisek Road, intersect.

He suggested a small number of speeding riders were to blame, not the majority of those who ride their bikes in the park.

"I believe this problem will be resolved. As for those cyclists who are eager to go fast, there are plenty of other places they can go. The safety [of everyone] at the park is important," he said.

"Those [bad] words came from only some, not all cyclists," he said, referring to angry responses by some cyclists to a recent attempt by park staff to calm tensions between the groups.

Neither side should try to widen the conflict but instead try to find common ground between them as to how to share the park without problems, he said.

The Benchakitti Park Facebook page posted a photo of a group of cyclists speaking to police.

They were invited by park staff to remind them that excessive speed is prohibited.

Speeding, they said, can pose a risk of injury to other parkgoers, particularly the disabled, parents with small children in pushchairs and people jogging or walking in the park.

There are more than 30 spots where bike lanes and walkway cross, said the post. It is unclear how many accidents have occurred.

The post included questions raised by this group of cyclists. "Why are the people walking in the park are given a priority over ones who are cycling?" one asked.

"What's the point of them having to go slowly on empty bike lanes? And why don't park staff move those who only want to walk in the park to the Suvarnabhumi bicycle track instead?"

The Facebook post sparked heated arguments among netizens, with some fellow cyclists joining non-cyclists in criticising those who like to go fast.

The 453-rai park consists of a water park which opened in 1992 and a forest park which is due to open officially on Aug 12.

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