Right turns, U-turns banned on Asoke road

Right turns, U-turns banned on Asoke road

Clogged traffic on Asoke Montri Road. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Clogged traffic on Asoke Montri Road. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Motorists travelling along heavily congested Asoke Montri Road will be prevented from making U-turns or turning right into any soi in a bid to alleviate congestion from Monday.

Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said on Sunday the ban came after the bureau had discussed ways to solve traffic congestion with local police and City Hall. All agreed that a major cause of traffic jams along the 1.3-kilometre road was drivers turning right into office buildings and making U-turns which disrupted vehicle flow.  

Asoke Montri Road has 15 right-turn spots from the intersection with Phetchaburi Road to the intersection with Sukhumvit Road. 

Pol Maj Gen Adul said the new regulations would force all drivers coming from the bustling Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection and heading to the Asoke-Phetchaburi intersection and Rama IX Road to make a U-turn at a railroad in front of the Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station or another spot under the Asoke-Phetchaburi Expressway before reaching Rama IX intersection. 

Those coming from the Asoke-Phetchaburi intersection would have to make a U-turn at the Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection. They can still turn right or left onto Sukhumvit Road. 

Police on Sunday installed traffic barriers along the median of the road to prevent motorists from turning right or turning around.     

Asoke Montri Road has a capacity of 35,000 vehicles per day but traffic demand puts the number at 100,000 a day.

Traffic along the road has become almost unmanageable in recent years, prompting the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to propose a 3.9km-long elevated road project above it in 2013. But it met strong resistance. 

Opponents of the project said the elevated road costing three billion baht for construction and two billion baht for land expropriation would affect more than 100,000 locals and tens of thousands of daily visitors and create pollution as well as an eyesore in one of the capital's main business centres.

They demanded instead for mass transit development to solve traffic congestion.

In July last year, the MPB asked the government and Interior Ministry to review and support the BMA’s elevated road project. The ministry then asked the BMA to review the scheme but no progress has been made.    

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