Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cars parked on flyovers congest traffic

The Nation October 21, 2011 7:06 am
Cars parked on flyovers congest traffic

Traffic in Bangkok was congested yesterday morning as the main waterworks canal overflowed in certain spots late on Wednesday and people living nearby moved their vehicles to elevated roads and flyovers.

The canal overflowed because of runoffs from Pathum Thani and flooded Prachachuen Road near Phongphet Intersection, and people decided to park their vehicles on flyovers and intersection bridges on Chaeng Wattana, Ratchayothin, Prachanukul, Wong Sawang, Sai Mai and Ram Inthra Roads as well as on the Kaset Intersection. Some parts of Prachachuen tollgate, Rama VII bridge, Srirat Expressway, Rama VI Expressway, Ram Inthra Expressway near Watcharaphon Intersection and the Thupatemee and Ratchavipha elevated roads were also turned to parking lots. Some of the bridges and elevated roads only had one lane free for motorists.

Due to this, authorities were unable to reach flooded areas or move heavy machinery to deal with the overflowing canal. To ease the congestion, traffic police also had to move vehicles blocking the first two lanes.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Panu Kerdlarppol, who oversees the trafficcontrol department, said people whose vehicles had to be moved would be fined between Bt500 and Bt1,000, adding that they should contact traffic police and rescue workers if they are unable to find their cars.

Panu said the situation in Bangkok was not at crisis level yet and the police would not allow motorists to violate the law.

Meanwhile, The Mall Ngamwongwan, which is near the waterworks canal, will offer free parking space if the area is flooded, said the manager of The Mall Group, Pilaiwan Hongsakul.

She added that the shopping mall had previously provided parking space for more than 1,000 cars from floodaffected areas in Nonthaburi's Bang Bua Thong and Pak Kret districts.

However, she added that they would check whether the people who wanted to park their cars at the shopping centre were really from floodhit areas.

Traffic police have taken measures to deal with possible emergencies, Panu said, adding that police stations had been told to set up trafficmanagement plans and choose roads that would be suitable for evacuation. He has also asked the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to provide public buses for evacuation operations.
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