Bangkok’s Streets are Lava!
Bangkok is a city that’s been undergoing an unprecedented amount of growth and development for over ten years. The city has seen the launch of the MRT and the Airport Express, which offer the same convenient, reliable transportation as the still expanding BTS.
As the city’s infrastructure has also expanded to handle the altered pathways and routes of the city’s pedestrians, there’s a subtle shift away from putting the pedestrians at street level in the city.
The city’s urban planners seem to take the attitude that the traditional streets and sidewalks are lava and pedestrians should come into contact with them as little as possible. There are more and more elevated walkways along the Sukhumvit and Sathorn areas and around the stations of public rail transport, as planners are determined to save the lives of pedestrians walking in these areas.
Better for Traffic and Pedestrians
Of course, the truth is much less dramatic than any lava explanation. City planners know that the further you can separate vehicular traffic from human traffic, the better it is for everyone concerned.
Providing elevated walkways around the city eliminates the need for as many crosswalks and places at street level where vehicles and pedestrians converge, and this cuts down on accidents. Doing without as many crosswalks also speeds up vehicle traffic, for which the city’s drivers are particularly thankful.
There are also some benefits to this redesign in pedestrian traffic flow as well. The air may be better the further away pedestrians are from the idling exhausts of vehicles at stop lights. Most elevated walkways are also covered, which helps in the sometimes torrential rains of the region. They also help bypass flooded areas.
In the next ten years or so, Bangkok will witness more expansion of its public rail systems. The city will hopefully see an even greater separation of its vehicle and pedestrians, resulting in even fewer accidents and making the city a more pleasant place to live.