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Patong's beach road, where parking meters are being suggested

Phuket Police Chief Considers Parking Meters for Patong Tuk-Tuks, Traffic Snarls

Friday, October 25, 2013
PHUKET: Tuk-tuk parking and Patong's traffic are high on the list of things to be fixed on Phuket for the island's new Police Commander, Major General Ong-Art Phiwruangnont.

He told Phuketwan yesterday that parking meters could even be an idea worth considering to reduce the number of vehicles choking the streets of the west coast holiday hub.

''I am used to imposing my will but it's plain that there are some tough people on Phuket,'' he said. ''Because Phuket is a tourist destination we have to take a more cautious approach.

''But I am aiming to clear Patong's streets so traffic can move the way it should.''

The commander's car was spotted in Patong earlier this week as he made an unofficial visit to see for himself what the place was like.

The traffic jams, he says, are too bad and must be sorted out.

Major General Ong-Art also said yesterday that he had asked Governor Maitree Intrusud to provide police with as many security cameras as possible.

''They are essential for a busy place like Patong and extremely useful in reducing crime,'' the commander said.

Figures released at a different meeting in Phuket City yesterday showed that police had seized 41 guns on Phuket between August 15 and September 25.

In that period, Phuket police had arrested 742 ''black'' illegal taxi drivers, 135 illegal Burmese workers, 48 expats for work permit offences, and 18 for overstaying their visas.

A total of 1507 passports had been checked.

Comments

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Sounds in theory a good idea but I wonder how many will get accidentally run over or vandalised?

Posted by Mick.s on October 25, 2013 18:19

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Park meter? ahahaha and who has to come and give the fine?? Police??? Same police should control that tuk tuk and abusive taxi park all long the sidewalk of the Patong Beach road and dont let anyone else to park? Or let tuk tuk park even on the zebra stripe close to Bangl?? Road?? Same police tha is ingaged all the day to fine Farang go arund without helmet instead of sometimes check all the car parked in Bangl?? Road where cannot?? Ridicolous...

Posted by richard on October 25, 2013 23:13

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"I am used to imposing my will but it's plain that there are some tough people on Phuket," he said.

Ah! So he's found out who is really running this place, has he? And I'm not talking about the "governor" and his crew.

Posted by Buster on October 26, 2013 01:44

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Good idea on another continent where people generally have respect for the law. Here try barbed wire.

Posted by Harald on October 26, 2013 06:31

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[quote]
... and extremely useful in reducing crime,
[/quote]

Not true. CCTV cameras are a useful aid in solving crimes that have already occurred. To reduce crime on the streets needs policemen/women 'walking the beat'.

As I rapidly discovered when working as a police volunteer in Patong many years ago, my Thai police colleagues had a strong aversion to actually walking the beat. Whilst I and my foreign volunteer colleagues notched up several miles on each patrol, my Thai colleagues notched up about 200 metres - to the nearest coffee shop!

Simon

Posted by Simon Luttrell on October 26, 2013 07:17

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Park meter of not, this area will remain available only for them, like everyplace where the "m**** taxi" wants to park. Still waiting for some new idea, like take a bulldozer and do something crazy..

Posted by dave on October 26, 2013 09:02

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@Simon Very true. This can be verified on a visit to Tescos. Thai will drive round and round the car park looking for a parking space as close to entrance as possible. It does not seem to click, that it is easier and quicker, driving to furthest parking spot and walk.

Posted by Sudo Nim on October 26, 2013 10:30

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So much negativity in the above messages.

I thought being an ex-pat meant moving to a destination with quality of life and an environment that elicited positive cheer.

I thunk some of you take so much comfort in your dreariness and glib attitudes that you wouldn't see positive change if it came up and bit you on the %+????'y.

Parking meters would mean a revenue source and money talks. The reason tuk-tuks are there today is because they pay officials to be there. The only way to remove the tuk-tuks is by offering an alternative revenue stream to officials and parking meters could be just that.

The long-term vision for Patong should be to turn the northbound Beach Road into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. When the big hotels gain a stronger foothold and start influencing city councils and organizing planning commissions, such a pedestrian corridor will be on the agenda. Give it ten years.

Cheers

Posted by C&C on October 26, 2013 10:31

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@ C&C: Wrong. Visit other parts of Thailand. The only way to reduce the parking congestion is to ban the over-priced tuk tuks & install 'song taews' as per Pattaya & Chiang Mai, going round the one way system, where people can jump on & off for a mere 20 baht.

Posted by Logic on October 26, 2013 12:11

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@C&C Quote: "The reason tuk-tuks are there today is because they pay officials to be there."

Do you think the same officials will punish anyone for not using the parking meters?
Nothing will change as long as the core problem is not solved. Everyone knows that the core problem to all our problems is corruption!

Posted by Mr. K on October 26, 2013 12:34

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@MrK

With proper incentive, or combination of incentives---yes.

You identify the core problem as corruption and think nothing positive can occur until corruption is ended. That is a very ambitious goal and not likely to occur for many years.

Perhaps its time to make smaller goals that can be won. Pick the battles to win the war.

I have found an incredible adaptability and elasticity in the Thai culture...there is a much greater rate of change in Thailand than you find in the US and Britain and most definitely what is found here on the PW message board by several regular contributors who seem to be stuck in the "pint half empty" mindset.

Cheers

Posted by C&C on October 26, 2013 16:14

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Surely one of the problems is excessive bureaucracy.
In theory perhaps this should reduce the emotive word
corruption by cross checking everything, but in practise
it means that, when taken to excess, no real decision
making can be achieved and things just grind to a halt.

This means that there is no accountbility or responsibility
for anything. Everything is just no-ones' responsibilty.
It all becomes a bit of mess with no solution.

Perhaps certain groups take advantage of this.
Its a mute point.
Perhaps the emotive word is an indirect symptom and not
the exact cause.
Another mute point.

Perhaps all the flooding due to blocked waterways as a
result of laissez faire construction is also due to lack
of true responsibility, accountability and management.

After all, it is one thing to manage a small quiet community
of villages called Pa Tong 20 years ago. It is another thing
to manage a so-called high end tourist resort in the
year 2556 BE.
The latter requires a different approach.

With regard to Patong's congested one way system there are many flaws.
The three or four side roads between the Beach road and Rat-U-Thit road
should be two way, not one way.
Also these side roads end up as T junctions, instead of easing naturally
into the main traffic stream.
There should also be pedestrian controlled lights at each end of Bangla
as this also causes congestion.
The never ending road repairs are also an issue. They need doing but they
do seem to take for ever (unlike road improvements in the main Kathu
district).
And of course the free-for-all parking and double parking of the numerous
tuk-tuks and taxis, of either legal persuasion, is another negative.

All in all, perhaps bureacracy at its limits?

Posted by wyn on October 27, 2013 03:31

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The core problem remains and that is the officials taking the bribes. Until a few big nobs end up in court then sadly nothing will change.
Arresting illegal taxi drivers does nothing but force the drivers to charge more to pay there fines. Corruption can be combated but it needs a concerted effort against the ultimate receivers of the bribes.
Having said that it does appear a start has been made, now it needs to be followed through on.

Posted by Arthur on October 27, 2013 04:59

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@Arthur

So much "Doom&Gloom" so early in the morning.

I can only guess how bad your old life was if this is the cheeriest moment you can muster in Paradise. Seriously, mate, you need a vacation to some tropical destination with lots of sun and cocktails....

Posted by C&C on October 27, 2013 08:16

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C & C

Perhaps you are on an extended holiday here, never having to achieve anything or be a functioning part of this society but for those of us, including me, who live and work here on a daily basis, the endless empty promises, crackdowns, photo-ops and window dressing publicity stunts that APPEAR to be addressing the decades old problems on Phuket make it quite challenging to maintain a positive outlook in "Paradise".

I do not know where you come from but if you consider Phuket a paradise, I can only urge you to broaden your view of the world.

In the meanwhile, stop and ask one of the 200.000 or so Burmese on Phuket what their life in "Paradise" feels like.

If this is Paradise, I'd hate to think what Hell must be like.

Posted by ThaiMike on October 27, 2013 10:51

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@ThaiMike

Oh, I did not realize you were Burmese. Its good that you provide a voice for your opressed people. Atleast you are not one of those real estate developers who exploits the Burmese workforce, eh?

Yeah, been around a bit, mostly last 30 years spent in Central &South America & Caribe but I appreciate your travel advice all the same. Each destination a Paradise in its own way.

Interesting patternn I have noticed in those three decades is that there has always been an expat community in each place that incessantly complains about the destination they chose. Same pattern here. They leave their home country due to discontent and complaint and they move to a place with great beaches, awsome weather, cheap food, friendly local population and even cheap massages. In other words a place with high quality of life but then you share a beer with them or you read their messages and you find all they see is reason to complain.

I have even seen some expats with a shortage of anything personal to complain about will even become a cause celebe for an oppressed ethnic group just so they can reinforce their need to see the world in a poor light. Unfortunately, they don't actually do anything to help that oppression but hijack it to prove the world sucks.

What part of Burma are you from mate?

I know a place you can get a great relaxing Thai massage for 150 Bhat. I will even pay your tab just because I hate to see a guy so discontented.

Cheers

Posted by C&C on October 27, 2013 11:32

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C & C

I appreciate your sincere attempts to provoke me but factual and sensible argumentation would have underscored your point of view far more effectively.

Being full of assumptions and snide remarks does not exactly sound like a person content and satisfied with his life.

Since your response lacks any factual or reasonable question or argument, it does not warrant any further response from me either.

I don't like injustice, discrimination, exploitation and corruption. In my 9 odd years here I've only heard empty promises and seen it get worse by the day.

Perhaps that's paradise for you but it's quite the opposite for me.

Posted by ThaiMike on October 27, 2013 13:55

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@ThaiMike

Wasn't trying to bait you Mike. You were quick to critique me but not so good at accepting same, eh?

Been reading this message board for only two months and I don't recall ever seeing a post from you that was constructive or positive so by your own standard...what do you contribute here?

Gloom & Doom, amigo. Gloom & Doom.

Cheers

Posted by C&C on October 27, 2013 15:31

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Just paint all the curbs with red and white paint,, that means no parking,, Clamp them just like the police chain the bikes up for parking in the red and white curbed area's

Posted by sean on October 28, 2013 15:58


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