In an effort to avoid a showdown on the street, Somchai Neawnan, head of Patong's Motorcycles for Rent Association, urged drivers today to accept the changes about to be introduced on Patong's beach road.
The start of the 2013 high season appears to be the moment tourists and residents have been waiting to see: a surefire sign of public transport reform.
''I am sure police are going to do it [clear the beach road parking spaces] this time because they have powerful backing this time to do it,'' Khun Somchai said.
''I want to say to the drivers that it's time for a change in behavior, a change for the future of Patong.''
Ever-increasing numbers of taxis and tuk-tuks have cluttered Patong's beach road over the past decade to the point where Khun Somchai says 30 groups are now fighting for space.
One of the largest and most powerful ranks, the Merlin taxi stand, has accepted that reforms must come.
Two equally powerful ranks, the Banana Walk queue and the Patong Beach queue, are still considering a blockade in protest.
With a new tough-talking Phuket police commander and the clear support of all Phuket authorities, the crunch has come for the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers of Patong.
Khun Somchai, one of the key Patong group leaders, urged conciliation today and suggested that the authorities should talk to drivers before acting.
He played down a rumor that a blockade was imminent, saying: ''Talks are really vital and I am sure the drivers can be persuaded that it is time for change.
''If they take one step back it will be good for generations to come, and for the future of Patong and Phuket.''
The subtle arm wrestle has been going on since it became apparent that Phuket had to change or lose its future market as a popular tourism destination.
Too many complaints from tourists have been circulated via consuls and ambassadors back to the Government and new Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak, who is leading the charge for change.
''Tourists who visit the new Patong will tell friends that everything has changed for the better and Phuket is being sensibly organised,'' Khun Somchai said.
''Patong has a great future and the drivers need to understand that they have to accept the changes to be a part of that future.''
Key to the reforms along the beach road lies with the drivers accepting that only three vehicles will be left in each group along beach road. Others will wait in more secluded parts of Patong to be called in as needed.
It's a system that works well in most other parts of the world.