The BMA and the Metropolitan Police Bureau sound a little confused about their new plans.
Concerns for Bangkok's cyclists reached an all-time high last month when four cyclists died within the same week. It even prompted the BMA to float the idea of requiring driver's licenses for bicycle riders--an idea that did not go down well with cyclists, unsurprisingly. Then on May 11, the BMA unveiled a plan to roll out bicycle lanes on 10 majors roads, along with 30 kph speed limits for vehicles on those roads.
Today, we're left confused by a new announcement from Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak who says that the Metropolitan Police Bureau will indeed enforce the speed limit but that it will have little effect on traffic as the bicycle roads are on "minor roads or some sections." (Bangkok Post)
That doesn't really match the earlier announcement from the BMA, which claims the new cycle lanes are on major thoroughfares Ladphrao, Paholyothin, Chuam Samphan, Navamin, Naradhiwas Ratchanakharin, Charoenraj, Rajdamri, Onnut, Borommaratchachonnanee, and Charoen Nakhon. (Borommaratchachonnanee is to be the first road to get a dedicated bicycle lane.)
It all shows the police and BMA are seriously confused about how to roll out bicycle lanes. In the Netherlands, 30 kph speed limits are used on roads where the bike lanes are not segregated from traffic. From what we’ve seen, the BMA’s plan was for segregated bike lanes. In that case, the 30 kph limit seems superfluous.
Finally, we’re sorry to put a damper on Bangkok’s newfound enthusiasm for solving all our woes with bicycle lanes, but some bicycle associations in the West aren’t even pushing for bicycle lanes anymore. The UK Cyclists' Touring Club and the Institute of Highways and Transportation’s research shows that the best way to decrease casualties is to enforce speed limits and safe driving everywhere, rather than to try to segregate cars and bicycles.