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Phuket Poll: Lane changes needed at Chalong Underpass?

Phuket Poll: Lane changes needed at Chalong Underpass?

PHUKET: Since the news broke yesterday that Chalong Underpass is to finally open – hopefully – tomorrow (May 31), after nearly four years of construction, comments have spiralled online over the width of the lanes and the fact the traffic will be flowing through the tunnel in both directions without any solid dividers to help prevent head-on accidents.

transportSafetyconstruction
By The Phuket News

Thursday 30 May 2019, 06:21PM


The small plastic orange police just 80cm tall are all that separate the traffic flosing in different directions in the underpass. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The small plastic orange police just 80cm tall are all that separate the traffic flosing in different directions in the underpass. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The lanes, at 3.5 metres wide are “international standard,” Phuket Highways Chief Somwong Lohanut told The Phuket News.

 However, all that will be separating the vehicles travelling in opposite directions are small orange plastic poles standing just 80cm tall, Somkiet Yimpong, Project Manager at the Phuket office of the Highways Department, confirmed.

Worse, as Mr Somkiet also pointed out, Chalong Underpass is the only underpass on the island that has a curve in the tunnel underground, reducing motorist’s range of visibility even if there are no vehicles immediately in front. (See story here.)

 All that was confirmed as the southbound land through the underpass was opened to motorists for a "test drive" from 3pm to 6pm this afternoon (May 30), with Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos and Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol both present to wish drivers a safe journey. (See video here.)

To this, The Phuket News asks readers, “What should be done with the current dedication of traffic flow through the Chalong Underpass in order to make it safer?”

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

Responses available in the poll are:

  • Make the traffic flow in one direction from north to south.
  • Make the traffic flow in one direction from south to north.
  • Make the traffic flow in one direction, but change the direction to suit when it is needed the most
  • Keep the tunnel two-way, but install solid dividers to help prevent head-on collisions.
  • Ban all heavy vehicles from using the tunnel.
  • Do nothing. It is already as safe as it should be.

To vote in the poll, click here.

If your preferred response is not available above, feel free to add it in the comments below.

The poll will remain open to votes until June 6.

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Kurt | 01 June 2019 - 12:13:24

Here, 'learning curves' never beat ..."This is the way we do it".  That is why things here hardly change for their own better. Culture is not to spend all approved budget money on projects, but squeeze/channel away a part of budget, and construct the project cheaper. The 'end product' outcome is never according budget specifications,  but who cares?

Concerned | 01 June 2019 - 08:02:08

Amused - wonder how long these traffic dividers last , it seems they didn’t learn from the Central underpass where they had to put solid concrete dividers. 
As long there egoistic reckless traffic rules ignoring motorists on the road 
there will be chaos and traffic jams.

Foot | 31 May 2019 - 09:49:50

Install  steel guardrails and only allow cars and small pickups and minivans.

Discover Thainess | 31 May 2019 - 07:06:15

If drivers stick to a speed limit (as per the rotherhithe tunnel in London) and concentrate on driving then there is no reason for crashes. However this is phuket so that won’t happen. No point in banning certain vehicles as any rules will just be ignored and not enforced (see all the motorbikes in existing tunnels). Great example of local planning to have such a small tunnel. Hopeless.

Rorri_2 | 31 May 2019 - 06:52:55

"The lanes, at 3.5 metres wide are “international standard,” Phuket Highways Chief Somwong Lohanut," might be true, but what about the separation between lanes for traffic flowing in different directions... in many countries these lanes are separated by barriers.. many having virtually separated tunnels eg Graham Farmer tunnel, Perth, Western Australia.

Fascinated | 30 May 2019 - 22:42:50

Are we running a book for when the first 'accident' occurs after it is opened? My money is on 30 minutes.

Asterix | 30 May 2019 - 21:31:08

Narrow Chalong-Rawai Underpass may be stressful for some claustrophobic drivers with may bring catastrophic consequences of losing control of the vehicle... 

Apirath | 30 May 2019 - 21:06:12

The underpass is 350-metre long. I don’t believe travelling at 120 kp/h or at mere 40 down there would make any difference in making one reach their destination sooner. Speed limit should be monitored, with offenders fined and if it continues banned. The faster the speed is all the more likely it will lead to accidents. Motorists causing damage should be fined, to help pay for repair.

Asterix | 30 May 2019 - 20:02:53

The true name should be "Chalong-Rawai Underpass" as the underpass is on both Sub-District Municipalities.

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