BMA prepares to renovate footpath of Rama I road for people with disabilities and APEC Meeting

On February 8, 2021, at Thani Nopparat Building, Bangkok City Hall II (Din Daeng District): Pol.Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok, chaired the meeting of executives of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). In the meeting, Strategy and Evaluation Department and Public Works Department reported implementation methods of the prototype footpath project which will be piloted in the renovation of footpath along Rama I Road, from Pathum Wan Intersection to Ratchaprasong Intersection, in Pathum Wan District. This area is the transportation, trade, and tourism center with great economic potential, located right in the heart of Bangkok.

The current survey on footpath condition found that some parts of footpath are narrow, bumpy, uneven, and do not facilitate the access for and travel of people with disabilities. Moreover, road crossing is inconvenient for the people with disabilities and they are at a higher risk of injury from road traffic crashes. During this time, the number of tourists, businessmen, and commuters is less than before due to the current pandemic of COVID-19. Thus, the BMA decided to implement the area renovation in this period of time in order to prepare for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting and related meetings in which Thailand will host in 2022.

The renovating area is about 2,020 meters long (both ways). Descriptions of the renovation include reorganization of all the street furniture on footpath, improvement of footpath surface and curb, construction of ramps for the people with disabilities according to universal standard model and corrections of any spots that persons with wheelchairs cannot go through, improvement of lighting system, and renovation and reorganization of infrastructure system under the footpath. Nevertheless, various organizations are involved in this renovation, both the BMA organizations and other external organizations, such as Metropolitan Electricity Authority, Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, National Telecom Public Company Limited, and Thailand Post. Therefore, it is necessary to firstly discuss the type of the project so that all organizations acknowledge it and adjust their work plans accordingly. The meeting resolved to assign Mr. Sakchai Boonma, Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Dr. Vallop Suwandee, Chairman of Advisers to Governor of Bangkok, Mrs. Wullaya Wattanarat and Mr. Panurak Klannurak, Deputies Permanent Secretary for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, to discuss and set work plan together with the related organizations.