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Bangkok governor dragged into Benchatkitti Park cycling spat

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Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has been dragged into a war of words between cyclists and parkgoers in a popular city park.

Parkgoers and cyclists, who frequent Benchakitti Park, in the Klong Toey district, took to social media to voice their anger over speeding cyclists and the danger they pose by riding without due care and attention to others while speeding cyclists hit back saying pedestrians should not be on the cycling paths.

Benchakitti Park’s Facebook page posted a picture of some cyclists speaking to police, who were explaining excessive speed is banned in the park.

Police said speeding can pose a risk of injury to other parkgoers, especially the disabled, parents with small children, and people in general, strolling or running in the park.

Benchakitti Park has about 30 spots where bike lanes and walkways cross, and many accidents have been reported.

The Benchakitti Park Facebook page generated a heated debate, with cyclists, non-cyclists, and parkgoers all joining in.

One post asked, “Why are the people walking in the park given a priority over ones who are cycling?”

Another questioned, “What’s the point of them having to go slowly on empty bike lanes?”

And, “Why don’t park staff move those who only want to walk in the park to the Suvarnabhumi bicycle track instead?”

The angry exchange was brought to the attention of the Bangkok governor.

The 56 year old city chief yesterday urged all sides in the debate to resolve their differences.

Chadchart says most accidents occur where bike lanes and walkways in the park intersect on Ratchadaphisek Road and added that only a small number of speeding riders were to blame.

“I believe this problem will be resolved. As for those cyclists who are eager to go fast, there are plenty of other places they can go. Safety at the park is important.

“Neither side should try to widen the conflict but instead try to find common ground between them as to how to share the park without problems.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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