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Drastic new measures to save Patong

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Drastic new measures to save Patong | Thaiger

PATONG: Following the overwhelming success of the one-way traffic system that went into effect in Patong in January, local officials will extend the concept to include pedestrian traffic by making Soi Bangla one-way for people traveling on foot.

When the new system is brought into effect, currently scheduled for April 15, pedestrian traffic will only be permitted in an easterly direction, i.e. toward the beach.

A spokesman for the local council emphasized, however, that in the remote event of a tsunami warning, foot traffic will be allowed to the west, or away from the shoreline.

Under the new regime, the only way to get to Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd from the west will be to walk north along the beach road and turn right at Sawatdirak Rd, where the sidewalks will be restricted to an easterly flow, away from the beach.

The new system has already begun to generate some controversy, with many local entrepreneurs fearing it will harm their trade.

A group of transvestites calling themselves the “Two-Way Crew” has scheduled a protest for Wednesday, April 4, at City Hall, starting at 6:30pm. Meanwhile, they say that they will simply ignore the new regulation while skulking along the soi for business late at night.

“I thought martial law had been lifted in the South,” quipped Toy, a member of the famed organization.

In another development, local officials have announced plans to begin “de-gassing” Patong’s notorious sewers, hoping to reduce the noxious odors that have plagued this enchanting seaside town over the past 27 years.

In what could prove to be a bit of a sound-and-light spectacle, the city fathers will conduct controlled explosions above sewer grates on a nightly basis to burn off the stinking gases. The explosions will commence early next week. 

One local business owner told the Gazette that he felt the de-gassification process, though radical, could produce a spectacle that might rival the famous Naga Fireballs of Nong Khai.

“Actually, these balls will be better than Nong Khai because we will be able to increase their size and frequency of activity,” said Mai-dtong Nakjai, the owner of Testicles, a boutique family motel in suburban Nanai.

But most local residents are not as sanguine as Khun Mai-dtong. They fear that clean air could create respiratory problems across a wide swath of the population. Indeed, an air of despair has been hanging over Patong like the gases themselves!

In hopes of rekindling some of the civic spirit that has always been the hallmark of this proud and peaceful enclave, the local Public Works Department has this morning dispatched a fleet of 19 sound trucks to remind local residents, at roughly 216 decibels, that today is April Fool’s Day.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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