Your Say: October 2017
Sadly, it’s become all too typical to see excessive smoke spewing from a select number of guilty vehicles on the roads today. It’s a wonder how these pollutant emitting vehicles are permitted, and in many cases usually forcing one to take evasive action to avoid a mouthful of throat chocking toxic smoke while traveling the roads. As maybe a helpful and needed solution to this troubling mess, if the city were to take up a vehicle emissions control project it would create a tidy income stream, create jobs, and become the envy of the country with respect to climate control. Conservatively, the city could take in a gross income of 827,000,000 baht per year by implementing a vehicle emissions control project, and also curtail a countless number of medical related issues along the way. But hey, I’m just here as a guest, but happy to assist if needed.
I would like to talk about the following two situations; and ask which is more dangerous to road users?
1. It is common knowledge that motorcyclists are required to wear helmets for their protection and on your travels around the city you will see police roadblocks where they stop and I presume fine offenders. When someone who is a responsible adult decides to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, in my opinion that is up to them and the main risk will be to themselves in an accident, although I feel that children who are not yet responsible for their actions should be made to wear helmets.
2. What the police seem to be unaware of, just overlooking or see it as OK, are the terrible road manners seen on the roads. An ever increasing amount of motorbike riders especially the power bikes riding down the centre lanes on the highways and dodging between and cutting up cars. This is obviously a much more dangerous practice that has the possibility of causing a serious accident through no fault of the cars they choose to dodge between. Maybe you could bring this dangerous practice carried out (by who I can only describe as people who do not need to wear a helmet as they have little or nothing to protect) to the attention of the chief of the road traffic police and ask him his opinion of this and if the department will do anything to stop this.
Dear Mr. Governor [Ed. This letter to the governor was also submitted to Citylife for publication], Development of the Nimmanhaemin area is proceeding at a frenetic pace. In nearly every soi there are new condo blocks, shops and restaurants going up like mushrooms. On Nimmanhaemin Road three new hotels will have opened during 2017. This is the most vibrant and upmarket area in all Chiang Mai, and council rates and taxes must be flowing into government coffers like monsoon rains.
Why then are the footpaths/sidewalks the worst in Chiang Mai? The 500 metre stretch from soi 6 to Huay Kaew Road cannot be navigated without the risk of injury on the road from kamikaze bike riders. It is littered with obstructions that include parked motorbikes, advertising signs embedded in the concrete, unused telephone boxes, dead trees, tables and chairs set up by roadside food vendors, bags of rubbish, concrete blocks, etc., and the new McDonalds is one of the worst offenders. A fixture was recently removed from outside the big 7/11 near soi 6, leaving the supporting bolts exposed. I expected to see the bolts cut off before the footpath was patched up but instead they were left in place and entombed in a 15 cm mound of concrete.
This eyesore cannot have gone unnoticed by affluent local Thai residents and those who frequent the area. And it is certainly noticed by the thousands of Chinese tourists who patrol Nimmanhaemin Road every day. Who needs to go trekking when they have Nimmanhaemin Road? What will they tell people when they get back home?
So where is the money sir? This disgrace can only be as the result of the sheer incompetence of civic authorities, lack of accountability, or straight out corruption. May I respectfully ask that you please ask whoever ended up with the loot to return sufficient of it to at least fix the footpaths.
[Ed. Secretary to the Mayor Assanee Buranupakorn told Citylife that all tax monies collected from the municipality goes to the central government and approximately 10% is returned in the annual budget. This amounts to around 1.6 billion baht, around 300 million of which goes towards municipality wages. He also said that the responsibility for the pavements of Nimmanhaemin Road belong to the Royal Highway Department. We have sent them a letter requesting an interview. Please search the word pavement on our web site www.chiangmaicitylife.com to see some of our past articles and editorials on the subject.]
No to Fake News
Thanks for the fine discussion of mainstream (and side stream like Citylife) vs the alternative media [Editorial: September 2017] Huge topic. On the question of truth/accuracy you might enjoy this article on Smaulgld.com, titled Fake but Accurate.
Examples of what I consider serious alternative outlets: Corbett Reports and Allen Dulles. Have a look at Corbett’s offerings: 9/11 The missing Trillions. Corbett is associated with Newsbud which is attempting to set up a proper online newspaper. We live in interesting times. Best wishes to you and all at Citylife. You are doing a great job.
Thank you Pim…As always I enjoy your editorials. “It is a grave new world”. My feelings also. All the best.
One of your best editorials yet. Wonderfully worded, powerful and honest. Your editorials are a joy to read each month.