Lad Phrao Elevated Way

Suriya pushing the Yellow Line monorail - translated and summarized from Than Setthakij, December 15-18, 2004
Minister Suriya has revived Yellow Line as the eighth mass transit line after delaying it for about a year. However, it is going to be revived as a monorail of 32 km long from Lad Phrao to Samrong via Lad Phrao Road, Sri Nakharin Road and Thepharak Road while asking MRTA to take care of this line.
However, the budget has been increased from 32.2 billion baht to 40.533 billion baht even though it is a monorail, not either LRT or heavy rail. Initially, the line is 22 km long from Lum Salee to Samrong via Sri Nakharin Road while letting Lad Phrao people suffer from the controversial Lad Phrao Elevated Way. However, the mounting public pressure has compelled Suriya to come up with the revival of Yellow Line with an extension to Lad Phrao Station.
The crux of of this Yellow Line project is the proposed expressway along Sri Nakharin Road from Sri Nakharin Road to Samut Prakarn via Bang Na. So the section from Sri Nakharin to Sri Thepha is going to be mass transit mixed with expressway. This would create conflicts between ETA and MRTA eventually.
MRTA Governor said MRTA is going to make a calculation as to which form of the Yellow line would be the most optimal since monorails are notorious for a lack of capacity to expand to cope with explosive demand and strong vibration of rubber wheels--a serious shortcoming for the long Yellow Line. This line will take many passengers from Orange Line and Green Line.
Commentary by Wisarut: The Yellow Line has already been studied in year 2000, but it was done during the Democrat regime. TRT is just meddling to try to shorten the line to please their own self-interests (expressway along Sri Nakharin Road, Lad Phrao Elevated Way, real estate at Nawamin-Fashion Island) which aims to get more revenue from expressway tolls while destroying the economic lifeline of Democrats (the Mall at Bang Kapi, etc.).

Suriya reviving 40.5 billion baht mass transit along Lad Phrao-Sri Nakharin Road in a 6-year plan - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, December 2, 2004
Minister Suriya said he has to revive the Yellow line mass transit system (Lad Phrao - Bang Kapi - Sri Nakharin - Samrong - 32 km) with a price tag of 40.533 billion baht to be in the 6-year plan instead of the long term plan.
He will submit the proposal to the Traffic Committee Office in January 2005 so as to call a bid by the end of 2005. This will help solve the traffic jam problem on Lad Phrao-Sri Nakharin road. The growing traffic jams along Lad Phrao-Sri Nakharin road is the main reason to revive this route again.
This yellow route will create another circular route once it connects with the Samrong extension of the Skytrain. The 291-km network will be able to deal with 4.275 million passengers in Bangkok and the Yellow Line will add an additional 197,000 passengers.
Furthermore, the first section of Red Line commuter (Bangsue - Raingsit) will be revitalized and then extended from Rangsit to Ban Phachee Junction via Bang Pa In and Ayutthaya by the new double tracks parallel with the Northern Railway.
The PR effort on the Purple Line from December 1-31, 2004 will become the model for MRTA to be used in other routes. MRTA aims that the Purple line will be ready for service in December 2008.

OTP proposing mass transit system along Lad Phrao Road - translated and summarized from Thai Post, November 9, 2004
OTP said they will come up with a mass transit system from Lad Phrao to Samut Prakarn via lad Phrao road and the expressway from Sri Nakharin to Samut Prakarn which will be proposed to the cabinet on November 9.

Link to Minburi with CBD via Skytrain (or LRT) - translated and summarized from Khaosod, October 14, 2004
TRT member Khun Sudarat Keyuraphan said TRT is going to push a Skytrain (or LRT-Monorail) to Minburi with a line to Rajadamri - Makkasan and the line along Ram Indra Road.

Commentary by Wisarut: We will wait and see how they are going to implement since they also want a new expressway as well. Those who live along Lad Phrao Road want a Skytrain from Lad Phrao to Minburi--not just NIDA--and prefer a Subway." They probably would also would like to see the new line from Minburi and Ram Indra to CBD area (Pajadamri-Pratoonam-Makkasan) as well since they know that the line from Lad Phrao to Minburi is not adequate. However, this is election year--promises can be broken to please vested interests once the government has been reelected--but the popular demand may force the government to come up with something better than monorails.
Many people suspect that those who ask for a Monorail are just those anti-mass transit system people in disguise of monorail promoters.

Lat Phrao monorail - translated and summarized from Dailynews, October 10, 2004
LRT (or monorail) proposed by OTP will have the price tag of 12 billion baht, compared with the estimated cost of the 30 billion baht subway line (actually Skytrain line since it is out of the city center and aboveground). This will have to be run by a joint venture between BMA and MRTA. This system will have to be able to carry 15,000-20,000 passengers/direction/hour (compared with 40,000 passengers/direction/hour for the subway). Furthermore, OTP is proposing a monorail along Ram Indra - At Narong to cover the area previously not covered by either Subway or Skytrain.

OTP has come up with a monorail to replace the Lad Phrao Elevated Way - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, October 7, 2004
[This is an election season and this article is proof--the government is apparently backing down on plans for an elevated roadway due to intense local protest.]
OTP has come up with a monorail with a price tag of 12 billion baht and a construction time of 6 years to replace the controversial Lad Phrao Elevated Way.
The line will go from NIDA to Lad Phrao Intersection with total distance of 12 km. This line will belong to both BTS and MRTA (50-50 sharing). OTP will submit this proposal to the cabinet by the end of October.
For the BRT, it will cost about 2.483 billion baht. There will be 9 BRT lines with total distance of 228 km.
1) Talingchan - Phatthnakarn
2) Rangsit - Dindaeng
3) Minburi - Samit Prakarn
4) Pakkret - Bang Kapi
5) Rama 2- Wongwian Yai
6) Navamin - Kaset - Mochit
7) Bangkok Bridge - Chong Nonsee
8) Prapa canal - Phitsanulok
9) Phrasamut Chedi - Prachadhipok
However, most Lad Phrao people said: "We could not accept something less than a new line of Skytrain or Subway line along Lad Phrao Road."
Those who live in Bangyai Suburb have a new line of the Subway [the recently approved Bang Yai line]--even though it is as elevated track. Why has government deliberately betrayed the voters by coming up with a cheap and shoddy solution as a quick fix? Are they going to punish us who vote for a Democrat Governor by coming up with shoddy solution?"
Furthermore, they ask: "You better extend such a line to Minburi. Stopping at NIDA will not solve traffic along Lad Phrao Road! We are fed up with poor bus and van service!"
Note:
Look at the opinions here.
Also: Bangkok monorail to solve city’s traffic congestion - TNA, October 7, 2004
...Plans to build an elevated road from the Lad Phrao intersection to the Phahonyothin Road have been scrapped by the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (CMLT) because of local residents’ objections, the OTTPP's Director-General, Kumropluk Suraswadi told journalists here today...

Lat Phrao monorail - Dailynews, October 10, 2004
LRT (or monorail) proposed by OTP will have the price tag of 12 billion baht, compared with the estimated cost of the 30 billion baht subway line (actually Skytrain line since it is out of the city center and aboveground). This will have to be run by a joint venture between BMA and MRTA. This system will have to be able to carry 15,000-20,000 passengers/direction/hour (compared with 40,000 passengers/direction/hour for the subway). Furthermore, OTP is proposing a monorail along Ram Indra - At Narong to cover the area previously not covered by either Subway or Skytrain.

Golden land turned into a nightmare for Lad Phrao people - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, August 17, 2004
The heart of businesses along Lad Phrao area are building blocks which are as old as Lad Phrao Road itself (about 40 years old). There is also a subway route along Lad Phrao Road which is going to be elevated to become golden land. However, the elevated way is suddenly going to be a big curse for the golden land.
There are now several protest banners against Lad Phrao Elevated Way along Lad Phrao Road from Ratchada-Lad Phrao intersection to Bang Kapi. Many buildings have been close and a big garage sale of buildings or looking for new renters after they get the message from BMA that they are going to bid for a contractor to handle the Lad Phrao Elevated Way project.
After getting very a lame response from Mr Khamroblux (OTP), BMA Civil Work Bureau, and MP Phuvanida Khunaphalin (TRT MP from Lad Phrao area) at night of August 10, many Lad Phrao people turned angry towards BMA, OLTP, and the MP of Lad Phrao area since they did not offer any alternative to Lad Phrao Elevated Way.
Mr Pornchai (the leader of the protest against the Lad Phrao Elevated Way) said he was one of the early pioneers for the land development along Lad Phrao road since 1974 when Lad Phrao area was just a paddy field.
Mr Pornchai said Lad Phrao has traffic jam only during the morning and evening rush hour. Furthermore, those who live in Lad Phrao are actually those who got the detrimental effects from Ranmkhamhaeng Elevated Way (constructed for the 1998 Asian Games), Saphan Kwai Elevated Way (demolished after the Skytrain construction). Therefore, it is not a surprise at all that they will fight against Lad Phrao Elevated Way at all costs--even if they have to brave a spray of machine gun bullets.
Students at Thanomphit School (a private school founded in 1962) as well as those who live in Chokechai 4 area (both are along Lad Phrao Road) have joined with the protest. They are against the government who come up with the project without the consent from the local people.
Even those who live along the subway line (Phaholyothin - Lad Phrao station) are against the connection between the Sri Rat Expressway and Lad Phrao since they have already sacrificed for public good and shared the benefit from the subway project.
Mr Pornchai said this protest is coming from actual local people, not hired mobs as other people (especially those who get the benefit from the Lad Phrao Elevated Way) claimed.
Notes by Wisarut: The growing protests against the Lad Phrao Elevated Way project as well as other expressway projects are here and here.

New Skytrain or subway line may replace Lad Phrao Elevated Way - translated and summarized from Thairath, July 25, 2004
After receiving strong protests from local people against Lad Phrao Elevated Way, Minister Suriya will consider a new line of the Skytrain and Subway as a substitute.
After receiving the responses form Suriya, Mr Khamroblux said if Minister Suriya asked him to cancel Lad Phrao Elevated Way, he will ask the Land Traffic Management committee about the change to get the approvals.
Commentary by Wisarut: It seems to me that Suriya, TRT, and the Traffic Policy Office have learned the hard way not to go against the will of local people by coming up with a project to please vested interests. Now it is up to Premier Thaksin and Minister Suriya whether they will sacrifice their own interests for votes in the next election.

Thai stories and web comments - July 21, 2004
Wisarut reports on what's going on in Thai-language forums:
Lad Phrao Elevated Way
The people of Lad Phrao have sent a letter to Premier Thaksin to replace Lad Phrao Elevated Way with a new Subway-Skytrain line along Lad Phrao Road. However, net mercenaries who have been hired to sabotage those who do not want the Lad Phrao elevated Way (here).

Lad Phrao Elevated Way--Better have a review - By Dr Samart Rajpolasit, translated and summarized from Matichon, July 15, 2004
"Elevated Way Over Lad Phrao Road is a SHAMEFUL Tragedy!"
"VENOMOUS Lad Phrao Elevated Way Destroying the Life of People along Lad Phrao Road!"
"We Live in Peace and Happiness, Don't DUMP the Suffering on US!"
"Welcome for Subway to Lad Phrao - Down with Lad Phrao Elevated Way!"
These are a few samples of protesting banners against the Ladphrao Elevated Way which cause drivers along Lad Phrao Road to have sympathy toward Bangkokians in the Ladphrao area. However, we have no idea if BMA and the Traffic Policy Office would have any sympathy toward those people by canceling the project.
Lad Phrao Elevated way starts from Ratcha-lad Phrao intersection to end up at Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road at Panasonic Intersection with a 4-lane elevated way. This is not qualified as an expressway since the minimum qualification for expressway is 6-lane. After that, it will be extended to western Kanchaphisek Road via Bangsue and Southern Railway as the way to smooth east-west traffic flow.
Expressways belong to the Expressway Authority while the elevated way belongs to BMA. Smooth traffic flow is a question to be pondered.
This kind of east-west expressway link has been proposed in the Expressway Authority masterplan. Initially, it will connect Phayathai-Sri Nakharin Expressway with Western Kanchanaphisek to reach Phutthamonthon and Nakhon Pathom. However, strong protests from those who live in Dusit district as well as those who live in Thonburi have forced the Expressway Authority to come up with an alternative--Rama 6 Expressway via the Southern Railway.
The new proposed line will cover Lad Phrao Road. They they have come up with some kind of solution to link Rama 6 Expressway with Lad Phrao Elevated Way. If Lad Phrao Road were as wide as Vibhavadee Rangsit Highway, Ladphrao Expressway could become an expressway. However, the limited space of Lad Phrao Road (6 lanes) does not allow construction of expressway entrance station for the new elevated way.
However, if Ladphrao Elevated Way is constructed over Lad Phrao Road, those who live in Lad Phrao area will suffer from air pollution after the elevated way becomes a reality.
It is not necessary to connect Rama 6 Expressway with Lad Phrao Elevated Way since the 3rd stage expressway will connect Rama 6 expressway at Wongasawang to Nawamin since the 3rd state expressway will become a reality soon. Another choice is to drive from Bangsue along the 2nd stage expressway to Phyathai and then turn left to Sri Nakharin--even though traffic jams at Bangsue-Phyathai are daily events. Furthermore, the bottleneck from Bangsue (6 lanes) to Lad Phrao (4 lanes) will cause another traffic jam.
Even Lad Phrao expressway is just a temporary band-aid--the traffic will build up and the traffic jam on the expressway will be on Lad Phrao Elevated Way. The 3rd stage expressway along Kaset-Nawamin road will be better substitute.
When we look back to the protesting banners, we are stunned that Lad Phrao people are really knowledgeable about traffic. They said "Welcome for Subway to Lad Phrao - Down with Lad Phrao Elevated Way!" Transporting more people is the sustainable solution.
The government is telling the public that they are supporting mass transit system--especially during the oil shock like today. Therefore, the government should postpone or even cancel expressway construction in unnecessary areas on the Bangkok side. Only the areas around Thonburi side should have more expressways built during the time being.
Therefore, BMA and the Central Government had better invest billions of baht in Subway-Skytrain extensions instead!
Commentary by Wisarut: We know very well that SC Asset (Premier Thaksin's real estate arm) has set up suburb villages in the areas between Bangchan (Sirithai Road), Nawamin (Nawamin Road) and Fashion Island (Ram Indra Road). This Lad Phrao Elevated Way will please SC Asset since it will help SC Asset to boost the sale of suburb villages. The protest against Lad Phrao elevated way continues--here and here (in Thai).

Earlier: Opposition to Lad Phrao Elevated Way and demands for a new subway - July 3, 2004
Wisarut points out these Thai-language threads (here and here) on the Lad Phrao controversy.


Earlier: Opposition to Ladphrao Elevated Way is growing - July 1, 2004

Earlier:
Latest on the Lad Phrao elevated way controversy - June 29, 2004

Earlier:
Opposition to Lad Phrao Elevated Way - June 18, 2004


Earlier:
Furious response to Lad Phrao Elevated Way - May 29, 2004

Earlier:
The choice for Lad Phrao Elevated Way
- Than Setthakij, April 25-28, 2004

Earlier:
More details on the Lad Phrao Elevated Way - Prachachart Thurakij, August 11-13, 2003

Earlier:
Traffic Office approves Lad Phrao Elevated Way with conditions - Dailynews, July 11, 2003


Earlier:
What happened to the Lat Phrao elevated road? - Thairath Daily & Dailynews, June 16, 2003
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